How does Aussie Small Business get noticed online, build its reputation, and create trust and authority with its customers?
And, how does an Aussie Small Business, just like yours, compete with the money and power of large organisations? Money and power that you just don’t have!
The answer is through Content Marketing.
What is Content Marketing?
The definition of Content Marketing according to Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
A bloody good explanation. Don’t you think so?
If we break each part of the definition down a bit further, we get this:
1. A strategic marketing approach.
This implies that content marketing is a well thought out, strategic, deeply considered, and planned approach to marketing. Beginning with a plan is a great place to start so you understand which direction to take.
2. Focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content.
Content must firstly be created and then distributed or shared, while it must also add value for the reader, and be relevant in order to provide sought after information, or to solve a perceived problem. Content needs also to be consistent in both its message as well as its regularity of being created and distributed.
3. To attract and retain a clearly defined audience.
The content must be directed at the correct audience to firstly attract them so they want to digest it, and then it must also hold their interest long enough to allow the audience to receive your intended message to consider taking the next step.
4. And ultimately to drive profitable customer action.
The end result is to get the reader to take action, to take up your offer, whether that is to share your content, accept a download, provide their details to you in exchange for value, or to purchase your products or services.
So, as you see, when we look more in-depth at the definition of Content Marketing it becomes quite involved.
Why is Content Marketing Better Than Paid Advertising?
Well, firstly there’s the cost. When comparing the cost of content marketing to paid advertising, the difference can be quite significant in favour of content marketing.
You’ll see more stats in the next section. I promise.
How can it end up costing me less?
Ok. Admittedly, paid advertising has the potential to produce faster results, but as soon as you cease to advertise, your results also stop. So, advertising dollars must be continually spent to remain in front of people’s faces.
That’s true, don’t you agree?
On the other hand, every piece of content you create builds little pathways sprinkled about the Internet leading back to your website, boosting traffic, and creating conversions.
Also, consider that across all industries only 3.75% of people who click on your ad will convert (source: Wordstream.com) that’s an extremely inefficient use of your advertising dollars. Yes?
Note: A conversion can be anything from a sign up, to a download, to a purchase from your business.
Did you know that the strike rate/conversion rate for paid advertising was so low? Just 3.75%...Wow.
And add to that, about 76% of people who search Google no longer trust ads, so they avoid the top 3 results or so, and skip to the “organic results” immediately after.
“So, you’re telling me that on top of only 3.75% of people who click on my ad will actually convert, that an additional 76% of people will go out of their way to purposely avoid my cleverly crafted and customer enticing advert?”
“Wow, that really sucks!”
What positive impact does Content Marketing have on small business?
Want to see some mind-blowing statistics for Aussie Small Businesses that create and share regular, valuable content, versus those that don’t? Yes, of course you do!
Next up, let's see what your Aussie Small Business is missing out on when you don't have a Content Marketing Strategy.
How Am I Missing Out If I Continue to Avoid Content Marketing?
If you only ever look for customers who want your products and services right now, then you risk losing the opportunity to sell to the absolute majority.
The majority of your potential customers are waiting in the wings and they love what we have to offer, but they’re just not quite ready to purchase, not right at this instant anyway.
Of course, there will always be exceptions.
Approximately 3% of potential customers who visit your website will buy from you immediately. They are called impulse buyers and we love them. But Content Marketing isn’t about targeting these customers though.
Content Marketing is about engaging and enticing the other 97% of potential buyers that come and go to your website and social media pages.
These people like the look of you, but they also need to trust you before they commit to buy, and if you fail to engage these people, you are severely limiting your businesses’ profitability.
In these tough times, Aussie Small Businesses, like yours, need to look for any advantage that will help increase their bottom line.
And that’s exactly what Content Marketing does.
So, do you think your Aussie Small Business could benefit from a Content Marketing approach? You want more than 3%, don’t you?
Wouldn't you like to attract, engage, and entice some of the other 97% of potential customers?
What if you could raise the numbers by another 5%, 10% or even 15% of customers with your Content Marketing efforts? Wouldn’t that be worth it?
HELL YEAH! WITHOUT DOUBT!
But I don’t have the time to spend creating lots of content!
OK, I know. I understand that you’re so busy running the day-to-day operations of your small business. I get that.
And, you probably lack the time or inclination to create your own content on a regular basis. Yep, you’re right.
If that’s the case, outsourcing your content marketing to a freelance content writer/copywriter, like me, or a copywriting agency can be a great solution.
OK. Let’s review the key points of this post.
At the beginning of this post I asked these questions.
“Does Content Marketing Work for Aussie Small Business?” Yes, it does. Absolutely!
“How does Aussie small business get noticed online, build its reputation, and create trust and authority? And how does it compete with the money and power of large organisations?” Through Content Marketing
What is content marketing?
Why should you get serious about Content Marketing?
And a final little quote to keep in your mind, from Content Marketing Institute:
Bottom Line: Skilled, Consistent Content Marketing Works
Content marketing is the present and future of marketing. It’s efficient, engaging, compelling and gently persuasive. But, best of all…IT WORKS!
So, hopefully you made it through to the end of this article…and now you want to take the next step.
With assistance, Content Marketing doesn’t need to be difficult.
Don’t you think it’s about time you got serious with Content Marketing for your Aussie Small Business?
Ask Me Today, how I can help make your Content Marketing easy.
Buying an open plane ticket and filling a backpack full of clothes may work if you’ve decided to travel the world on your journey of personal self-discovery.
But starting out on a new small business venture requires an entirely different approach. You’re going to need Clarity, Planning, Focus and Connection.
