Blogging 101: Don’t Be A Narcissist

By Kath Walters

 

Blogging is a balancing act.

Our goal is to win the trust of potential customers and to retain the loyalty of existing customers. Our purpose, in creating and sharing content, is a commercial one – to grow our customer base and revenues.

The difficulty is judging how much information to provide about our products and services in our blog posts.

We know the common questions our clients ask on the buying journey from talking with our prospects.

Writing blog posts about these, however, can often lead to a “Dorothy Dixer” – those rehearsed or planted questions that backbenchers ask their own ministers in Parliament so the Government Minister can brag about their achievements.

Yawn! That’s not the way to engage our audience, and we instinctively know it.

So, how do we “sell” ourselves to clients in this modern iteration of marketing?

The answer is to establish a set of guiding principles, and stick to them.

Here is a list of the ones that work best:

Separation

Make a clear decision to separate the content you share in your blog posts from the marketing content you publish on your website.

Your website is the right place for you to clearly state the features, benefits and unique advantages of your products or services.

You are then free to make your blog posts reader-focused. Write detailed personas (profiles or descriptions) of your audiences – no more than three – and focus tightly on their world.

Write in a tone of voice that is appropriate to them, on topics that matter to them. Write about what is going on in their world, the problems they face, their aspirations, their triumphs, and the innovators in their world. Make the point of your story clear and ensure every post has clear benefits for them if they read it.

Intention

Think of your blog posts as a customer service, and they will be more effective as a marketing tool.

The purpose of each post is to add value to your clients and prospects, to brighten their day, to help them be more efficient, to give them an advantage, to inspire them and advance their career.

To do this, we provide all the information they need to make decisions, and that means balanced, unbiased information. How do you feel if you are told by a salesman that you are paying the lowest market price for your new fridge, only to find a cheaper one online?

That is the power that all clients have today. Explain how to make decisions rather than what decisions to make.

Confidence

Content marketing – posting blogs and other content – takes confidence.

Your blog represents your brand without you having to join the dots — when it’s written with the right intention and separated from your marketing content.

Your regular posts show you are reliable. Your reader-focused content shows you understand your customers. Your “sell-free” content shows you respect your reader’s’ intelligence as a decision maker.

There’s no place for self-absorption in our blog posts

Blogging is a way of building a community of interest in your company and its products and services. From that community, prospects and raving fans emerge, when we separate our marketing material, are clear about our intention and have confidence in the intelligence of our market.

And you’ll have more fun writing blog posts, too.

KATH WALTERS IS A JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND BLOG DOCTOR. VIEW HER WEBSITE HERE.

TO CONNECT WITH KATH WALTERS ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

What Content Creators Can Learn from the Entertainment Industry

By Linh Dao

 

When is the next episode of Game of Thrones aired? What are the tour dates of One Direction? Will Manchester United come to Australia for a friendly match?

The fans can answer you without having to google.

Most of us are fans of something, whether it’s a TV series, a sports club, or a singer. Entertainers are clearly well poised for capturing people’s hearts; but when it comes to brands, only a few elicit positive, strong, and raw emotions.

Now that doesn’t mean marketers, content crafters and story tellers are destined to lose in the uphill battle to win customers’ engagement.

Below are some lessons we can learn from the entertainment industry.

Coordinated production effort

It is a team effort. Time and time again, people forget those in the limelight are backed by a strong, dedicated team working quietly in the background. You look at a well-groomed, radiating singer dancing her way on stage amid cheering crowds; not the make-up and fashion artists, not the light and sound technicians, not the producer, the choreographer, or the manager.

But without those people, the singer might be nothing more than one-off success.

Similarly with business content, maybe you are looking to launch a new product, to promote an event or simply to get more followers on social media. Then the question is: “Where is my production team?”

Who dictates the overall strategic direction (manager)? Who weaves bits and pieces together to make a masterpiece (producer)? Who takes cares of the technical side such as web infrastructure (light and sound technicians)? Who beautifies the look of your brand’s collaterals (fashion & make-up artists)? You get the idea.

The overarching story

People are innate story consumers. This explains why brands who have a cohesive backstory in their brand identity, or who build story plots in their marketing campaigns fare better in engagement.

Imagine watching a music video that is a mere collection of dance moves, or shots of the singer singing or lip-syncing; compared to watching one that tells a story (with an intro, climax and an end.)

