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Blogging Without Results? 4 Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts

Blogging Without Results? 4 Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts

You needn’t be a professional writer or experienced marketer to write business blogs. To improve your blog posts, you just need to know how to use them to your advantage. Whether you can knock out a quick article in under 30 minutes, or spend hours agonising over the right opening line to snag your audience, the most important thing to remember is that you know your business better than anyone else. Couple that with these four essential steps, and you can improve your blog posts and increase your chances of converting readers. 1. Choose the right topics Content marketing agency professionals spend years honing the craft of topic ideation and delivery – it’s why they’re so good at taking businesses large and small to the next level. But you don’t have to be a content marketing expert to recognise the importance of choosing the right topics. After all, without an interesting topic, no one is going to read your blogs. And if no one reads your blogs, your online presence will suffer greatly. So just how do you choose the right topics? Start by asking yourself the following: What are you passionate about? If you’re not interested in the topic, or it’s not relevant to your business, that will seep into your writing and turn off the reader. Who’s the audience? As a business owner, you likely cater to multiple demographics and have more than one target audience. Do your blogs appeal to everyone, or are they niche topics where you can drive readers towards a particular product or service? Is it evergreen? An ‘evergreen’ blog is one that has long-term appeal. It’s...
How often should you publish on your blog?

How often should you publish on your blog?

One of the questions I’m asked most often by SME owners and marketing managers is: “How often should we publish on our blog?” There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question. If you’re just starting out, my advice will normally be: publish one or two articles a month until you’re able to see that your strategy is working, and your articles are reaching and resonating with your audience. On the other hand, if you’ve been publishing articles for some time, but aren’t getting the desired results, I’d recommend reviewing your content strategy before you worry about the number of articles you’re publishing. Some people are surprised when I recommend publishing so few articles. Once the decision is made to start publishing, they want to maximise the result, and are often considering a blog publishing schedule of 8+ articles a month. The problem with this, is that if you’re publishing quality in-depth articles and paying a blog writer or a content marketing agency to create them, that’s a substantial outlay. And it will be wasted if your articles aren’t finding an audience or aren’t resonating well with the desired audience. You can’t maximise the result until you know you’re getting one. The good news is that once you are confident your content is working and contributing to your bottom line, you’ll be able to review your content budget and turn up the dial to increase those results. The key to getting results with a business blog There are two key factors I find are often overlooked by businesses just starting out with their blog. When one or both are missed, the...
No Content Strategy? 3 Ways it Could be Costing You

No Content Strategy? 3 Ways it Could be Costing You

If your content doesn’t resonate with the right audience, or if your ideal clients aren’t enticed by your offering, it’s time to develop a content marketing strategy or review your existing content strategy. There’s truth in the saying that without strategy, execution is useless. Even though 91% of Australian marketers employ content as a marketing tool, only 46% of them say their organisation has a documented content strategy in place to manage it as a business asset. To get the most out of your content investment, a solid content strategy could be exactly what you need to turn things around. What is a content strategy? A content or ‘content marketing’ strategy focuses on four key steps: strategising, planning, implementing and reviewing. This type of strategy encapsulates the entire content cycle – the who, what, when, how and why – in order to identify the right audiences, perfect your brand messaging and ultimately create high-quality content that will generate quantifiable results. A strategy can be developed in-house if you have the expertise, but it’s a task often outsourced to a content marketing agency, where an experienced content strategist can manage the project. If your current approach isn’t based on a sound strategy, here are 3 ways it could be costing you a fortune. 1. You’re throwing money at PPC  PPC (pay-per-click) marketing is essentially a way to ‘buy’ visits to your site rather than generating visits organically. It’s one form of search engine advertising, where you bid for ad placements in a search engine like Google’s sponsored links. Thanks to its simplicity, it’s highly popular. However, this simplicity can be a...
Should your business be ‘capturing leads’?

Should your business be ‘capturing leads’?

If you’re a service based business without any means of lead capture on your website, then you’re probably allowing many prospective clients to slip away. Perhaps you’ve come across the term ‘lead capture’ while reading up on content marketing, but aren’t quite sure what sort of difference it would make to your business, or how you would implement it. Let’s take a look at what lead capture is, what the benefits are, and what’s involved in doing it. What is lead capture? Lead capture is the practice of inviting website visitors to register their details in order to receive content and/or further communication from you. In the simplest form, lead capture is that ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ or ‘subscribe for updates’ option you see on many sites. However, unless your content writers turning out  highly unique material and you have droves of people wanting to sign up, this doesn’t go far enough. One reason this isn’t sufficient for most service businesses, is that not all their prospective clients have precisely the same interests, challenges, pain points and buying motivations. Unless you’re able to segment your database into buyer types, and deliver the most relevant content to each, results with a newsletter subscription alone are likely to be mediocre. Another issue is in the timing. When someone subscribes to your blog or newsletter, that action doesn’t indicate what they’re interested in right now, or how you might help them. However, if they download an eBook related to a specific challenge, it’s a different story. What you have then is often a genuine lead – someone who has identified themselves as a...
How to Create a Memorable Radio Commercial

How to Create a Memorable Radio Commercial

In today’s online obsessed world clients and agencies apparently think radio advertising does nothing to lift sales or improve brand perception, so they steer clear of using the medium.  They seem to believe that radio advertising is just a waste of valuable dollars. Why is this so, when more than half the population are listening every day? Unfortunately, most radio advertising is boring and annoying to listeners, and without an emotional spark between your radio commercial and the audience, you will never sell anything. Much like good content marketing, the most appealing and memorable radio ads are those that are insightful, tell a compelling human story and aim to create a strong bond with the audience. Although there are hundreds of creative spots written and on-air, only a very few have the magic ingredients needed to cut through the clutter, and those commercials can make your bottom-line jump with joy, as well as build your reputation. These gems are the ads that people remember. Whether sales promotion or image building, no matter what you’re selling, your target audience is listening and a remarkable radio idea is waiting to be born. Writing memorable radio advertising is only one part of the equation; writing a concise piece of communication that delivers both sales and higher brand awareness is even more challenging. With sound effects, music, brilliant scripting and creative production, a well-crafted radio spot can stir response like no other medium. Be Inspired. Dramatize the proposition Here is what you need to aim for as you develop your radio scripts. The entire thing should be framed as an experience for the...
Video Blog Production for Beginners

Video Blog Production for Beginners

If writing is not your thing, you might want to consider producing vlogs – or video blogs where you talk about a topic or viewpoint rather than outlining it in written form. On the other hand, you might be thinking about producing some how-to videos to enhance your written content, increase engagement and grow new audiences. MORE: Engaging All the Senses With Content Marketing Video Whatever your motives, the same general content production principles apply – such as quality, consistency, and relevance. And while you don’t have to be a budding James Cameron or JJ Abrams, you will need some basic equipment to ensure your videos are an acceptable standard. After all, poor lighting and bad recordings are not a very professional look! Here’s a quick look at what you need to get started. Camera: As for just about anything else, when it comes to video cameras you get what you pay for. A basic video camera with a built-in microphone for instance can be bought for a relatively low price ($300 or less) and can be a good place to start out. If you want to use your own microphone however you will need to make sure that the camera has an external mic port. If you intend investing in regular video production for your business, you might need to spend a bit more for a professional model – which will probably cost you at least $1,500. Tripod: A tripod allows you to operate the camera hands-free and also keeps the camera steady. If you don’t have a tripod you will at least need a surface on which to...