Clarity to Achieve your Goal
Clarity means that you’ll need to understand where you are going, what you want to achieve and how you’ll arrive at your small business destination. You’ll need to ask yourself a number of questions and document the answers, in order to gain clarity.
Maybe you want to be your own boss, or you have a need to serve the community in some way, or you just have a great idea and want to make squillions of dollars. Whatever the reasons, this is where you’ll discover them.
Planning to Succeed
OK. So, you’ve done some deep soul searching, you’ve put aside the “far out there” ideas (for now) and you have a brilliant vision for the core of your new business concept. And that’s Great, but now’s the time to make a plan.
The old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Yes, I know it’s a boring, over used quote but it will always hold true. While it may be all fine and dandy to “wing it” when you’re backpacking around Europe, that approach won’t get you very far if you’re intending to start up a new business. You need a robust plan.
And to help put your plan in place, initially you’ll need to consider the following questions and more, and they’ll differ depending on the type of business you want to start up:
If you're opening a bricks and mortar store.
Also, regardless if you run a shopfront or purely Online business.
Sounds like a lot to think about doesn’t it?
Well, yes there is a lot to consider before commencing a new business, and the above list is by no means complete.
However, getting through a long list can be quite easy, if you remember that the key is to not let the overall process overwhelm you, and to take one step at a time!
If you can provide yourself with good, solid, and clear answers to these questions, you’ll be well down the track into your planning stage in readiness to commence your new small business.
“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” (apologies to vegetarians and World Wildlife Fund supporters)
Maintaining Focus and Avoiding Distractions
You’ll have many things, people, or habits that distract you from achieving your goals.
Friends and family will happily tell you that you can’t do it and will have many negative stories or so called “Facts” to back their argument. They usually go something like this:
“I know a guy who started his own business and he lost everything; he lost his home, his wife left him, even the dog disowned him”
“One of my mates has a mate who got ripped off by his supplier. He couldn’t pay his loans, and he went into deep depression and he killed himself”
I’m not joking…this is what your closest family and friends will tell you in their attempt to “protect you” from making the same mistakes. And, sometimes they’ll do this because they never had the courage to follow their own dream, so they don’t want you to achieve yours either.
Let me tell you this. If you have these types of negative people around you, don’t even bother talking to them about your vision. Find someone who has no ulterior motives, someone who will encourage you to succeed. Look for a mentor, or at least someone you trust, to bounce your ideas off.
When commencing a new small business there’ll be many, many things to get done and at the same time, equally as many distractions that will try to keep you from get where you want to be.
In order to remain focused, the trick is to understand your shortcomings, your procrastinations, the people who will try to stop you, the negative influencers, and your timewasters.
Put down that phone, stop looking at social media every 5 minutes, it doesn’t matter who’s doing what, what photos they have just shared…it’s all there at your fingertips and it’s all distracting you from your focus of achieving our goals.
You’ll have many ideas; some great, some not so much, and some integral to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. There’ll also be many that can be put on the back burner until later, ones that will add to and compliment your business, but they can wait, for now.
Focus on what’s important and essential, right at this very moment.
Don’t Let Shiny Things Distract You From Achieving Your Goal!
Connection to family and friends
Although you need to remain focused and free yourself from unnecessary distractions, this doesn’t include the ones you love. Family and friends will still require your time and presence in their lives, and deservedly so. And, you’ll need theirs too. “All work and no play make Jack, or Jill, a very dull boy or girl.” Oops, there’s another crappy old quote. It still remains true too.
You’ll need downtime to avoid burnout, and you’ll need to spend time away from your business. That’s the importance of remaining connected with your family and friends.
But you need to be aware, there is a big difference between spending precious time with your loved ones and to use them as an excuse to lose your focus.
Keep your eye on the prize.
7 of the most important things you’ll need to do
Once your small business has achieved “lift off” you’re on your journey.
To build a profitable and sustainable business that will last well into the coming years, you’ll need to be proactive and live the dream. You’ll likely work harder than you’ve ever worked before, but that’s OK because it’s your dream, not someone else’s. You’ll require bulldogged tenacity and intestinal fortitude and put in more effort than you thought you’d have to.
With that in mind, here’s a short list of actions you’ll need to take:
Got No Money for Marketing?
Not everyone has a huge marketing budget, especially when starting out. But that doesn’t matter as much as you’d think, because there are many other methods to market your new small business that’ll cost absolutely nothing, except maybe your time.
But it’s also enjoying it and loving it, because it’s all yours!
Well that’s about it for this rather long post. Thanks for reading it. I hope you made it all the way through. Comments are always welcome.
By the way, I’m a Freelance Copywriter and I help new and established businesses, through professional, enticing, and creative content for websites, social media, content marketing, email marketing and so on. See my Portfolio.
Ask me how I can help you with your small business venture, right here.
Rollercoaster Riding is a perfect metaphor for both life and business, don’t you think?
As it suggests, hopping on for the ride may just come with many ups and downs and twists and turns, it may spin your head around in circles (hopefully not like Linda Blair from The Exorcist), knock the stuffing out of you, be full of exhilaration, scare the hell out of you, fill your heart with many great and memorable moments, and sometimes might even bring huge disappointment.
But, isn’t that part of the excitement? Well, I think so!
As you read through this post, although I’m writing about my own rollercoaster ride, it’s as much about you as it is me, and it’s my hope that you’ll see my experiences as your own experiences, and that you’ll be able to apply them for your own benefit too.