Now apply that to marketing for a product launch, or to any campaign. Examples of successful storytelling in marketing abound. Check out some storytelling TV ads:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/12/28/commercials-advertising-best-ads-of-2014-marketing/20762365/

http://www.postadvertising.com/2013/05/tv-ads-brand-storytelling/

The pre-launch suspension

Whether you are a fan of Taylor Swift or not, there are important lessons about branding and marketing from the star’s journey. Her latest music video “Bad Blood” is exemplary of her pre-launch suspension building technique.

On Instagram, for instance, she released images of each character in her “story” (with intriguing nick names) over several days. People were hooked, both by the production and marketing values. The science is in the audience data (which social platform to target), and the art is in balancing between overselling and underselling.

 

The behind-the-scenes curiosity

One of the worst feelings is having an unsatisfying ending. Consumers hate being left hanging, whether it is because they don’t like how a story ends, or because they believe there is still more beyond that ending.

Entertainers keep people in the loop and build fandom not only before and during the launch of their new content, but also after it all. Again, recall those “Behind the scenes” clips that singers regularly produce. For brands, they could be the “Meet our employees” series, the “One-on-one” tutorials and so on.

If people love your brand enough they will be your loyal fans, and they may even nominate you for an [Oscar-equivalent] award. Start preparing your speech! 

Linh Dao is a freelance journalist and content editor/ writer. 

To connect with Linh on Twitter click here. 

How To Make Your Content Go Viral – Jonathan Creek

By Phoebe Chongchua

So you’re ready to make a video?

How do you get lots of people to see it? 

There is a formula for successful viral videos; it’s not just luck, even though it might look like it at first.

Jonathan Creek is a former TV journalist who, after 14 years in broadcasting, has launched a company called virable.com where he helps clients create viral videos and social media campaigns. 

Below are Jonathan’s top five tips for creating viral content. Listen to the Brand Storytelling podcast for the full discussion. 

 

1) Make yourself an authority

Most of the brands we consider an authority in the market are content- driven brands. Companies such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull started producing large volumes of quality content a long time ago. 

The big challenge for most brands today is to understand the difference between creating high-quality, interesting and helpful content versus simply posting and existing on social media. This is the challenge for content marketers – to educate the market and turn it around.  

Take a look a this case study about 2XU. The performance sports clothing company saw extreme success after creating a video that went viral. The videos tapped into the brand’s position as an authority in the market and capitalised on that in an interesting and emotive way. 

Listen to the podcast to hear how Jonathan helped create a strategy around these 2XU videos that went on to be highly shared.  

Watch the video to see the type of content that 2XU created after the Navy Seals started wearing their apparel.

Posted by 2XU Australia on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

 

By creating consistent video content, Jonathan helped the brand increase engagement. “The one thing that we’re probably the most proud about is that our video content, with no money behind it, was outperforming the paid boost content in terms of engagement.”

He credits a regular publishing schedule and high-quality content creation for the success of the videos.

2) Think about context and content when posting

Brands used to be in control of the message and able to deliver specific messages that they crafted to consumers, but that’s changed.

Now, consumers tell the story by sharing content. They use social platforms to let everyone know what they think of a brand and its services and products.

Jonathan says it’s not just about how frequently you’re posting content to Facebook. Instead, brands should think about the following when posting content:

  • What does it stand for?
  • How is it valuable?
  • What emotions will this post trigger?

The emotional connection is the one thing that sticks. Then if you’re really relevant or relatable, that’s when it triggers the sharing.

— Jonathan Creek

 

3) Create emotional content

Not all emotions are created equal when it comes to making video.

Videos that create emotions of awe, anger, or happiness in the video content will likely get shared five to six times more than videos that are boring or frustrating.

Sad stories also see lots of shares, but there is a quick decline in the sharing after their initial launch. For instance, the Cecil the Lion story was shared significantly when the story first broke but quickly dropped out of favour over the next week.

 

4) Have rules for your content and curated posts

Brands must have rules for posting created and curated content just as publishers have editorial guidelines they follow.

“If you can find someone else’s content that fits within your rules, then it’s fine to post. But if it’s off context and doesn’t resonate with the audience that’s following you, then you’re at risk with [the audience] not engaging with you. If they don’t engage with [your content], then Facebook basically closes them down,” says Jonathan.

