But what exactly does “fresh” content entail? New topics or a different perspective on a problem, or an innovative tip – these are all good. Swapping guest blog posts with another business also infuses new life into a blog. Sometimes hiring a new writer can help bring new ideas, views, and topics to a blog.
Covering new topics is one of the best ways to get new readership as well as appeal to your current audience.
Here are some ideas for new blog content for the New Year:
Guest bloggers – having a guest blogger can breathe new life into your blog. Guest bloggers offer a fresh perspective and new topics. Consider asking a guest blogger to contribute a whole series of posts rather than just one.
Cover current events – instead of just focusing on what is going on with your business specifically, scour the web for business news articles that are related to your area of expertise. You can put a personal spin on the story as well as offer tips or advice that are related.
Make your own news – consider covering events related to your industry by going to them in person. Not only will you learn things for yourself, it’s a great way to create content and buzz about your industry.
Go multi-media – a blog doesn’t have to be just a block of words on a web page. Consider adding specialized images or video content to your posts. As a blog writer and business owner, appearing on camera can make you appear more personable to your readers.
Tell your company story – this could even work as a series for your blog. Tell the story of how your company came to be. You can go so many different ways with this one. You can start right when you started the business, or go as far back as how when you were a kid you dreamed of being (fill in the blank). A series will keep your readers coming back to see the next installment.
Build a Solid Foundation with an Identity and a Plan
Talk to any leading Expert Author and you will find a plan (big or small) at the center of their success. If you want to succeed and ultimately get more out of your return on time investment, establishing a plan will help you achieve your article writing goals as well as any goal you wish to achieve.
In any plan – content plans, strategic plans, etc. – you must first define your backstory via a mission and a vision. Once you’ve established these focal points, you can begin to establish your brand identity.
What do you value?
Your brand identity is made up of the visual characteristics unique to you and your organization – on the Internet, that’s everything. One of the keys to developing an identity that resonates with your audience is to identify your core values.
Core values are the attitudes or beliefs of your organization. These values are not a result of the activities you perform. Instead, the activities are a result of your core values.
Classic Truths about Skeptical Customers Remain Modern Business Realities.
Back in 1958, McGraw-Hill created an ad that became legendary in the decades to follow among business-to-business marketers–and among those folks like me who were selling advertising to those skeptical business executives.
As you can see above, the print advertisement featured the ultimate skeptical prospect who says:
I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now, what was it you wanted to sell me?
In a single powerful page, McGraw-Hill made the case for business-to-business print advertising. I used this on countless presentations because it makes the point so simply and eloquently with its visual representation of one very hard-nosed customer. He is one tough cookie, who is absolutely not predisposed to accept what you have to say at face value.
Back then, print advertising was the logical solution to pre-sell even your toughest customers. Print advertising worked because your message was integrated into trusted business magazines which targeted exactly the buyers you needed to reach. Business publications were the most trustworthy sources of information that helped buyers make intelligent decisions about the problems that they faced every day.
YOUR CONTENT MARKETING CAN ANSWER ALL THOSE IMPLICIT QUESTIONS–AND MUCH MORE Today, you face similar realities. You must still try to sell to tough customers within a highly competitive environment. But, you can do it even more effectively and inexpensively than in the heyday of print business-to-business advertising.
Small businesses looking to improve their presences on the web must be active on several different fronts.
According to Duane Forrester, senior product manager for Bing, SMBs and others using web marketing need to make themselves part of conversation, and understanding where target audiences are most active will help drive engagement.
Forrester said on Bing’s Webmaster Central blog that the days of simply sharing some content and hoping for traffic to come in are over.
“You have to expand your view to include topics such as usability, conversion optimization and user engagement,” Forrester wrote. “Long gone are the days where an SEO could state ‘I got the people here, what they do from here is the Product Manager’s concern.’”
More companies than ever are active on social networks and integrating SEO best practices into their marketing material. Developing a strategy that factors in different elements of a target audience’s behavior on the web is a competitive necessity.
Without question, this is the first sentence in today’s post, and will serve exclusively as a means of directing readers to the next sentence. This sentence. Now we’ll contribute to today’s headline, This is Where the Perfect Headline Goes, feel excited about our current SEO ranking, and move steadily toward the central topic this post seeks to tackle.
This is the sentence that entices readers to delve deeper into the post, now that their curiosity has been piqued.