As a freelance copywriter and from my life in general, I’d have to say that I’ve experienced just about all of the above events and emotions and will continue to do so, without a doubt. And you know what? You probably will too.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My rollercoaster ride has made me who I am today (yeah, that’s what they all say), and I’m just beginning to understand and appreciate that every moment has been a lesson.
As a small business owner, just like you, the realisation comes that nothing is ever certain in life, or in business,
And guess what? That’s a good thing too!
Uncertainty creates many potential opportunities
Uncertainty brings about many surprises, and that makes life much more interesting, doesn’t it? If not, somewhat more challenging!
Sometimes it’s so stressful that you think, Wow, this is out of control and I’m not sure I can do this anymore,
Hey, but just as often uncertainty brings about fantastic opportunities and greatly rewarding experiences.
Prefer boredom or excitement?
Both life and business would be rather boring and unfulfilling if we take the safe route and never ride the rollercoaster, wouldn’t it?
If we choose to never step on board, we’ll likely be much safer and feel more secure, but at the same time, we’ll probably feel as though we missed out, somehow.
Some rides will go as planned and you’ll yell out, “wahoo I really loved that, let’s do that again”,
And others probably won’t, and you’ll think, “ouch that hurt, let’s just call that a oncer, shall we?”.
But you’ll never know if you fail to take that first tentative step, right?
Where it all started for me
When I began, my desire to write arose long before I became an insomniac copywriter. I had an unfulfilled need to express myself with words but had no idea where to start or how to achieve my goal.
By the way, my insomnia doesn’t stem from being a copywriter. It actually derives from a night-shift job while taking a sabbatical from copywriting some years ago. Since then, my normal sleep patterns have never returned. Mind you, there’s a big advantage in this, as I tend to write mostly while others are asleep. Ah, such peace and quiet.
At a young and tender age, my conservative family drummed into me that a safe and secure job was the most important priority in life. So, believing that, I actually started out, working in banking and finance because, it was safe and secure, and income was virtually guaranteed, but it also left me feeling stifled (aka, it was as boring as bat shit). Everything was highly regulated, and creativity was not generally encouraged, rather it was frowned upon (“no, that’s not our policy”, thank you Mr. Bank Manager).
Anyway, I gained much knowledge and learned a lot of useful skills, made many great life-long friends, but I eventually realised that it just wasn’t for me. I say, eventually! (the family was still in my head).
Once I left that world behind, I didn’t immediately start out on a copywriting career, well not directly.
Taking the alternative route
Being a big believer of alternative therapies (what? you must be crazy! …there goes that family again), I began selling medicinal herbs and herbal teas online, firstly on eBay and then later I upgraded to a full eCommerce website.
While I made a profit, it was never going to provide a great living, unless I was willing to upscale to such a degree that I’d have to risk absolutely everything (ah, no thanks). I also became allergic to the dust residue of some herbs.
Additionally, at the time, I had neither the resources nor the risk appetite, so I sold the business for what it was worth and moved on.
But I did learn many great lessons about copywriting, SEO and Content Marketing. Plus, Plus, Plus!
Keeping on Riding
Owning my online herb and tea business and becoming a freelance copywriter has been a wild ride that’s for sure, but that experience upon my journey has been invaluable. Additionally, it’s given me a much deeper empathy and understanding towards how other fledgling business operators, just like you, must feel as you start out on your own path. Walk a mile, as they say.
As it is for any new venture, stepping up to ride never takes you in the direction that you expect (oh no, really?).
Sure, there’ll be ups and downs, your stomach will be in your mouth (hopefully no vomit…whoops, I just stepped over the line, didn’t I?), your head will spin out of control (I refer you back to our friend Linda), you’ll need to learn how to cope with each barrel roll and twist and turn (stop it , you’re scaring me!),
And like me, you’ll likely make a lot of mistakes (shush, don’t tell anyone).
One of the biggest lessons I’ve definitely learned is that it’s not always easy going. Actually, it can be really bloody difficult.
Sometimes I wanted to get off when it all got too hard. And I did, at times (ya big sook).
Most Importantly though is this. If you have the stomach to go just one more ride, most likely you’ll come out the right way up.
Riding my ups and downs (don’t be rude, this is a family show)
Here are just a few of the lessons and experiences my rollercoaster journey of discovery has taught me (oh, I’m starting to sound like a guru…well you’re not, so stop it , be serious and just get on with it):
Just beginning to enjoy the ride
Even though I’ve been copywriting now for quite a few years, one of the best things that I’ve discovered is that my journey as a copywriter has only really just begun.
Each day I learn new skills, and that’s because I’m open to it, to be a better copywriter, at any opportunity.
I’m more skilled as a copywriter than I was 5 years, 2 years, or 1 year ago. I’m even better than I was last month. My learning is never-ending.
And when we look for ways to improve, sometimes the universe responds kindly and other times, not so much. But if you look hard enough and believe that good things will come to you, you can find good people whose predominant purpose is to help others, just like me and you. Well, that’s comforting!
My firm belief is to pay that positivity forward whenever I’m able.
Finding the right people to hold your hand
Just a few of the great people who have each helped me in many different ways:
So, how is your own rollercoaster ride treating you? Have you stepped on yet?
Are you up for an exhilarating challenge?
Do you feel like taking a little risk, perhaps?
Huh, huh, do ya?
If you're ready to take that first step, but you don’t know where to start, or you just want someone to hold your hand as you ride, then you can find me right here!
Or, if you want to see more about me, or read my other blogs, give it a big ol’ click here.
Catch you on the ride.
Bye for Now (but not for ever, I hope).