 

5) Viral videos aren’t just the result of luck

The success of a video is based on a formula that engages the audience and creates an experience. 

Quality is important but you don’t have to match TV standards. Sometimes something under produced is more realistic and relatable. 

Jonathan says one final tip is to remember that the quality of your content depends on the team you use. Hiring journalists to produce your video and written content has one significant benefit. They are trained to be flexible and stay ahead of the game. 

Journalists can react to real-time changes, and brands need to think like more like publishers. They need to be nimble and able to respond to change and constantly adapt their content. 

 

Find out more about Jonathan Creek

virable.com

Twitter @JonathanCreek

Facebook JonathanCreekAu

Jonathan Creek is an award winning Investigative Journalist who, after fourteen years in TV reporting, now concentrates on the world of social and viral content.

His agency is called Virable. Virable is the result of years of research into how to grab an audience’s attention and then trigger them to share it. Drawing on what he learnt as a Journalist working in the cut-throat world of current affairs, and combining it with 3 years of study and dissecting viral trends and content, Jonathan has formulated an approach that breaks down what makes content popular, particularly viral brand videos, and also how to measure the likelihood of content being shared.

PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE PODCAST.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

The Freelancer’s Handbook: Brand vs. Reputation

You might have a brand, but do you have a reputation?

By Andrew Masterson.

In the corporate language that dominates any in-group discussion about freelance journalism these days, it has become an article of faith that a successful operator needs a ‘personal brand’.

Less often discussed, however, is what that term actually means. As a buzz-phrase it revels in being obligingly free of meaning, remaining available, thus, to be deployed in a rich variety of self-serving contexts. It can imply a particular editorial speciality, an active social media presence, or even a penchant for dressing well and posting lots of selfies.

So, if you’re going to claim a ‘personal brand’, how do you anchor it in the real world? How do you give it a meaning that might communicate something sensible to the editors and other people in a position to offer commissions?

You do so, I suggest, by recognising that the words ‘brand’ and ‘reputation’ are not synonyms. Reputation is hard-won. Reputation takes time. Reputation is how you demonstrate professionalism. Without reputation, brand is worthless.

Let’s not fool ourselves here. As freelances our value lies solely in our ability to deliver accurate, informative copy, at correct length, on time, and on budget. That’s not easy. That’s why good freelances get paid good money.

But those qualities have nothing to do with personal brand. They have everything to do with competence and conscientious work.

A good freelance, on receipt of a commission, checks out both the subject and the publication in which the piece is to appear. The resulting story should not need sub-editing, assuming the space allocated doesn’t change.

The copy delivered should feature every word correctly spelled, grammar and punctuation perfectly geared to house style, content meticulously researched, interviews diligently conducted and reported, emotional impact and factual base expertly balanced, length exact, deadline met, budget constrained. These are the elements on which reputation is built.

Get those elements right, each and every time, and you’ll get the work – even if you dress like a hobo and wouldn’t touch social media with a bargepole.

 

Find out more about Andrew Masterson

Andrew Masterson has been a freelance for most of his 35 year career. His current clients include The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Cosmos, Slow Living magazine, and documentary-makers Genepool Productions. A collection of his articles on science and technology is slated for publication by Random House in August 2016.

LinkedIn

5 Ways To Make Your Blog Attract Millions – With Jeff Bullas

By Phoebe Chongchua and Jeff Bullas

 

Are you struggling to get visitors to your blog?

Do you spend all your time churning out content that no one reads?

Jeff Bullas is a social media marketing blogger, best-selling author and has more than four million visitors to his blog each year.

In this article, Jeff shares his top five ways in which you can make your blog a success.

Listen to the Brand Storytelling Podcast for the full conversation and read the tips below to start building your blog and tribe, today.

Start with an interest and a deep passion. Couple that with the creation of great content and you’ll be surprised what will happen.

— Jeff Bullas

1) Make your posts “meaty”

Jeff says blogging has changed since he began more than seven years ago. He started out with blog posts that were typically 300-400 words, but today his posts are more “meaty”. They contain on average 1,500 words, several images, infographics or videos.

“This competition for attention has also driven the standard of what I call, ‘great content’”, Jeff says.