First we’ll introduce some choppy spacing.
"Then a powerful, inspirational quote that appeals to the timeless sensibilities of the reader."
It’s nearly time to delve into the body of the post, which is introducedby this sentence and outlined by the following subheadings.
How many times have you heard it said that social media can help your company? All you have to do is learn a few simple tricks about tweeting and likes and soon enough you’ll be living large.
Better yet, just pay Mr. or Ms. Confidence a small fortune to do it for you. After all, they know how to do it best and they can grow your Facebook page daily. You’re in business to get likes and not grow profits right?
Aha! Many a marketing cynic will be quick to the draw when it comes to social media. It’s a waste of time, waste of money or too much of a hassle to stay on top of the latest trends they say. Whether that cynicism is a result of bad past experiences or ignorance, it can be difficult to overcome. Breaking the status quo is an uphill battle, which is why marketers and customers alike have to understand where social media fits into marketing, and how marketing fits into the business itself.
Social media is a tool for engagement, amplification and community. At the end of the day, smart business owners want to grow their customers, make them happier, and keep them coming back for more. What good is a Twitter contest that’s unrelated to the brand where there’s no communication or follow-up to filter the entrants to prospects? How can a social media manager be successful without any input on the company brand? If there’s no creative element tied to social, then you probably don’t need a social media manager. People are starting to get the hint that there’s social media child’s play and then there’s meat and potatoes marketing.
The number of social media channels available to us today can be daunting. It’s easy to feel as if your time and resources are spread thin when you try to reach every audience on every platform.
Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you approach a new channel. You can repackage your existing evergreen content (content that is always relevant) for use across the channels. Here are six ways to do just that.
When we think of marketers and market research, we tend to think of two-way mirrors and focus groups. We think about extensive planning. We think “expensive”. But thanks to the Internet, no matter what your budget may be, you can still conduct great market research online without the need for expensive marketers or marketing teams.
Conducting your own marketing research is important for a number of reasons:
The integration of social network posts and profiles within the search engine results pages, such as Bing’s recent social sidebar addition and the advent of Google+, has deepened the relationship between these two areas.
Just last week Bing started to include Foursquare tips in its functionality and Google began experimenting with share links that allow search users to share a website to their Google+ account directly from the search results.
Moreover, since the primary search engine players revealed a year or so ago that they do take social media signals into account when determining what to serve in the ranking pages, social search has been a buzzword across the disciplines. Therefore, social media marketers have a responsibility to be better equipped to handle a more integrated approach; they must ensure they are applying their knowledge and delivering on the correct strategies. In December 2011, Econsultancy’s third Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing revealed that 25 per cent of company marketers regarded social signals as being ‘very important’ but when asked how important they would be in three years, this figure increased to 57 per cent.
My Creative Team has a weekly feature highlighting the latest information on creativity. This post selects – in no particular order – the 50 best creativity posts we have featured this year. Let’s get going:
Creativity Boost #1- Creativity is one of the key topics we discuss here at THINKing. So, we decided to develop a series of posts that focuses on ways to boost your creativity. Today’s boost: the mindtrip.
Creativity Boost #2- Today’s boost is about an urban photo adventure to inspire your creativity, and we’d like to see examples of your work. So, let’s use the Flickr tag creativityboost.
The 5% Creativity Challenge – Most of us don’t have the staff and resources to disappear for weeks on end, but we all have the ability to schedule two, one-hour thinking sessions each week (5% of a 40 hour week).
Lisa Arthur, CMO of Teradata Applications Interviews Newt Barrett on Keeping Content Marketing Real
Lisa wanted to know how you can be sure that your content marketing strategy is authentic. I believe it’s not difficult if you stick to several core principals and think of content marketing just as journalists have thought of news and features for 100s of years. Understand your readers and address their most important concerns in a compelling way.
HERE’S AN EXCERPT FROM THE FORBES ARTICLE:
“We need some authenticity in the world!” Donny Deutsch declared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno a few weeks ago. “We are losing authenticity everywhere in society,” he said, citing recent fiascos involving Beyonce’s performance at the inauguration, Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o. Is Donny right? And if so, why are brands so caught up in this struggle? Is “faking it” easier –or more difficult –than ever before?