As I write this morning, sleep eludes me. It’s dark outside and the clock on my computer reminds me it is only 4.04 AM. Damn that clock!
Today’s post is about writing with the senses.
When we write with our senses in mind, it helps us to evoke emotions in our readers and it brings us closer to them.
This approach enables us to tap into their consciousness, so they are able to imagine how things feel, smell, taste, look and sound as we write for them.
From the opening few sentences of this post, you as the reader can place yourself within the scene and hold a clear mental picture in your mind, as though you are actually there experiencing yourself.
You can empathise with the fogginess from lack of sleep, imagine a comfy warm bed, visualise the darkness outside, the computer and the time on its clock. You can feel the coolness of the air, the warmth of the heat pack, the smell of fresh coffee and the sound of fingers tapping away on the keyboard.
When you employ the use of all 5 senses you gain the ability to put your reader exactly where you want them to be, so they experience the situation as if they are right there, right now, as they read your words.
Before we get to how this can work for your business copy, let’s have a look at some other examples, which I've broken into parts.
Lately, over the last 3 or 4 months I’ve become an avid baker of Sourdough Bread;
In a few minutes I’ll turn on the oven to 210 degrees Celsius, the perfect temperate for bread with a crispy outer crust and soft inner texture. I’ll place a pizza stone on the middle tray and an empty baking tray directly underneath in readiness to bake a fresh loaf of tastiness.
We can see the actions of turning the oven dial to the correct heat setting, placing of the pizza stone and baking tray into the oven, and imagine a crispy crust and moist inner loaf.
The oven light clicks off announcing it has reached its correct temperature.
We hear the click of the oven light, feel the burst of hot air and instinctive reaction to close the eyes as the oven door is opened. We picture the actions of placing the dough and pouring of boiling water, the sizzle of steam and moist air as the water hits the hot pan. And finally, the light thud as the oven door closes.
Our sensory memories flood our minds with the aroma of fresh bread baking and the anticipation of sinking our teeth into the first bite of warm bread and butter.
And, while the bread is baking;
It’s now 5.20 AM, and I hear the shuffling footsteps of my wife Mariella’s slippers on the timber floorboards, as she drags herself from her warm bed towards the kitchen for her shot of morning coffee.
We hear the distinctive sound and accompanying vibration of shuffling slippers on wooden floorboards, we see a struggling writer staring blankly at the screen awaiting inspiration, the sound of pouring water and aroma of fresh coffee.
We imagine the colours of early dawn out the window, as they slowly appear through the trees.
We hear the joyful laugh of the kookaburra in the distance.
Did you find yourself being drawn into any of these stories?
Be a Storyteller.
OK, so if you’re not a copywriter or a world-famous author writing your next best seller, you can still be a storyteller.
As a storyteller, whether you are writing a blog post, a novel, a newsletter, or a product description, when you create a mental picture in your readers mind you transcend them into a different world.
Research suggests, that when writing with the senses of touch, smell, taste, sight and sound, the brain responds the same way as if we are actually experiencing the senses in real life.
The same applies when we use all the senses with business writing, as we are inviting our readers into our world.
The reader can imagine using our products and services, or how it would be working with us. We may even increase their desire to buy our products and services, or to work with us.
Now, wouldn’t that be great?
Unlock the Senses with Imagery to write for business.
OK, next up, we are going to see how this writing style would look when we use the senses while copywriting for business.
Incidentally, I searched the internet, high and low for other business examples.
Among prestige car manufacturers like Ferrari and Aston Martin, French and Italian fashion designers like Chanel and Versace, and many more world renowned and respected businesses, thinking that surely these companies would write with passion and exhilaration.
However, I was greatly surprised that they didn’t, and sadly disappointed, that they too have lost the ability to draw the reader into their world.
Therefore, as a result of not finding anything useful, I am unashamedly borrowing a reference from a passionate copywriter I know, Henneke @ Enchanting Marketing.
Henneke is simply amazing the way she writes, and continually has me hanging on every word whenever I read one of her posts. I’m always anticipating the very next one she writes.
In a recent post, Henneke chose a similar example as the one below, from U.S based fashion retailer The J Peterman Company. When they write their product descriptions it’s with a unique difference, as they are extremely talented at, and unafraid of taking you to another place and time.
With so few words, they paint a vivid picture in your mind’s eye.
Here is one of them.
You can just imagine a handsome young gentleman striding into an upper-class establishment with his head held high, full of confidence. The heads turn, whispers abound, and the old money looking down their noses at this chap in his pinstriped blazer, as he passes by.
Conrad Edward, a businessman of highly distinguished reputation, eying him up and down, certain that he must have met the young gentleman before.
Lord Ashley is obviously convinced the young gentleman fits in perfectly and looks the part, so he asks him the question about the FTSE.
And Lord Northampton, a round faced overweight, red nosed old fellow turns his head in total disbelief at the young chap’s instant acceptance into the aristocracy ranks, without a hint of a question.
We’ll that’s how I picture the scene.
You may see something entirely different, but that’s the magic of the human imagination, isn’t it?
An Extract from their "Our Story Page":
The J. Peterman Company represents an aspirational lifestyle. Our selections enable our customers to feel transported to a world full of travel, adventure, and romance; a world where the uncommon journey creates the memories we cherish most. The company’s history is rooted in this aspiration and we try to live up to it every single day.
Even their Story Page oozes of romance and sophistication, transporting us to another world as we begin to dream of travelling to some far-off undiscovered destination.
How does this writing style sit with you?
Do you think that it would suit your business niche?
