Which brings me back to email. I can’t predict what’s going to happen 5 years from now, but I’m pretty sure that in the next five years email will have an important place in the business world. The reason for this is that businesses rely on email for many things:
That’s not to say that newer, more casual forms of digital communication don’t play a role in these things as well – but email creates a digital trail that can be followed, and if need be, verified. There is a clear chronology with email, which is important when dealing with business issues – who said what first, and why.
With email, there is also the aspect of taking the time to think about what you should write. This is funny because I can remember a few years back people bemoaning how email had killed the art of letter writing, since with email writing you were less concerned about content, grammar and style. And now emailers of the world are complaining how texting and tweeting is killing the email. Ha!
The only problem I see for companies who use email for marketing is that it’s going to be harder to reach their prospects. For B2B companies, it will be less so because emails are preferably directed to a business email address. If people in companies use their emails for business, then they will continue to see the marketing pitches in their email boxes. For B2C companies, it will become more of a concern, because if the public turns away from using email to communicate with friends, then they will be less likely to look at their email inboxes.
So what’s going to happen? Or, should I ask, do we have the patience to wait until it does? Have we evolved to the point where we only want instant resolution to the future?
Mmmm. It’s that time again when you have to come up with more content for your blog, and nothing is coming to you. Instead of staring at the blank screen and being a frustrated content copywriter, how about surfing the web to read articles about your industry.
That’s right; I’m encouraging you to procrastinate.
You can find articles in the trade press, from bloggers who cover your industry, mainstream and alternative media, or by checking out what your social media connections are discussing. When you find an article that interests you, think about how you could comment on it in a way that moves the conversation forward.
For example, if you’re in eCommerce, you probably read articles about the record breaking billion dollar Cyber Monday. For your blog post you can:
That’s step one. For step two, go to the original source and if there is a place to comment on it, do so. Offer a bit of the insight you wrote about in your blog, and, if you can, insert a link back to your post. If anyone reading that original story likes your comment, they might click on your link and read your article.
For step three, post on your Facebook company page and tweet about both the original article and your post. This way you share with your social network the information that you originally thought was interesting, and you position yourself as a bit of a thought leader as well.
Next Week: Controversy
(Photo Credit - TheYoungOnes1994)
On this Monday, give yourself a break. Don’t wrack your brain trying to come up with something new or original. Today’s is content copywriting recycling day.
If you have a webinar, white paper, speech, press release, case study, podcast, or a video, you have material for your next blog post, or more.
The fact is your customers and prospects are a varied lot. Some prefer getting their information from video, some from a webinar, some from a white paper or ebook and so on. When you create any of these marketing tools the first time, you have content to recreate it in another form.
Let’s say you’ve just created a webinar. Chances are each slide or pair of slides makes at least one point. That’s a blog post right there and at the end of the post you can point them to your archived webinar.
White papers are a treasure trove for recycling. Often in a white paper you are logically setting up an issue which you solve. Just take the issue, briefly mention the solution with a link to the white paper and then ask your readership if they have any other solutions. Hopefully, that will encourage comments.
Other recycling tips include:
So if any of you reading this have ever recycled content, let us know. Just think, you’ll be able to recycle it into our comments which will link back to your website. See how easy it is.
Next Week: Love those charts.
Last Monday you came up with ideas for content by thinking outside of your company. This Monday you can find ideas for content copywriting by looking under your hood, so to speak.
But let me digress for second. In creative writing classes, to get people warmed up, the teacher often offers the class a writing prompt. This could be a word or a short phrase: something like “telephone rang” or “the last thing I remember.” From there the writers have 6 to 10 minutes to write the first things that come to mind, and if possible to make a story out of it. They can use the phrase at the beginning, middle or end. It’s a lot of fun, and once you get over the initial panic, you would amaze yourself with what you can write in such a short time.
Taking this notion of the writing prompt to copywriting for your business, I suggest you look at your keywords for your prompts.
Behind (or under) every search optimization strategy there are your keywords – those words or phrases that you want to be found by. Most SEO specialists that I know recommend inserting keywords into your web text, whether that be a product page, about us page or a blog. Pretty basic stuff.
What if you looked over your keywords and thought about making them the subject of your blogging? Here is what I mean.
Let’s say one of your long-tail keyword phrases is ‘natural products for anxiety.’ Since you don’t want to focus too much about your products when writing your blog (remember valuable content is not about “me” but about the interests of your customers), think about the problems that your customers might have when looking for you. So here are a few prompts that can get you started:
Now pick one and write as fast as you can for 7 minutes, and then stop. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, or anything else. Just write.
By doing this you’ve put yourself into the head of your consumer. You may have a paragraph or a page of rough copy, which you can now craft into a more coherent blog post that:
A) Includes keywords that help your search optimization
B) Focuses on addressing a consumer problem
C) Probably offers your product at the end as a solutionNot bad for 7 minutes of work.
Next Week: Recycling content.
Everyone in the natural products industry seems to be on the social marketing bandwagon. They have their Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube videos. But what seems to be missing are their blogs.
I did a preliminary scanning of 20 fairly prominent natural products companies (products that I have in my home) who all had Facebook pages, looking for their blogs. I won’t mention the 18 that didn’t have any blog. The two that did were Tom’s of Maine and Stonyfield Farms. Tom’s posted periodically (3 times in one month, once in another etc.), while Stonyfield posted regularly, at least once a week.
So I ask all the other 18 natural products companies – what is a social media program without a blog? Haven’t you heard about the hub approach to social marketing, where it all begins with the website and a blog and feeds out from there to the social networks?
I realize that these companies do direct their social postings back to their websites, but to where? Probably to their home page, which rarely changes, or to their product pages, which pretty much ends the social dialogue.
What puzzles me is that if there ever was an industry that could create useful, meaningful, emotional, and interesting blog information, it’s the natural products industry. Most of what they create is for the wellness of people and the environment – topics that are of great interest to their constituency.
I realize blogging takes time, and coming up with content copywriting ideas can be hard, but the loyalty it could engender could be huge and long lasting. It would also give more meat to their social networking efforts. And it would help their organic search immeasurably (and anything organic to this group is usually highly appealing).