Why You’re Losing Money by Ignoring Content Marketing

content marketing

The Internet has created new avenues for gaining business exposure and changed customer expectations, and businesses must adjust their approach to advertising in order to be successful today. How, you ask? By embracing content marketing, you can open up countless avenues for increasing your visibility, reputation, and credibility— and, most importantly, your bottom line.

We all know what advertising is, but why is it different from and less effective than “content marketing?”

Traditional advertising is often intrusive in its effort to get your business or product noticed, and that can have a diminishing effect on your returns. Even more, ads are expensive, and they only capture the audience’s attention for a brief period of time, if at all, with a generalized message unlikely to appeal to everyone.

On the other hand, content marketing offers potential customers valuable information that they want in exchange for their attention, drawing them in to give you more exposure at much less cost.

Using content marketing, businesses provide educational and/or entertaining content that is free, engaging, and valuable to customers, such as blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, guides, videos, and more. Not only does content marketing offer value that customers appreciate while subtly promoting your business, product, and brand, but it also serves as a useful PR tool by increasing your reputation as an authority in your field.

Content marketing, in short, gives businesses a way to engage customers who want to hear their message, rather than forcing it on customers through typical, costly advertising. Additionally, content marketing:

  • Provides customers with information or guidance that is valuable to them.
  • Targets different customer sects directly for more effective marketing.
  • Increases website traffic and improves SEO.
  • Educates customers to influence their purchasing decisions.
  • Furthers your company’s perception as an industry authority.
  • Encourages customers to share your information with others, such as through social media.
  • and more!

Click here for an in-depth introduction to content marketing, including examples of businesses using content marketing successfully and some tips for best practices, and contact WordWise Creations when you’re ready to begin developing a content marketing strategy sure to fuel the success of your business!

So Many Blog Ideas, So Little Time

blog ideas

Image credit: Shutterstock

Maintaining and developing content for a blog can be tough. It’s natural to run out of ideas, and sometimes we all need a little help – writer’s block can be very frustrating! Whether you are running it yourself or you hire an experienced blog writer to manage your blog marketing, developing new and unique topics is challenging. So, here’s some help:

1. When trying to come up with a topic for your next blog post, one strategy is to think about specific areas of your industry that you might discuss, evaluate, or even demonstrate with images or presentations. You might create a poll and blog the results, share and comment on recent news in your industry, or list some industry resources you’ve found valuable.

2. Your business and customers, too, are key– they are who the blog is for, after all– so don’t be afraid to do a little self-promotion in your blogs. Blogging is a marketing tool, right? So, other ideas are to discuss what sets you apart from the rest, answer some FAQs potential clients might have, or provide some customer testimonials to showcase your history of satisfied clients and proven results. Topics like these that exemplify your expertise can be extremely effective.

3. Finally, don’t be afraid to get a little personal in your blog posts. Not only will it add a touch of personality to aid your brand and image, but it’s a great way to share who you are – and people like to buy things from people they know. For example, you could talk about a book you’re reading, some challenges you’ve faced, or what you love about what you do. A content marketer with creative writing skills can help you make these their best.

Effective blogging as a marketing tool results requires consistent effort over time– just a blog here and there won’t work. It’s about quantity as much as quality, so don’t let a little thing like having no ideas stop you from posting today! In a guest blog for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small business expert Anita Campbell expands offers some of the examples above  as part of her list of 36 great blog ideas to help you when you’re stumped. Read more…

Do you have any other ideas that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them! Please comment below.

 

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6 Ideas for Blog Openings that Captivate

Blog Openings for Success

(Image courtesy of Agreedo.com)

What if you sat down to read a blog, and the first few words were boring and dry? Would you continue reading?

The opening paragraph of your blog post is where you grab the reader’s attention and create interest about the subject. Besides the title, it’s the most important part of your blog article. Here are a few ideas on ways to open your blog that will hook the reader into your main content.

Use a Quote: Words from a known authority or recognized public figure can be a powerful way to open your article. The quote should, of course, relate to the content itself, and addressing the quote as you continue the article will provide you with an easy way to transition to your primary content and main points.

Share an Anecdote or Short Story: Sharing a personal story or anecdote can quickly pull readers in while providing a small illustration of your main points. The best anecdotes are those that others can relate to or that make readers laugh or think, and a thinking reader is an engaged reader.

Present a Scenario: Hypothetical situations or scenarios are excellent tools to get readers considering the problem or issue your post will address. Even more, by their nature, they require the reader to use his/her imagination and so serve to engage them immediately. Words like “Imagine,” “What if,” “Remember when,” or “Picture this” are a good way to begin to invoke the reader’s mind’s eye.

Ask a Question: Using a question to open your post will cause the reader to instantly consider the answer and, thus, create immediate curiosity. Such curiosity will drive them to continue reading your post, which is exactly what you want. Especially strong, well-posed questions will also serve as rhetoric, i.e., a rhetorical question, to subtly persuade your reader of your main point before they even get to the core of your content—a really good tool to use for almost any argument or debate.

Cite Data or Statistics: An effective way to illustrate a point is to find correlating data that supports it or pertains to your topic, and people always like to learn interesting new facts. Hence, including such data or statistics at the start of your post will grab the reader’s attention and pique their interest right away—particularly if the information or statistics are shocking or unique.

Use a Picture: Everyone loves a good image or graphic, and some can be perfect illustrations of a topic, issue, or point. Starting a post with the right image or graphic can be quite effective in pulling a reader in, though you should address the image to explain its significance. Remember to keep copyright infringement in mind and, in the interest of scholarly propriety, be sure to cite where you got your image right in the caption if it’s not an original.

Once you’ve gotten your reader’s attention, it’s much easier to keep it and pull them into your content. Try some of these strategies and see how they work, or contact a professional blog writer for their help and expertise.

Do you have suggestions for other ways to begin a blog post? I’d love to hear about what you’ve found that works!