In my humble opinion, I think it doesn’t matter if you sell 4-wheel drives, trendy clothes, run a busy restaurant or a bespoke travel agency, specialising in destinations off the beaten track.
I think all niche types can benefit from writing copy using all the senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound.
The J. Peterman Company proves that! The product description in this case is for a jacket, for goodness sake!
But look what they did with it!
I passionately believe that writing with the senses is an art form, lost from yester year, and that we need to bring back some romance into our lives, even if it’s just a smidge.
In these times, we are far too busy focusing on the quick sale.
We are told by marketing guru’s that we must attract our readers attention quickly before they lose interest.
But, wouldn’t you hold your audience’s attention longer, if you could transport them into another time and place, when they use your products and services?
I certainly think so!
Do you want help with creating sensory content for your niche?
I’m here, if and when you need me.
You just need to ask!
What is Content Marketing Strategy?
Content Marketing Strategy is defined as the overall process that involves the planning, development, management and documenting of content.
Its purpose is to create a deep understanding of the why’s, the how’s, the what’s and the who’s of content marketing.
In this slideshow below, we see a summary or condensed version of the end result of all the preparation and hard work that goes on behind the scenes to create an amazing content marketing strategy.
To understand how we got here we need to delve deeper, so that's exactly what we'll do as you read on.
Developing a Content Marketing Strategy
Enables us to understand the purpose of why we create content, who we create content for, how our content will help others, and what uniquely separates our content from all others.
Importantly, it also helps us to build our audience so we can achieve our goals, which generally speaking, are to increase our revenue, lower our costs and to attract better customers to our business.
In itself, delves deeper into the generation, publication and management of content that is both useful and usable for our audience.
Content Strategy, more often than not, goes beyond the scope of Content Marketing Strategy as it helps our business to manage all of the content that we create.
Is very calculated and strategic and involves documentation of the specifics of how we execute our strategy, and for larger organisations, it clearly defines who is responsible for handling each task throughout the process.
However, it is essential that we must have our Content Marketing Strategy in place before we can build our Content Plan.
If we look at our Content Plan as our Marketing Plan specific to our content, then we can consider such details as; the key topics to discuss, what content we will create, when and how we should share our content and what actions we want our audience to take.
Do We Really Need to Create a Content Strategy?
Can’t we just wing it? No.
We need a Content Strategy and we need to document it.
What Should Content Marketing Strategy Include?
Your Content Marketing Strategy outlines your key business and customer needs, therefore will be a detailed plan for how you intend to use your content to address these needs.
Now, let’s look at what you’ll need to include:
1. Your Business Case
This is your opportunity to communicate and obtain support from management for your reasons for creating content, what risks are involved and your vision of the benefits that will emerge from the creation of content.
2. Your Business Plan
Your Plan covers your goals for content, the value it will provide, the details of your business model and the opportunities and obstacles that may be encountered along the way.
3. Your Audience and Content Maps
Here you will describe the specific audience who you will target your content towards, what their needs are, how you intend to engage them and how you will map out your content throughout, to encourage your customers to move them closer to your business goals.
4. Your Brand Conversation
Identifies how your content marketing will look, keeping in mind that your content fits within your brand style and what ideas and messages you wish to communicate as you share your content with your audience.
5. Your Channel Plan
Outlines where and how you will share your content, such as your website, social media, email campaigns and the like. Detailing your criteria, processes and objectives for each and how they interconnect with each other to communicate your overall brand conversation.
Sharing Your Content Marketing Strategy with Others
Depending on the size of your business or organisation you may need to consider sharing your Content Marketing Strategy with other teams or departments.
Sharing your vision has the benefits of ensuring everyone is on the same page, it minimises duplication, and helps to gain buy-in so everyone works towards the same goal.
For larger organisations who may have both internal and external specialists within the content marketing chain, it helps to provide clarity around who is responsible for each part of the process of content creation and distribution.
When you share your Content Marketing Strategy with others you can choose to provide full documentation or targeted summaries for certain stakeholders depending on their role and how it will impact them.
The detail that you share will differ between roles, i.e. busy executives will only need a summary, whereas operational departments will require more in-depth documentation to understand processes and objectives of your Content Marketing Strategy.
How Often Should You Update Your Content Marketing Strategy?
Some parts of your Content Marketing Strategy should always remain consistent with your business mission statement and goals, even as it grows and evolves. In fact, it is a good idea to have your mission on display so you can refer to it, to ensure that each piece of content that you create and distribute meets with your goals.
Other parts of your Content Marketing Strategy such as, channel strategy, core topics and processes should be revisited and updated periodically on an annual basis, or perhaps more often if you are just starting out.
When you're ready to get your Content Marketing Strategy happening, or if you need assistance, then you should contact me and let's talk.
Resources for this article: Thank you to Content Marketing Institute
An SEO Copywriters’ job is to write website copy that attracts customer traffic, informs and engages the reader and increases your website ranking and visibility with Google. In a nutshell, these are an SEO Copywriters’ main objectives.
So, how do they do this?
They create content right across your entire website, from the copy itself, to page descriptions, meta descriptions, keywords, choosing appropriate high-quality images, SEO titles, through to optimising of actual web-page content and blog posts.
When an SEO Copywriter creates content for your website, they will consider your particular niche, your business style and tone, and content readability to ensure that the content will keep your targeted audiences’ interest.
Therefore, depending on the type of business that you operate, the content must reflect the style and tone to attract, inform and persuade the reader.