 

While you should continue to write shorter posts, Jeff says longer posts usually create a greater likelihood that your content will attract, engage, and be socially shared.

Marketer Neil Patel – co-founder of Crazy Egg and Quicksprout – conducted his own research and created this great article on how content length affects search rankings and conversions.

 

2) Win the content war by focusing on your niche

Make your content extremely useful for your audience. You can’t appeal to everyone, so don’t try. Pick your target audience, know what they need and write to that audience.

Make your content consumable. Sometimes using negative content that either shocks or sparks curiosity will drive people to click on your link.

Here are a few of Jeff’s examples:

12 Reasons I Won’t Buy From Your Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 Amazing Sites That Will Pay You $100+ Per Article

 

 

 

 

3) Blogging is part creativity, part science

Jeff says you must track your data and use technology to scale your ability to reach massive audiences.

Blogging regularly is critical to success. Jeff blogged five days a week for 9-12 months and says you must be persistent and consistent.

“You’ve got to think of yourself as a publisher. You’ve got to think of yourself as a magazine, as a newspaper. You’ve got to think: ‘I need to be putting this content out on a regular basis’”, says Jeff.

“This creates loyalty, credibility and trust with your readers and viewers.”

To scale the content, Jess says you must use tools for mass distribution, such as Twitter. He also uses SocialOomph and tweets every 15 minutes.

 

4) Rely on the experts: journalists

Don’t underestimate the challenge of creating great content: hire journalists to help, says Jeff. And don’t get discouraged by thinking that no one will care about your content.

Jeff explains how Hubspot uses journalists to produce compelling stories by interviewing key top executives in the organisation for video clips, so that the executives don’t have to write their own blog posts. These clips are then turned into blog posts, podcasts, and other forms of quality content.

Find out how Newsmodo can create this content for you.

 

5) Design your Website and blog content for mobile

The rise in content consumption on mobile devices is increasing rapidly, so much so that Google has also stated that it will not rank websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Jeff says it’s important to recognise that creating content for mobile is vital for your blog’s success.

Jeff also shared the biggest mistake most people are making and what they need to do to fix it:

“Content marketing is great and social media marketing is cool, but if you don’t turn that attention into real leads and sales – then it’s just busyness and noise.

“Brand awareness is fantastic but at the end of the day, you’ve got to produce some ROI.

“Remember: we’re not here just to create content for content’s sake. We’re here to actually make a difference in our business – whether you’re a small brand or a large brand.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to produce a return of that investment.”

 

Find out more about Jeff Bullas

Jeff Bullas Website

Twitter @JeffBullas

Other articles you will enjoy

WHAT IS THE ‘EXPERIENCE MARKETING’ ERA? WITH ROBERT ROSE

BUILDING YOUR TRIBE FOR SUCCESSFUL BRAND STORYTELLING WITH ROSS QUINTANA

PHOEBE CHONGCHUA IS A BRAND JOURNALIST AND CO-HOST OF THE BRAND STORYTELLING PODCAST & THE BRAND JOURNALISM ADVANTAGE PODCAST.

TO CONNECT WITH PHOEBE ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.
 

Art And Science Of Content And Data

Hundreds of creative minds and industry thought leaders from around the world descended on Sydney to share their insights across the media, analytics and advertising industries at ADMA’s Global Forum, which is now the largest of its kind in the APAC region.

A melting pot of technology, data, trends, content and innovation, the event broke down the silos of the digital industry, opening new learnings for all.

For content marketers, analytics have driven the capability to measure and improve on strategy and execution. It was fascinating to hear how the worlds of data and editorial are now so intrinsically linkedlike two dancers trying to keep in sync, with neither partner necessarily taking the lead. It is indeed an evolving chicken and egg scenario, where neither necessarily drives the other, yet the two must now coexist.

As Cameron Partridge, Digital Marketing & Analytics Director at General Electric explained, ‘data models helped unlock the future of content marketing at GE’. The Melbourne-based marketer adding ‘Be brave, be dedicated, captivating and worthwhile. Be targeted and make the ideas stick. Content for the sake of content is just clutter. Align it to the brand essence and start small.’

