Your jeans are too tight, you’re still finding pine needles everywhere, and the chocolates have been locked away for a few weeks (or hours, if your willpower is anything like mine). It can only mean one thing – it’s the new year.
And if you have a business, this is the perfect time to start implementing some exciting new content marketing campaigns, so your 2016 is as profitable and successful as possible.
That’s why I’ve come up with some great new year’s resolutions you have to keep this year to boost your content strategy.
1) Don’t neglect your blog
It can be easy to get distracted with other more obviously pressing tasks, but it’s important for companies to not neglect their blogs. While they might appear to simply be a way for readers to find out a little more about the firm, they are fantastic at boosting your profile, awareness and web traffic.
Here are just a few things blogs are great at doing:
You never know which blog post is going to be the ‘hit of the year’ so put as much effort as possible into each one, and don’t let missing a few entries become a bad habit.
2) Don’t forget to promote
Set aside enough time to promote your blog posts and help them gain interest. There’s no point writing a fantastic piece, putting a token message about it on Facebook and then forgetting its existence.
Getting a few likes might seem good at first, but not if the post is worth hundreds or thousands of shares.
Spend time plugging it on social media, adding the right share and like buttons to your blog page, and creating content that is so engaging it will entice readers to spread it around online.
3) Only write what you’d want to read
It can be easy to fall into the trap of writing content that simply hits all your keyword targets. However, if you or anyone you know wouldn’t realistically find it thought-provoking, funny or informative to read, why expect potential customers to do so?
4) Don’t be a victim of false headlines
Obviously, you want to attract attention to your stories, but don’t use click-bait headlines to do so. As soon as someone clicks on your headline to read the piece and realises the rest of the content has very little to do with the attractive header, they’ll stop reading and leave the site. What’s more, they’ll probably never return, distrusting the way you promote yourself.
The answer is simple – create great content that creates great headlines. And you’ll see the visitors come.
5) Have a plan and stick with it
The most important resolution to keep this year is to have an editorial calendar and stick to it. Having a plan of what content you should push and when will definitely help you target audiences at the right time – whether in the lead up to Mother’s Day, during mid-season sales or when everyone’s going on a diet and getting fit (hint hint, that’s now).
Create great content that creates great headlines.
Having a plan is a great way of really targeting your audience and giving them what they want and need.
Be warned though, editorial calendars often have a way of getting neglected by springtime, so make an effort to stick with them. If you do, you’ll be reaping the rewards by the time next January rolls round!
And if you failed to commit to your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions (you know who you are), take a look at them again for some great tips on how to improve the success of your content marketing campaigns this year.
For extra help with your content strategy, give us a bell by contacting us here. Natasha Al-Atassi Copywriting Services can provide a huge variety of content for your website, from blogs and landing pages to newsletters.
Christmas is perhaps the best time of the year to employ all your marketing know-how and really go in for the kill when it comes to your advertisement campaigns. Everyone is already on the search for presents, beauty treatments, dresses, hotel stays, spa days and the latest gizmos, so all you have to do is make sure what you’re offering catches their eye before anyone else.
- Get found on Google
More and more people are heading online for their Christmas shopping, and Brits spent as much as £968 million on Cyber Monday alone this year, an increase from £720 million in 2014.
That’s why it’s important your business is the first they find when they Google what they’re looking for. Preparation for this takes months, with careful SEO techniques employed to ensure you rank highly in online searches.
Tricks such as the right use of keywords, regular blog posts, and having a strong social media presence all help boost your rankings so start thinking about introducing these into 2016’s marketing campaign to capitalise on next year’s online shop.
- Produce Christmas content
As well as looking up gifts, people will be searching for Christmas-related videos, stories, images, recipes and so on. So make sure you have all the relevant copy on your site in time.
You might want to encourage your readers to bake something new for Christmas Day or remind them to book their fake tans for their festive parties. Whatever it is you want to sell this season, have blog copy, Facebook ads, landing pages with tips and hints, banners, and social media chat at the ready so you can give your potential customers what they want.
Christmastime isn’t just about gifts and cards, and consumers spend a lot on all the frills over the holidays. That’s why it’s a good idea to have content that reminds them what they may need or want to make their Christmas stand out.
- Don’t oversell
People spend a fortune at Christmas, with M&S revealing the average cost of Crimbo is £623, more than a third of which (£236) is on food and drink alone. Therefore, you can expect to receive a higher level of interest in your products and services than at other times during the year – because of this, it’s worth easing up on the hard sell.
Consumers will come to you – especially if they have children and several expensive presents to buy – and they’re more likely to take you seriously if you aren’t pressurising them with one-time offers and guilt-ridden soundbites about treating their loved ones.
