content marketing

Viral Video: The Catch-22 of Content Marketing

When I think of really powerful viral videos, I sometimes feel as though I've passed through the looking glass into a dreamlike world of imagination and fun. In the wake of 2012, I've thought a lot about what makes content go viral, and I've come to the following conclusion: if you build something for the sole purpose of going viral, it probably won't.

Read this article: Viral Video: The Catch-22 of Content Marketing

True Confessions of a Journalist Turned Marketer Turned Journalist

Five years ago, I moved to New York City to become a journalist. Two years later, my journalism degree and I were ready to enter the workforce. Unluckily for me, I finished J-school in the midst of journalism’s painful transformation from print to digital. The data painted a bleak future for aspiring reporters at the time. In 2008, 166 newspapers and 525 magazines shut down or stopped printing. 

I moved back to Texas and became a high school biology teacher freelancing on the side. As soon as I realized that teaching 110 freshmen left no time to do anything else, I decided to leave education for a career with writing as a main job function after two years of teaching photosynthesis and organelle functions. This leads us to my first confession: 

 

Read this article: True Confessions of a Journalist Turned Marketer Turned Journalist

Editorial Calendar: Time Saver or Time Waster??

 

Blank editorial calendar

To many content marketers, “blog” is a 4-letter word. Its very utterance is enough to have us shaking at our keyboards staring at the blank screen like a doomed deer staring down a pair of headlights. 

But blogging is an essential content marketing activity. It gives brands the opportunity to showcase their personality and a way to converse with their demographic. Posting content regularly is also great for SEO, which creates more opportunities for the brand to make new friends and customers (lead generation, anyone?). Therefore, the onus is on content marketers to make their blog a success. How do we do that?

An editorial calendar can be a content marketer's best friend. When created and implemented properly, it facilitates blog post creation and management (assigning, scheduling, and posting). Most importantly, it’s a web content writing tool that allows you to see how well, or how poorly, your company’s content aligns with the brand. A disconnect between the brand and messaging could mean wasted money. If the two are one and the same, you could be boasting a really strong quarter. An editorial calendar is not just an organizational tool. It can make, or break, the bank. 

However, editorial calendars--because of the time it can take to make them--can be a content marketers worst enemy. But before you swear off editorial calendars forever, let’s discuss the pros and cons of having them around: 

Editorial Calendar Pros:

  • Aligned and consistent messaging--The titles and topics are all in one place so it’s easier to see when one doesn’t jive with the brand’s message or demographic.
  • Time saver--A shared document can save you time and headaches when it comes time to assign posts. 
  • Capitalize on search trends and timely events--Whether it’s a holiday or a current event that’s trending, it’s easier to see, then act, on a pattern when the data is in one place

Editorial Calendar Cons:

  • A significant time investment--It may not seem like it at the time (because you’re having to create and plan many titles instead of one), but you truly are saving a lot of minutes and lessening the pressure that’s on you to produce quality content. 
  • Difficult to get buy-in from your team--Blogging is a job and not everything about a job is fun.  It’s understandable when all you hear are crickets when you ask for ideas. Cut back on the push back by reminding them of the benefits of a good blog and what blogging can do for their own personal brand. 

“Do you have an editorial calendar?” is usually the first question I ask clients because it indicates how serious they are about content marketing. An editorial calendar categorizes marketing campaigns into the major leagues or triple A. Check below for tools that can make web content writing easier for you and your team and let us know if you're using one that has worked well for you. 

Editorial Calendar Tools that Could Make Your Life Easier: 

  • Wordpress Editorial Calendar Plugin
  • EdCals by Cision Point
  • EditFlow
  • Google Docs and Excel

Read this article: Editorial Calendar: Time Saver or Time Waster??

Website Traffic Trends: Three Tips To Beat the Summer Traffic Woes

The summertime brings warm weather, vacations, beach days, and BBQ. Combined, all of the above could spell disaster for your website traffic, leads, and sales. These three tips may help you mitigate the loss:

1. Write Timely Content: 

There are several holidays and many major events that are held every summer. Write content, whether that is a blog, article, or white paper that tie in key summertime events and motifs such as major holidays, vacations, and high temperatures.  How about “7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Snowblower in July,” “The 3 Secrets To A Great Fourth of July BBQ,” or “Why You Need a New LCD TV for the Summer Olympics.” Now I don’t know why you’d ever want to buy a snowblower in July, but I’m certainly curious to find out! Eye catching titles can increase your readership and create new traffic.

2. Adjust Your PPC Campaigns: 

The summer can bring some interesting traffic phenomena. With school out and vacation time, Internet browsing habits change. Make sure that you’re keeping an eye on your day parting settings. 

Use the Adwords Keyword Tool to see if you can spot any interesting summer related keywords that you may be able to utilize in your PPC campaign. Don’t stop there though, make sure that you change your landing pages and display ads accordingly to best reflect that summer vibe. 

3. Offer Summertime Promotions: 

There is a reason why every retail store under the sun offers summertime discounts -- they work.

Offer a promotion such as a contest or discount. Get creative, a promotion doesn’t have to be a discount. You can utilize a summertime promotion to help drive customers to your Facebook Fan page or increase the number of followers of your Twitter account. If possible, get your customers involved. You’d be amazed at what people will do for a chance to win an iPad.

Take Summer Back

Staying proactive is key to taking advantage of summer trends. Continue to be forward thinking to find the next new opportunity. You never know when the next holiday or vacation might lead to a big sale. 

Read this article: Website Traffic Trends: Three Tips To Beat the Summer Traffic Woes

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