It was that mentality that saw CPA’s brand publishing strategy see success. According to Jillian Bowen, General Manager of Content and Social Media at CPA, if key stakeholders had pulled the pin after the first year of their content commitment, they never would have seen the content platforms bear fruit. This only happened in year two, after much patience and hard work. In her presentation ‘How to build a community with content your audience wants to read’, Bowen highlighted the need to ‘lead with a story and let your audience find out about the brand organically’. Adding ‘If you put the brand up front, you have to question whether you’re truly making content’. Driven by CEO, Alex O’Malley’s best selling book, ‘The Naked CEO’, the CPA content strategy has hands down worked. Hero video’s like the ‘Ask Alex’ series have seen thousands of mentoring questions answered on YouTube with more than 75,000 views.

‘We are not afraid to fail. I don’t need to sell it anymore because our audience are advocates. Take risks. Because when it does go right, it’s absolutely incredible’. Bowen proclaimed. But success takes meticulous, and ongoing planning. The editorial team are now working on content for 2016, making the potentially boring accounting industry accessible, even entertaining. ‘It’s all about creating content and putting it into the sandpit your audience plays in’.

A man with a plan and plenty ahead of him, Chris Janz, drew a large and curious crowd, as he shared the HuffPost Australia vision on Day Two. The newly appointed CEO of the publication that launches on August 19 was quick to point out the new kid on the block ‘startup’ mentality the team intends to foster, sharing that ‘it’s a really unique experience to have our little startup sitting next to the world’s best practice, working with the team in New York’. ‘We expect to be profitable within 3 years… and want to be in the top five readership within 3 years’. 

Staying nimble is a theme that was threaded through most of the conversations at Global Forum, where big brands are finding new ways of targeting and communicating with their communities. In this spirit, Janz pointed out the light and shade of ‘old world’ publishing versus the fresh approach many in the media are hoping to foster. For example, in a modern day global newsroom, the homepage is no longer king, ‘it’s all about social and search now. I think the homepage is dead’ he added. We no longer operate on single platforms. ‘Mobile isn’t the future, mobile is it. In some Asian markets, consumption on mobile is up to 90 percent’. He also proudly highlighted HuffPosts’ willingness to step out of the ‘walled garden’ and write about what know best, but share through links to the experts outside the site where the information there is most insightful, ‘do what you do best, and link to the rest’.

Finding ways to break down barriers between businesses and buyers is the new frontier, highlighted by nearly all the dialogue at this year’s Forum. The internet of things has given shiny new ways of achieving this, but at the same time thrown new challenges on marketers. Getting cut-through with content will mean that quality, value and entertainment will become the key ingredients in any recipe for success. As companies and publishers scramble to reach the younger, often ad-blocking, low attention spanned, multiple screen loving youth, it will be how they seed that experience in their daily lives that will determine success.

Through adaptive and agile marketing, data and insights, knowing the audience’s intelligence and using it properly, brand stories will be immersed seamlessly in a future world that will almost certainly continue to break down the barriers between art and science.

Originally published on ADMA’s official website

Rakhal Ebeli is the Founder and CEO of Newsmodo. He hosts the Brand Storytelling Podcast – tune in to hear the latest trends, tips and insights in content marketing. 

Three Indispensible Templates For Content Marketers

The volume of “helpful tools” for content marketing is getting to tsunami proportions. I used to be touched; now I am overwhelmed. Today, I have just one criterion for choosing templates: will this tool help me get my job done faster? Writes Kath Walters. 

 

Marketers everywhere are struggling with under-resourced content marketing programs, according to the latest survey by marketing peak body, ADMA. 

Producing engaging content is the most pressing problem that marketers (50%) face, closely followed by lack of budget (48%), the survey found.

Time-saving strategies make limited budgets go further 

While some marketers are busy cutting their budget of editors and writers (not a good idea if you need engaging content), the smartest marketers are trying a different tack.

They are streamlining their publishing, editing and briefing processes, and focusing on strategy and quality.

For smart marketers, the following three tools are all you need for success.

Content strategy template

Want more money and a better ROI for your content marketing program? Document your strategy. Organisations with a documented strategy are able to allocate their programs more resources (31% of their marketing budget compared to 25% for those with a verbal strategy). 

Documenting your strategy brings a higher ROI. Only 20% of marketers believe their content marketing strategy is successful, out of 33% of those who have a written strategy.