- Don’t forget your mobile content
I know I can spend hours running around shops only to find myself clicking on my phone on the way home to find the presents I missed. Mobile-commerce is huge during the festive season, so if you have a site that crashes on mobile phones or content that cannot be easily seen on handheld devices, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage.
An IMRG report from February 2015 revealed 45% of e-commerce traffic in the UK is through smart phones and tablets, and this is sure to increase during Christmas as people (like me) panic search for gifts while they’re out and about.
Not only should your site be easily viewed, but you should also produce mobile-friendly content – short blogs, articles with bullet points and headings, and features that don’t have too many videos or images that will take a wile to download.
- Prepare for the new year
You might be getting into a Christmas frenzy as December gets underway, but don’t forget the new year is just around the corner. That means you need to think about Boxing Day sales, New Year’s resolutions, gym memberships and healthy eating plans (for your readers, not you).
The start of the year is when people cut back on their spending, so if you want them to sign up to your services or products, you need to really produce content that will encourage them to buy. January deals and prizes are therefore always popular, while your content should focus on things that consumers will be looking at – essentially, articles that give them tips on how to detox, get fitter and healthier, look better and younger, and save money for the next year.
- Think about Christmas 2016
You might not be buying your 2016 gifts just yet (although, I have to admit I do get a few bargains in the New Year sales!), but it’s not a bad idea to write down ideas you may have for next Christmas' campaign.
There’s always so much to do around the festive season, so making sure you’re organised, you start your strategy early, and introduce Yuletide stories in drips will mean your marketing for Christmas 2016 could be your best yet.
If you want help with your Christmas 2015 or 2016 campaign and need a copywriter to produce top-quality blogs, features, landing pages, e-letters, social media outreach or print literature, get in touch with us today. It's not too late!
Okay, so I know I’m a bit late to the game, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has spent the first week of January a) trying to desperately catch up on work neglected over Christmas and b) mourning the end of the chocolate free-for-all and evenings watching movies and eating nibbles.
But now I’m ready. I’m 100% ready. To start 2015 anew and make those darn resolutions. I have to admit I’ve felt a tinge of guilt as friends start new healthy regimes while I’m still chowing down on a yard of Smarties, but this is only January and, to steal the adage, “it’s better later than never”.
The same goes for your content marketing plans for 2015. If you’re hoping to ramp up your strategy this year, take a look at these resolutions you should be keeping over the next 12 … well 11.5 months!
1) Spring clean old content
One thing I am early for is a spring clean, but there is no time like the present when it comes to going through old content on your site and giving it an audit. Thanks to multiple Google algorithm changes over the years, you may have copy on your site that is longer effective at improving your search rankings – in fact, it could be doing the opposite!
Typically speaking, the more content on your site, the better, as it shows you have a history – not only with your customers but with Google itself – and makes you look like an authority on your subject matter. However, if some of that content is laden with keywords and is not of good quality, it’s time to chop and change it. A simple edit could do the job and you may find it has a great impact on your monthly visits.
2) Get organised with your content
I love being organised. The idea of spreadsheets, timetables, calendars, filing and setting reminders gives me a bit of a buzz – but I also understand that I’m somewhat strange in this. It doesn’t matter though, because if you want to boost your content marketing this year, this is something you really need to do.
Firstly, come up with a content strategy – what type of content, how many articles, who you’re going to target and how etc. Once you have this in place, create an editorial calendar. If you plan your content methodically so that it is a) spread out evenly, b) in line with product launches, c) coincides with occasions that your readers will be interested in and d) includes important dates that are relevant to your business (conferences, events, sales etc), then you have a system upon which you can begin your content strategy.
You can then calmly start outsourcing copywriting services according to when you need it, without that urgent rush to get something written before the moment has passed. In short:
Planning ahead = getting a good writer in time = getting good content.
3) A picture is worth a thousand words… kind of
As a writer, I can’t 100% agree with this as the words used on websites have a huge significance in their success, but… images and videos will play a massive part in content marketing campaigns in 2015.
Any social media user will be familiar with posts such as “61 Things You Didn’t Know About Friends”, which a lot of us (guilty!) click on for the funny content, but also – let’s face it – for the images.
Video and image distribution will become even more popular this year, so it is worth considering what infographics, photos, cartoons or videos you can add to your content to encourage customers to share them with their friends – and hopefully, make your webpage go viral.
4) Measure your content’s value
I am constantly bleating on about how valuable content is in the success of marketing campaigns, but this year is the time to get serious about it. Be clever with how you analyse your content production and make sure you keep up to date with website analytics.
This will help you determine the return on investment (or ROI to you and me) from your content. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus your content strategy on what produces the biggest return and, subsequently, invest more in areas that work particularly well for you.