So, as an example, if you were to operate an accountancy firm vs. a retail store that sells children’s toys and games, then the style and tone of the website content for each type of business would be entirely different.
Keywords and Keyword Phrases
They will also help you research keywords and keyword phrases, which put simply, are the words that people enter into search engines when they want to ask a question or wish to find a solution to a problem.
The aim of the SEO Copywriter is to have you show up at the top of search results as “the go to guy or girl” who has the answer to the question, or who solves the readers problem.
If you are unsure or unfamiliar with how keywords work and which keywords you should use, they will research and guide you to help you choose keywords that will assist your website to compete with more highly ranked websites.
Using the accountant firm above as an example:
Let’s say that the accountant is located in the suburb of Mossman Park, Sydney, or they want to attract clients who predominantly live in that suburb and the surrounding area, the keywords could look something like this: “Personal and Business Tax Accountant Mossman Park”.
Using the longer keywords or keywords phrase of “Personal and Business Tax Accountant Mossman Park”, is more specific and relevant to the accountants’ service area and type of client that they want to attract. Being more precise helps to reach a specific target audience, rather than generic keywords such as “tax accountant Sydney”.
Using the latter, “tax accountant Sydney”, which is a shorter and more generic keyword phrase may attract a larger reader audience to their website, but they will be far less targeted.
So, as a result, since the City of Sydney is so large and widespread, and if a reader is from a Western Suburb, which is many miles away from the accountants’ location, they are highly unlikely to utilise their services.
As you can see, choosing the correct keywords is vitally important to attract the right audience to your website. And, attracting the right audience will also result in a much higher percentage of people who will take action, that is, ask for more questions, request further information, or purchase your products and services.
Optimising Content So You Hardly Notice
An SEO Copywriters job is to create and optimise copy, based around these carefully chosen keywords in order to help Google and people to find your website, and once people arrive, to engage them so they stay longer.
The art of good SEO copywriting is to create content or copy, so when a person reads it, they would not even notice that the content has been optimised for search engines.
The content also needs to strike a delicate balance between the needs and tastes of your audience and making it as easy as possible for search engines. Therefore, the copy must flow logically and smoothly to keep the reader engaged, rather than being so stuffed full of keywords, simply for the sake of mentioning them as many times as possible, that the content becomes difficult and cumbersome to read.
The quality of the content can be judged by its ability to engage, inform, persuade and convert, and whether it is shared.
SEO Copywriters are a Valuable Asset
For any business, whether it’s a solely online business, or a brick and mortar store who has an online presence, an SEO Copywriter is a valuable asset to any business that wants to grow.
Because they are specialists in researching your competitors, assisting you in finding ways to help you stand out above your competitors and they create content to attract, inform and engage readers so you can convert them into paying customers.
This holds true, for not only new customers but existing customers too, because SEO Copywriters also have the skills to assist you in maximising your existing customer base through Content Marketing Strategies.
So, why is SEO Copywriting So Essential?
SEO Copywriting is essential because it helps your business to increase its visibility by improving your websites ranking on the Internet, plus it also helps to attract readers and encourage them to become customers who will buy your products and services.
Add to this, that since the purpose of SEO is to increase your websites’ ranking naturally without spending a lot of money, it can be a very cost-effective tool to build trust and authority in your brand.
Without effective SEO copywriting, the chance that your products and services will get in front of the people who want or need them is extremely slim, unless you are prepared to spend big on advertising.
Remember this. Each piece of high-quality SEO content that you create on your business website, or social sharing sites, is a little hook that increases your visibility, and builds your trust and authority on the web.
That’s why SEO Copywriters are valuable to any business that wants to grow, because they create many advantages for businesses that utilise their services, verses businesses that do not.
OK, Let’s Do a Quick Wrap Up then.
What does an SEO Copywriter do and how can your business and its website benefit from utilising their many skills?
If you think that your website could benefit with the assistance of an SEO Copywriter to help your business to grow and prosper, then you should head on over to my contact page, and let’s talk about it.
These are tough times...I think we all know that!
But, it's in times like these that we see the true character of people.
There are those who will only think of themselves, and we've seen a lot of that so far, and there are those who will open their hearts and minds and lead the way to a better future.
Yes, the world is in turmoil and people are scared, but it's how we deal with all of the negative stuff, that will determine whether we succeed and continue to grow, or fail.
This morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "This Corona-virus will break out hearts, but it will not break our spirit".
Are You a Leader or a Follower?
Will you stand up and fight?
Will you Advance your troops to Victory, or will you Retreat and Surrender?
Or, will you hide in foxhole, hoping against all hope that everything will be OK and wait it out until the battle is over?
You have choices. What will yours be?
It's Not All Bad.
Really? No it's Not!
But how can you say that with all that's going on?
Sure, many businesses have and will continue to be affected more than others. Some will be taken to the brink and some will fall off the cliff!
But, those businesses that "think outside of the box" for new ways to attract and new ways to serve their customers will have a much better chance of surviving this crisis.
For just one minute, let's take a deep breath (breathe in... and... breathe out). Now. let's steel ourselves for the task at hand and move forward in a much more positive manner.
Good Things are Happening.
Firstly, the Australian Federal Government is releasing Billions of Dollars in Stimulus Packages and that means extra money in the pockets of your customers.
You will already have heard (assuming you haven't been hiding under a rock) the first round of stimulus is aimed predominantly at people who will spend it, that is pensioners, including people on Newstart, Disability, Seniors, Veterans, Family Tax Recipients, and so on. These recipients are a large portion of the population, and that brings many opportunities for your business.