I love this one by Skyword, but if you’d like it all in one page (which is faster), this one by Uncommonly Social is very similar. By the way, don’t forget to include a content calendar in your strategy – the simpler the better. This one, by Hubspot is great, and you can always simplify it because it’s an Excel doc. 

 

Persona template

Content marketing is all about reader-focussed content; so detailed, well-thought out personas are a must for each audience in your content marketing program. Journalists are skilled at writing customer-focused content for your program because media outlets are specialists in building audiences (and selling access to them). If you include a detailed persona when briefing writers and editors, you’ll get better results, faster.

Limit your audiences to three: two in your existing group of customers, and one in an aspirational (target) group. Name your persona after a customer that you actually know, or a person you would love to work with. The best persona template I have found was behind the paywall of the company Marketing Ai, a company with an online editorial calendar that integrates with your strategy. They give you a free trial. 

Story brief template

This last is most certainly not the least. A good story brief is the foundation of every  brilliant story. I never write a story without developing my own story brief, and if you are commissioning writers, or briefing editors, a story brief is an essential tool to get clarity, to save time and avoid mistakes that can lead to missed deadlines.

The only problem is that I can’t find any online that I think are good. This one from ArticulateMarketing is okay, if a bit long overcomplicated. It would be much better much to get inspiration from sites that tell you about pitching a story. Why? Because they are focused on story quality. Quality must be at the centre of our content marketing program.

Here’s a nice one from Generation Process. Public radio broadcast, This American Life, has a good guide. I love this story in The Guardian about pitching. Gather some inspiration and make your own template!

If you would like a copy of my own story brief template that I received in a training course, feel free to contact me. It’s been my guide for over a decade. 

To find out how Newsmodo can assist you with content marketing strategies such as content calendars, click here. 

KATH WALTERS IS A JOURNALIST, EDITOR AND BLOG DOCTOR. VIEW HER WEBSITE HERE

TO CONNECT WITH KATH WALTERS ON TWITTER CLICK HERE.

 

How To Increase ROI Using Influencers

Do you need to boost your brand’s following?

Do you feel you are not connecting with your audience?

Maria Elena Duron specialises in personal and small business brand marketing.

Maria is the founder of #brandchat and is Marketing Strategist with Know, Like + Ignite – a boutique relationship development firm that helps small businesses in bridging their offline and online relationships.

In this episode she shares insights into consumer-to-consumer marketing and explains how using influencers is the key to growing your brand and increasing ROI.

Listen to the Brand Storytelling Podcast for the full conversation and read the tips below to learn how to gauge your audience and start a brand ambassador program. 

Even though a brand may be new and growing, it’s still important to start developing and engaging your customer advocates and getting to know your customers.

— Maria Elena Duron

1. Use influencers to boost your audience 

When it comes to consumers’ trust of peer recommendations, the facts speak for themselves. The days of celebrity endorsement and blatant push marketing are over. People trust others that they can relate to, and this is why using influencers is key.

  • 74% of consumers identify other people’s recommendations/referrals as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy/Google/TNS]
  • 89 % of all global travellers consider reviews to be influential when choosing where to book. Reviews are also considered to weigh more heavily than personal recommendations made by family and friends.
  • 68% of consumers trust online opinions from other consumers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information. [Nielsen]

2. Build your network before you need it

To be successful you need to be prepared. Begin building your network before you need to see the results – these things take time. Start by finding out who your audience is and what their needs are.

3. Choose the right influencers

An effective influencer will be someone within your brand’s target audience. Assess relationships with customers to get greater insights and identify who may be good brand ambassadors.

4. Don’t just rely on social media

Use events to build your relationships and networks and meet with people face to face. Don’t rely solely on online interactions to build relationships. This goes for connecting with influencers and with your audience.

5. Listen and learn

Don’t just broadcast to people, it will come off as being pushy. When you listen to your audience, you’ll learn who your best customers are and discover who your natural advocates are.

Actively listening to your community is the only way you can find out what their needs are and this will enable you to create quality content for them.

Find out how Newsmodo can help you create this quality content

Listen to the full episode to find out;

What brand ambassadors/ advocates are and how they help your brand.

How brand advocate programs work and how to start one of your own.

The types of content brand ambassadors can create.

Three top tips to build your network and brand ambassadors.

More insights into consumer-to-consumer marketing.