For insight, I turned to Newt Barrett, who’s at the forefront of content marketing and co-author of Get Content, Get Customers, which urges marketers to adopt a brand new marketing mindset. Content marketing is a hot topic among CMOs, and I see it as one of the primary factors that can make –or break –brand authenticity in today’s marketplace.
"When does it make sense to outsource your content writing work? Outsourcing can be cost-effective but that it depends on your individual business needs.
The answer varies from where you look at it. As a content writer I would suggest you to outsource your content writing work as much as possible, and even time management gurus like Tim Ferris suggest that outsourcing is the key to maximizing your productivity.
On the other hand there are many people who think that efficiency can only be achieved if you have in-house content writers because then they get to understand your business from within and they can relate to you more because they are exclusively writing for you.
Both points are right. Just because I provide professional content writing services I’m not going to insist that you should always outsource your content needs. Every business has its unique needs and restraints and one must act accordingly. There is never a fit-all solution.
But one thing cannot be denied: content marketing is unavoidable. Big businesses have already invested millions of dollars in their content marketing strategies, and even smaller businesses are realizing it’s massive potential. Once you know how important content marketing is for your business, it’s up to you whether you want to outsource your content writing or you want to do it in-house. Being a content writer I can throw some light on why you should outsource, but then again, I’m not saying that you should DEFINITELY outsource. Here are some reasons to outsource your content writing needs:
You don’t want to hire a full-time writer
You don’t have enough office space
You would have written yourself but you don’t have enough time
You’re not very comfortable with the language in which you need to create your content
You want to tap into the global talent pool rather than restricting yourself to local talent
You are totally comfortable working with professionals from remote locations
You don’t have regular content writing needs
In good business sense, you should outsource your content writing if you are a small business because there is greater flexibility and less cost involved. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time content writer if you just require three blog posts every week.
On the other hand, if you are a big business and you need to publish scores of pages every day and almost all the content is specialized, you should have a team of in-house content writers.
Winnie the Pooh and his friends had wonderful opinions about the world around them but who knew they shared such insight into social media and modern communications technology. Here are a few of their thoughts penned by A.
Winnie the Pooh and his friends had wonderful opinions about the world around them but who knew they shared such insight into social media and modern communications technology. Here are a few of their thoughts penned by A. A. Milne:
On Content Creation “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
On Twitter “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”
Building a Following “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
On Personal Facebook Posts “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
On Apple’s iOS6 Maps “I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”
Book Review–Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships. Brandscaping, the terrific new book from Andrew (Drew) Davis describes a powerful but practical strategy to engage your customers over the long term with unique and compelling content. This content is driven by partnerships with others whose strengths complement your own.
Those mutually beneficial partnerships enable marketers to leverage the content, creativity, and audiences of other individuals, companies, and media outlets. When these multiple entities team up to create content that resonates with customers, sales and profits can grow exponentially.
These tangible benefits accrue to every member of the brandscaping partnership. As the book suggests, that’s the power of a successful shopping mall: Everyone benefits from the lure of carefully aggregated sellers of goods and services.
Successful brandscaping efforts leave traditional advertising, PR or marketing in the dust. As Drew emphasizes, brandscaping isn’t about vague notions of building awareness but about driving sales consistently over time.
Customers don’t just adopt innovations; they alter them, adapt to them, and are changed by them. Like economic Charles Darwins, successful innovators strive to observe and understand how their customers evolve.
Pick any product or service that matters. Google’s search engine. Credit cards. Boeing’s 747. The iPhone. Amazon’s recommendation engines. Microprocessors. Subprime mortgages. Indoor plumbing. Laparoscopic surgery. Fracking. Computer-aided design. Customer loyalty programs. The steam engine. Text messaging. GPS.
Pick any innovator who matters: Jeff Bezos. Steve Jobs. Henry Ford. Estée Lauder. Bob Noyce. Sam Walton. Werner Siemens. Coco Chanel. Matthew Boulton. Akio Morita. Eiji Toyoda. Walt Disney. Marvin Bower. Mark Zuckerberg.
Successful innovators don’t just ask customers and clients to do something different; they ask them to become someone different.
Facebook asks its users to become more open and sharing with their personal information, even if they might be less extroverted in real life. Amazon turned shoppers into information-rich consumers who could share real-time data and reviews, cross-check prices, and weigh algorithmic recommendations on their paths to online purchase. Who shops now without doing at least some digital comparisons of price and performance?