Secondly, there's Small Business, just like yours, who will receive various incentives to purchase assets, there is tax relief, there is funds for apprentices, etc. There's much more detail in this part of the stimulus, but I'll leave that to the experts.
And, there is still much more Stimulus to come.
As I write this blog over the weekend and today, another $66 Billion has been released for the most vulnerable who receive Centrelink Benefits. Today, the Prime Minister has also stated that there will be much more to come as the need arises.
So, do you want to get your piece of it, or are you going to let others take it away from you?
Are You Ready?
Are you ready to stand up and fight for your livelihood?
Do you have a plan already in action, or are you planning to "wait and see"?
Now is the time to TURBO CHARGE your content marketing efforts and to stand out from your competitors.
Do you have a content marketing strategy to get you through to the other side?
No? Why Not?
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
I believe, that this is the worst time to stall marketing and promotion of your business. If you stop, you are virtually guaranteed to be one of the also rans, one of the used to be's.
And, that would be a huge waste, considering all he blood and sweat that you've put into achieving where your business is today.
What Message Are You Giving Your Customers?
What are you communicating to your customers and followers?
Are you being positive?
Are you communicating with them at all?
Do you send email promotions?
Do you offer them incentives to spend?
Are you telling them that you are ready and waiting for their business?
Or, are you portraying hopelessness and despair?
Yes, it may be difficult to be positive right now, I get that... I run a small business too.
But we must be a shining light in times of difficulty. It is our duty to spread positive vibes to all that we possibly can.
Positive behaviour spreads more positive behaviour, just like negative behaviour spreads more negative behaviour. You only need to watch the News, read the newspapers and watch social media.
Which behaviour will you choose?
What Kind of Leader are You?
Will you forge ahead and grasp victory from the jaws of defeat? Or, will you shy away from responsibility and concede defeat? You Have A Choice!
If you choose to Stand Up and Fight for your livelihood, for your staff and for your customers, and you need assistance with your Content Marketing, then you should contact me and let's create positive action and get positive results happening together.
When you write a blog post or article you want people to read it. But what if they don't?
When you write, you write with passion...you plan, you write, you amend, you critique and you finally publish.
You know in your heart it's a great article and it's targeted at the correct audience...and then no one reads it, no one comments on it and no one shares it!!!
How Devastating it feels!
You get down on yourself and perhaps you treat yourself a little harshly, blaming yourself for not being good enough. STOP RIGHT THERE!
It's not you, well not entirely...you simply need to chalk it up to experience and make a few adjustments, a few tweaks for next time.
Writing a little less, condensing your words and breaking the text into more easily readable chunks, will help keep the readers attention.
What does the reader want?
Actually, think about what you want when you read an article or you're searching the Internet for information.
What you want is what the reader wants, so let's look at how you can make some simple but highly effective changes to your article or blog post that will improve readability.
1. Instant Gratification.
The reader wants a solution as quickly and as hassle-free as possible without having to search through a multitude of websites. So, how do you keep them engaged and not look elsewhere?
2. Be Quick about it.
In our informative years we were taught to expand on our ideas and explain in more depth. Unfortunately, that doesn't work when someone wants an answer, RIGHT NOW.
The fact is, people will scan through a document to find the information they want. Don't fight the unwinnable fight...make it easy for them. Give the important stuff at the beginning and let them decide if it's worth digging deeper.
A great tip from Jakob Nielson, structure content in inverted pyramid style, which means start at the conclusion and work backwards from there to support your argument. This way the reader gets the important stuff at the start, and can decide if they'd like to delve deeper for a more comprehensive understanding.
3. Break It Down.
Like MC Hammer...someone's showing their age!
If your article is about a complicated or involved subject, think about breaking it down into separate blog posts.
This is also a great way to leave the reader hanging, and want to come back for more.
4. Embrace the (white) Space
I'll always remember at school, some kids while writing their English assignment, would use spacing to maximum advantage to make their assignment look longer than it actually was. While that may have been considered a bad thing by your teacher, it is in reality an essential concept.
White space is your friend and makes articles so much easier to read; even more complicated ones.
5. Use Subheadings to Break Up your Article
Strong headings, as they have been employed within this blog, helps to attract the readers initial interest, then helps to keep them engaged to want to read more.
Headings need to intrigue and inform, but must always be relevant, realistic and reflect the information within the article. NO B.S. headings or over the top promises that you can't live up to.
6. Use Bullet Points for Effect
Bullets points help to break up your text and draw attention:
7. Use Deep Image Captions (Infographics)
Studies by researchers show that images with captions are some of the most highly read content on a page. See Square2Marketings' 8 Benefits of Infographics
Using a strong image with a caption of 2-3 lines can help to clearly demonstrate a message and encourage your reader to look deeper into your article.
8. Use Links to Help with Understanding
Using both internal and external links can do two things:
9. Bold Text Helps to Highlight Important Details
Including bold text draws attention and assists the reader to scan through your article to find key details. Be frugal though, as over-use of bold text has the same effect as no bold text. Understand?
10. The Power of Numbers
Adding numbers next to headings and lists help engage and capture attention to assist your reader in keeping their bearings within your article, so they don't get lost.
How often when you search for a solution on the web do you see titles like this?
11. Check Your Formatting
One of the most important things, and often over-looked, is to check your formatting before you publish your article or blog.
Check headings, bullet points, numbers and highlighted text to ensure your message is clear, concise and flows naturally to allow ease of reading.
12. Just Walk Away
Lastly, be patient, take a break, give it a little time to review before you publish. You'll always find after a few reviews of your article that you could have written it better.