Find out more about Maria Elena Duron

Maria Elena Duron Website

Twitter @MariaDuron

Mentioned In This Episode

SproutSocial Chats

Content: To Gate Or Not To Gate?

Are you pro-gated content like Mike Volpe CEO of Hubspot? Or anti-gating like Neil Patel, Co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg? To gate or not to gate would have to be one of the biggest questions asked by content marketers today. And there is no one size fits all answer, writes Rachel Kurzyp. 

 

Gated content is content that requires a customer to give personal information in order to see, read, or interact with the content. For example, most brands require you to share your email address to access their webinar. 

Many brands find themselves making decisions based on what their competitors are doing. And marketers think if they put their content behind a gate customers will look for free alternatives. So they do nothing, or gate the wrong content. This way of thinking forces marketers to overlook important considerations – their own content marketing goals and sales funnel. Address these areas – then you’ll know if gated content is right for you. 

What measurements matter to you?

There’s a time and a place to gate your content but it’s up to you to know where to draw that 
line for your brand. You can determine which content assets to gate or leave un-gated based on 
their purpose. When you publish content – a blog post, case study, white paper, e-book, webinar, or video – what are you hoping to achieve? 

If you value traffic, SEO ranking and inbound links then you’re better off not gating 
your premium content. But if you need regular leads you may want to consider gating your 
content at the expense of your traffic. 

What content does your customer need?

You should be creating content to help your customer navigate down your sales funnel. Some 
brands are putting the wrong content behind walls and are preventing sales. Generally, content 
assets associated with the first and last stage of the buying cycle – ‘Awareness’ and ‘Purchase’ – 
can be gated if the content marketing goal is to generate a consistent volume of leads. If not 
these can remain gate free. 

 

In the ‘Awareness’ stage, content assets should be educational and not promote the company’s product or service. You want people to like you, not be put off. It’s common for brands to keep blog content gate free but place long form content like an e-book behind a wall.

Content assets created for the ‘Evaluation’ stage, which discuss your product or service, should be accessible to everyone and never placed behind a gate. For example data sheets, FAQs and case studies. Customers expect to have access to general company information to help with their decision-making.

You should be offering high-commitment content such as a free trial or estimate in the ‘Purchase’ stage. This stage often requires the exchange of information so it can sit behind a wall. Most brands find customers are willing to part with their personal details at this stage of the buying cycle.  

If you do choose to gate your content you need to deliver remarkable content assets. Otherwise your potential leads will be less willing to part with their personal information. And if you prefer to keep your content gate-free you won’t be disadvantaged. Remember, it’s about making gated content work for your brand not the other way around. 

 

Rachel Kurzyp is a writer and communications consultant helping businesses build their digital story. 

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Capture Attention With Creativity – Jordana Borensztajn

Get ready to unleash your creative side! 

Jordana Borensztajn is a creative content consultant, humourist, and social media trainer. In this
episode she shares key strategies to capture people’s attention with creativity. Jordana works with clients and audiences to help develop and enhance their creative, content strategy and social media marketing skills.

Take the courage to stand out. Take a risk. Be courageous. Be prepared to do something different because that’s what makes people break new ground; that’s what makes people become pioneers.

— Jordana Borensztajn

What You’ll Learn

  • How to capture your audience’s attention.
  • Why humour helps your brand message.
  • What a giant Facebook ‘like’ costume did for Jordana’s personal brand.
  • Find out why humour isn’t often included in social media campaigns.
  • Comedic strategies and mindsets.
  • Learn the Rule of Three and how it can help your content.

Key Takeaways

1. Humour creates a memorable message.
2. When you have an original idea that stands out people remember it and support it.
3. Practice The Rule of Three: “a one, two, three” beat works well in humour: lights, camera,
action. Follow a rhythm. Replace item three with something unexpected. Listen to the podcast to hear Jordana’s example.
4. Allow yourself to be creative. Think outside the box.
5. We are our worst critique. When brainstorming turn off the inner critic. Allow ideas to flow without barriers and limitations. Think broad and outrageous. Then apply the “can this actually happen”.
6. Get more creative: imagination, passion, character, courage.
7. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies in your content creation.
8. Have new experiences: say yes when you usually say no.
9. Remember we are all creative!

Contact

Jordana Borensztajn
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Website
Facebook
LinkedIn
Phone: + 61 412 126 769

 

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