Successful innovators ask users to embrace--or at least tolerate--new values, new skills, new behaviors, new vocabularies, new ideas, new expectations, and new aspirations. They transform their customers. Successful innovators reinvent their customers as well as their businesses. Their innovations make customers better and make better customers.
Social media based conversions are all the rage in business, and they should be.
While leads can come from anywhere, generating sales from social media can be a relatively and comparatively low-effort way of bringing dollars into your business.
One of the sites that is increasingly gaining popularity is Slideshare. Slideshare is less a traditional social network like Facebook or Twitter; it offers users the ability to post and share presentations. Don’t let the name fool you, people aren’t sharing vacation photos and boring slideshows. Okay, maybe a few are — but the gross majority of value that Slidehare provides is that it allows people to share their ideas, expertise, and knowledge in presentation format.
The headline and the article below are so bad that you might think it’s a spoof published by the satirical website, The Onion. But, no such luck!
Happily, we can learn from it. I have changed details to protect the perpetrators.
ACME PRIVATE BANK MOVES TO SEVENTH FLOOR
Acme Bank has relocated the Private Bank, a division of Acme Bank, to the eighth floor of the affiliate’s headquarters at 234 Oak Street, in Cleveland, Ohio. Previously, the bank’s operations were conducted on the building’s second floor. This strategic move will streamline the services into one location, exclusively dedicated to serving the top one percent of Acme customers.
This is a marvelous example of learning how to succeed by pretty much doing the opposite of everything in this press release.
Inbound marketing is a foil to traditional paid advertising. Instead of interrupting potential customers, you use content to engage and entertain. The customers attracted are higher quality and you will reach them in all parts of ...
The 2012 Olympic Games offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to put your company in the news spotlight. Newsjacking is a term invented by David Meerman Scott. It means finding a way to insert your organization into a big news story. When you do that, you and your organization are as much a hot and happening story as the primary news event. Newsjacking is a real-time content marketing tactic that generates outsized results.
Because the August 2012 London Olympics are the biggest news story on the planet, effective newsjacking will make you a big deal, too.
You might think that only big companies would find a way to horn in on this quadrennial extravaganza. Not so!
I’m a connoisseur of really awful headlines. The more appalling they are, the more I love them. But, I rarely, if ever, go on to read the actual stories. Happily, we can still learn what to do by observing what not to do.
Here are 10 Howlingly Horrible Headlines–and How We Can Do Better. Much Better!
1-Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison: No reason to read any farther. It states the obvious and doesn’t suggest that we would learn anything more in the article. 2-Judge Named Sue: This is a play on the 1969 Johnny Cash hit song, “Boy Named Sue”. But, even if you knew that and were slightly amused, the headline doesn’t give you a reason to continue. The writer went for a joke at the expense of meaning. 3-Students Cook & Serve Grandparents: A perfect illustration on the need to be perfectly clear on meaning. We’re left to wonder if these kids were cannibals or caring relatives. 4-DOE to do NEPA’s EIS on BNFL’s AMWTP at INEEL after SRA protest: It’s OK to use an acronym that everyone knows–like FBI or GOP–but using 7 mysterious acronyms in a single headline just stupifies the reader who will move right along to another article. 5-Caskets found as workers demolish mausoleum: The writer buried any interest with this headline. Surely, there must have been something unique or surprising to justify writing the story. If so, make it crystal clear in the headline itself.
by SONJA JEFFERSON on JULY 23, 2012 A book review of The Strategic Web Designer – how to confidently navigate the web design process, by Christopher Butler. Published by HOW books in September 2012.
Christopher Butler is vice president of Newfangled, a US web development firm on the cutting edge of modern digital marketing and technology. I am honoured to review his fantastic new book.
In The Strategic Web Designer Chris shares his deep understanding of how to lead a successful website project. Website creation is a real art form, and I don’t just mean that from a design perspective. The skill is in creating a website that meets business goals, attracts and engages the audience you want, motivating them to take action. This is no mean feat. Too many business websites, whilst looking attractive, fall short of the mark when it comes to generating results. Chris lays out the strategy to get your web project right.
Strategic lessons for your web project
From planning to prototyping, measurement to mobile, content creation to optimisation Chris sets out the perfect web development process, helping us think strategically about a web project.
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.