Follow these great tips and you'll have more people to read your content, stay longer, return for more, be more likely follow you and share your content.
Since Adam was still in shorts, this is a question that many have asked, pondered over and either nailed or failed to come up with a definitive answer.
So, what makes you different? What's unique about you or your business? Why am I going to put my trust in you, instead of the next guy or girl?
Why a customer decides to choose your business to buy products and services from, above a multitude of others takes some time and effort to understand. And, if you fail to grasp what it actually is, then you'll continue to experience hit and miss results until you figure it out.
If I said it was your USP, would you look at me with a knowing smile or would your face be like a blank piece of paper?
What's a USP?
A USP is quite simply, your Unique Selling Proposition and it could be absolutely anything. It's the winning difference that makes people want to do business with you over any other. Some examples:
In this great article from Copyblogger.com, who I often turn to when I'm looking for inspiration because they always seem to be able to look at things from a unique perspective: Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference it explains and discusses your USP in more depth. The article provides 3 x 5 minute rather clever and quite brilliant thought provoking exercises to help work your way through to discovering your USP.
I'll leave you to delve deeper into that; it really is well worth the 15 minutes, but in the mean time continue reading and you'll see my USP.
What's your USP?
Whether your USP is you personally, your products, your service or something else entirely, you need to find it, understand it, act on it and live it. If you can do these things you'll have a very good chance of being successful.
OK, so like I said, here's my USP. I believe this is what makes me different, and I live by it.
My USP is based on my persona, since I'm a freelance copywriter and the business is me. Without me the business doesn't exist.
So the question goes:
Brett, what makes you different from any other copywriter, so I'd want you to do all my copywriting from now on?
My response might go something like this:
My sense of humour is a little quirky and sometimes mildly inappropriate, and that comes across in my writing style, which means that you can guarantee when I right for you it will be like no other. I write creative and engaging copy that will have customers falling over themselves to buy your products and services. I offer a reliable, affordable and friendly copywriting service and I can assure you that I'll meet your deadline every time without fail.
Ok, it's a bit long but it states quite clearly what a client will get when they work with me, and I can back it up with proof via my website portfolio. They'll either like it or they won't. You can't please everybody.
However, as long as you are confident and believe in your USP it will shine through in everything that you do, and most importantly your customers will believe it too.
Copybloggers' Sonia Simone says this: These days, your winning difference depends more on who you’re selling to more than the features of what you’re selling.
You need to stake out a favorable position in the minds of those you’re trying to attract, even while turning the wrong people away.
Let's wrap this up.
To understand your Winning Difference you'll need to put some time into it. Put your thinking cap on, read Copybloggers article Take 15 Minutes to Find Your Winning Difference, read books, do research, go meditate on top of the tallest mountain, or whatever it takes and you'll come up with a Great USP.
Happy hunting for your USP, I know you'll find it. Ooh, look...there it is!
Why would you want to hire a freelance copywriter?
Because Freelance Copywriters are AWESOME!
Ok, I jest a little here, but there are many great freelance copywriters in the web universe. You just need to know how to differentiate between the great and not so great ones, and which ones are a good fit for your business style.
So, what's the difference between a freelance copywriter and a copywriting agency?
Freelance copywriters are a nomadic bunch who travel to all parts of the world while they write to cover their travel costs. Well, that's what many of the marketing emails I receive say anyway. And, all you need is a laptop, and if you can string a few sentences together you are good to go. No Experience Necessary!
In reality, a freelance copywriter is more likely a one man/or woman band who works from a home office, is highly experienced, and has worked as a professional in one or more other industries prior to becoming a copywriter. They may also have run their own bricks and mortar or online businesses and they utilise all of those skills and experiences to create engaging and enticing copy for businesses just like yours. They've most likely walked a mile or two in your shoes.
Whereas, a copywriting agency is usually a large and clunky organisation with many employees, who will only work with big business who can afford them. A sweeping generalisation, I know, but there is a truth there.
A freelance copywriter will get to know you and your business.
A freelance copywriters' job is to know your business, how it works, what types of products and services you sell, what makes you different from others, how your business portrays itself and so on. They'll ask many questions to get into the "nitty gritty" details to understand all of the "ins and outs" of what makes everything tick, so they can write the absolute best copy that will set your business apart from all others.
A freelance copywriter only gets paid when the job's done.
A freelance copywriter only gets paid once they complete a copywriting project to the satisfaction of their client. However, most will require some portion of an upfront payment as a gesture of goodwill, trust and commitment of both parties and to ensure that you are serious about using their services.
A freelance copywriter has many adaptable skills.
A great freelance copywriter has spent many years honing their skills. An experienced copywriter is not only skilled in writing high quality and engaging copy but should also have great communication and interpersonal skills. Add to that, many copywriters may have previously worked in fields such as finance, legal, media, consultancy or similar which bring great life experiences and expertise.
A great freelance copywriter is not someone who has just decided "at the drop of a hat" to become a copywriter because someone told them, all they need is a laptop and to be able to string a sentence or two together.
How do you know you are dealing with a Quality freelance copywriter?
How do you know the difference between a great freelance copywriter and a bad one?
The simplest way is to ask for examples of their previous work. Actually, a quality copywriter will be upfront at the beginning and should make this easy for you, by showing examples on their own website. You can also take a look at the quality of their own blog and writing style to see if they are a suitable fit for your own business.
So, there it is. A great freelance copywriter should have these qualities:
I could go on, but that would be quantity over quality and great freelance copywriters don't do that!
I hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to comment, as always.