7 myths about social media that are hurting your business

Are you uncomfortable with or skeptical about social media marketing? Many professionals misunderstand what social media is about and how it can help their business. For instance, do the myths below sound familiar? Beliefs like these are keeping you from taking advantage of an inexpensive and effective way to market your practice. (more…)

9 tips for integrating video into your marketing strategy

The latest video marketing statistics illustrate why firms should be using video content to more effectively reach and engage their target audiences. However, many professional service firms have been slow to use video. At a recent Legal Marketing Association program, a panel of experts shared best practices for getting started with video. (more…)

Personal branding tips to grow your business

By Edie Reinhardt and Marla Seiden.

Do you have a personal brand? Many people don’t know what a personal brand is and can’t identify their own brand. As a result, they can’t maximize their brand to improve their career and business prospects. Your brand describes what you’re known for and what people expect from you. (more…)

6 things you need to know for more successful blogging

Do you have a blog or want to start one? Blogging has many proven benefits as an integral part of your marketing strategy. However, if you want to be more successful at it (no matter how you define success), you need to consider these 6 fundamental questions. (more…)

Content strategy tips for small firms

Content marketing is a proven way to attract and retain clients. However, producing high-quality effective content is a struggle for small firms. (more…)

7 tips for effectively marketing your niche

Developing a niche is a great way to attract clients and build a distinctive brand for your firm. It differentiates you and your marketing will be more successful and effective because you are focused on your unique expertise and who you want to attract. (more…)

Top 10 Marketing Tips for 2017

Successful marketing is tough. There isn’t a magic bullet, but there are tactics that can help you succeed. We’ve created a list of some of our favorite tips to take you into the new year (more…)

7 tips for more effective blog writing for your business

Man's hands over white laptop

Are you a good writer? Even if you’re not the best, you can still write an effective blog post. In fact, blogs are a more forgiving format than most other writing. You set the length, tone and style. But there are best practices you should follow to improve your blog writing in order to better market your business.

1. Start strong. Your first paragraph should clearly and concisely tell readers what you are going to talk about and why it’s important (i.e. how it benefits them). You want to give them a reason to keep reading so don’t bury the lead. Sadly people’s attention spans keep getting shorter. According to Microsoft we’re now at 8 seconds so you have to get to the point quickly if you want to get them to continue reading.

2. Use the same terminology as your target audience. Speak to them in their own language. Generally you shouldn’t talk to potential clients the way you would talk to your colleagues or referral sources. Using the right tone and wording not only will make your content more readable and interesting, but you will be proving that you can relate to your audience.

3. Break up the text. A big block of text can be harder to write and put off readers. Lists, bullets, headings and other strategies can help you organize and discuss your topic in a more readable and compelling way. And dividing the text visually enables readers to more easily scan and understand the points you’re making.

4. Incorporate stories. This is a great way to demonstrate how you help people solve their problems. Provide case studies and examples to let your audience see that you are dealing with others like them. They also personalize your work as well as your content. It’s more interesting to read a story, than a bunch of facts. And you can omit confidential/identifying facts without sacrificing the value of your story.

5. Keep it simple. Yes you’re an expert and have lots of amazing information to share, but you will confuse and overwhelm readers with too much information. You want to help readers spot the important issues and gain some understanding, not provide a step by step guide to solving their problems. If you have that much to say, then write multiple blog posts and link them to each other so readers who are interested in more information can keep reading.

6. Write it and then put it aside. It’s very hard to look at your work objectively right after you’ve completed a draft. I build into my writing schedule extra time to review what I wrote the next day so I can edit and proof more effectively.

7. Include a call to action. What do you want readers to do after reading your blog? Contact you? Sign up for something? Make sure to have a clear next step for the reader. You’re using the blog to help your marketing so you want to encourage people to continue to engage with you in some way.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re writing a blog post. To read more writing tips, see 5 dos to help you create content that your audience wants to read and 5 things not to do if you want people to read your content.

Need help with your marketing? Contact us for a free consultation.

Content marketing best practices

Leadership Solutions
According to the 2016 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America study of 3700 companies, 88% of organizations are using content marketing. And 76% expect to increase the amount of content they are producing over the prior year. With so much emphasis on content marketing, what can firms do to help make their initiatives as successful as possible?

1. Document your content marketing strategy. The CMI study emphasized that “B2B marketers who have a documented content marketing strategy get better results from their content marketing tactics, social media platforms, and paid methods of content distribution compared to those without a written strategy.” A documented strategy keeps you focused on what you want to achieve and helps you design a plan for how to get there.

2. Create buyer personas. One of the keys to successful content marketing is understanding your target audience or buyer. Develop a profile (buyer persona) of that ideal buyer, client, or referral source, including their key demographics and behaviors. The more you know about your buyer’s needs, the better you can tailor the substance of your message as well as how you promote it to them.

3. Choose a well-defined niche. We’re all suffering from information overload and there is so much content available that it’s overwhelming to look at it all. One of the ways to stand out is to promote a narrow expertise.

You may find yourself with fewer leads, but better quality ones because you better match what the prospect is looking for and there are fewer obvious competitors.

4. Develop an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar helps you create and manage your content workflow. Use it to plan out content topics or themes in advance, establish deadlines and assign responsibilities for each step in the process. Think about the format for your content, your message and audience, where and how will it be marketed and distributed and what resources are needed.

5. Reuse content. Coming up with new content on a regular basis is challenging so look for ways to repurpose your existing content. For example, create longer and shorter versions of everything you do as well as think of different formats such as writing, audio, video, and presentations. Content curation is another method of reusing content, but you are selecting and sharing useful information created by others. Ideally add some of your own thoughts and commentary when sharing other people’s content.

6. Track results using appropriate metrics. The end game for any marketing is to bring in revenue, but there are other goals to keep in mind, such as; lead generation, lead nurturing, brand awareness, customer retention, and engagement.

Determining the appropriate metrics depends on your specific goals. However, some of the more common ones include: website/blog traffic and engagement metrics (unique and repeat visitors, page views, time spent on site, etc.); social media interest (followers, connections, sharing, etc.); quality and quantity of leads generated; and other ones.

Once you have established your metrics, start testing your tactics and revise and hone your strategies accordingly.

7. Start small and scale up. You don’t have to do everything at once. Instead start with a pilot project that you can scale up over time. You can focus on 1 or 2 priorities or tactics. Or look at how your existing content marketing can be improved keeping in mind some of the best practices mentioned in this article. Consider what you are already doing as well as how adding resources could improve your results.

Once you start to see successes, you can build on them.

Content marketing is a great investment when done right. Hopefully these  best practices will help make your initiatives more successful.

Need help with your marketing? Contact us for a free consultation.