Let’s keep it simple – if you owned a cafe and your maple syrup pancakes regularly outsold your pain au chocolats, you would invest more in marketing and selling your pancakes, wouldn’t you? The same goes for your content. If, say, your blogs are driving a huge amount of traffic to your website but barely anyone is looking at microsite pages, invest in good-quality content on your blog to capitalise on this and boost website visits even more. Simples.
5) Most importantly – keep up to date with Google’s updates
Google seems to launch a new algorithm update all the time, which can be a bit confusing if you don’t make a big effort to keep up to date with it all. In brief, they’ve introduced the EMD, Top Heavy, Panda, Penguin, Payday, Pirate, Hummingbird and Pigeon Updates just in the last four years.
So that’s five resolutions to be getting on with this year. Of course, there are plenty other improvements you can make, but if you only do a few, make sure it’s these. They could make all the difference to how successful your online marketing strategy for 2015 pans out.
Now excuse me, I really must put down those Smarties…
Are you making any New Year's Resolutions for your marketing plans this year? Leave a comment and tell us what they are!
The world wide web has completely changed since the internet went public 20 or so years ago. While back in the day it was exciting to go online to find out the answer to a question (remember Ask Jeeves?), now we use the internet for … well, nearly everything.
And though you may not give much thought as to what appears on each website or social media platform, there is a whole industry out there engineering the way you gain access to information over the web. So much has developed since the internet launched in 1989 (or about ten years later in my suburban household) that it’s no surprise there will be more changes again in the next 12 months.
If you want to find out what we think will be the biggest developments for content marketing in 2015, read on.
Companies wanting a return on investment won’t just be looking for the number of hits, Facebook likes or shares, they’ll be interested in how long visitors spend on their website, how often and if they revisit, and whether they have a strong engagement on their webpages.
Carefully choosing the right content for your site and having it written well will have far-reaching benefits – ones that businesses will be able to track on Google Analytics and other clever devices. Therefore, the importance of good-quality copywriters will grow next year, as companies begin to sort out the wheat from the chaff when it comes to content marketers. For those of us who value (and produce) top-notch content, we have nothing to worry about. Phew.
When I say speedy content, I don’t mean to imply we’ve reverted to the days of banging out article after article just to keep content flowing on websites. Speed in this instance refers to reaction time. Brands are no longer faceless companies that just provide products or services to their customers. They now have a voice, and subsequently, when big things happen, they should have a reaction.
Whether these ‘big things’ are world events, industry changes or new trends, it doesn’t matter; what’s important is your business responds and responds quickly. This can be a Tweet, a Facebook post or a full story on your website. Whatever it is, you should say it quickly before talk of the subject dies down, and these days, that can be a mere 24 hours.
One great example of this was achieved by Simon Rimmer's Greens Restaurant in Manchester. The same day UKIP leader Nigel Farage made a booboo (ignore the pun) on the radio when he said breastfeeding mothers should sit in the corner of a restaurant, they released this message.
It captured the eatery’s opinion (giving it a ‘face’), as well as capturing the interest of over 7,000 people on Facebook alone. Having a reaction to things can be scary for a company, as they don’t want to alienate any clientele. However, 2015 is all about really knowing what a brand stands for, and that means saying what you think on some of the most talked about topics – that is, if you want to be talked about yourself.
Everyone’s been bleating on about the importance of social media for years, but you can’t really ignore it. It’s become an unstoppable force and one that continues to grow. Ten years ago, there were echoes of ‘Facebook’ in the corridors of my university. Now, 1.35 billion people actively use Facebook every month. That’s insane.
It isn’t just Facebook though – since 2004, the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more have launched, and people can’t get enough of them. That’s why it’s so integral to a company’s marketing strategy to have a presence on one, if not all, of these sites. (On a side note, feel free to look, like and share our Facebook page ;) ).
The way social media influences what we see on the web also means that content marketers have to work hard to make sure their pages are seen. How often do you go on a webpage and see a Facebook icon or a ‘share’ button? I’d say pretty much all the time. When you click on these buttons, social media remembers the sites you’ve been on and tailors the posts, adverts and content on your feed to your interests.
As a result of this, what you view on social media is narrowing, as it gets better at showing you just what you want to see. What does this mean for content marketing? Well, it means it’s vital to capture the interest of the user from the offset; this way they can remain on their social media feeds, instead of being the brands that fall by the way side.
Success in content marketing
The world of technology will continue to evolve, and who can say what the industry will be like in two or more years? One thing that will remain fundamental to the success of any website or brand though is the value of content. Without a website that attracts, entertains and engages people, none of the rest really matters.
Read my thoughts and ideas on the latest search engine updates and copywriting trends that could improve your business marketing plans.