It's important to do regular reporting -- I recommend monthly -- on each of these metrics so you know where your growth levers lie. Regular reporting also helps you identify negative trends or plateaus early-on so you can address them before they become bigger issues. Most importantly, however, tracking the success of your initiatives makes it easy for you to repeat what works, eliminate what doesn't, and promote the success of your content marketing program so you can justify its expansion, and its seat at the modern marketing table.
I guess I’ve never had a real gig yet… I’ve written website content for clients many, many times. I’ve also had gigs writing SEO content. But I’ve never really truly had a copywriting gig yet. Thanks for this article. To be honest, I’ve only buzzed through it quickly just now (#MeWantsTShirt), but it actually looks really good and I plan to re-read it carefully, following all the helpful links (especially the ones on the copywriting resources… I really want to be good, no… GOODER, at the art of written persuasion), and bookmarking it. (By the way, offering a paid service to rewrite websites is brilliant. I’ve offered to review and improve websites from a CRO perspective… but I never thought of offering a “better copy” only approach. Nice!
Add value. That’s the secret. It’s not really a secret at all. We've already talked about it throughout this piece. Although when you look at some of the marketing companies engage in you wonder if they’re purposely avoiding the obvious. We skip advertising when it provides little to no value. If you want to learn about advertising that doesn’t get skipped, find a skateboarder and ask him if you can watch him look through a skateboard magazine. You’ll see that he spends as much time looking at the ads as he does looking at the articles and photos. Or check out The Berrics website. Much of the content is advertisements, but skaters don’t skip these videos, they watch them just like they watch the other videos, because they’re getting the value they want--good skating. As a skater I’d like to say skateboard companies pioneered content marketing decades ago, but I know they were only doing what came naturally, and selling more product was secondary to the fun of creating videos and magazines. If you want to hire someone onto your marketing team who understands content marketing intuitively, hiring a skateboarder might not be a bad step.
Usually, businesses don't completely cease all other marketing activities and switch to content marketing cold turkey. In fact, most veteran content marketing programs typically incorporate other marketing techniques to complement their content initiatives. But the impetus for most of the companies I've worked with to initiate a content marketing program has been the need for a more cost-effective, predictable, and scalable source of traffic and leads than what they've been receiving from their current marketing programs.
I like the suggestions posed here and am going to give them a shot. I’ve written the copy I like most (and think is most concise and effective) when I stop thinking about what I’m trying to do and just write then go back and see what I came up with that I like and truncate/refine. I’ll even write the same sentence three different ways in succession as I think of different ways.
You’re totally right! I got my first iPhone this year and, while I do miss some features from Android, I tend to brag about what iPhone does better. That’s why I’d have liked more a different insight instead, quite in the same line as the one of that campaign: have you noticed how iPhone owners don’t call their phone ‘phone’ or ‘cellphone’ or ‘smartphone’? Only Android owners use those terms. iPhone owners instead tend to call their devices ‘iPhone’… LOL
Theory #1: The mere act of publishing content on a regular basis does a lot of the "distribution" work for you -- if you consider search engines a distribution channel. (Which I do, considering how often people use them to find content.) If you create content on a regular basis that's informed by keyword research and optimized for search, Google takes care of the rest of your content distribution plan.
Another way I use to write copy is write down headlines from my swipe file on little 3 x 5 cue cards and shuffle them. Then I ask myself 10 questions about who my target market is, like what keeps them up at night? What are their biggest frustrations, what are their biggest fears, what do they secretly desire the most… etc. what makes them tick. And also shuffle that with the headlines.
I got my first writing gigs by responding to a craigslist ad for a blog post writer. The pay was horrible, like $5 per post, but they only took about 15 minutes to write so that is $20/hour which according to one of Neville’s posts that is about average pay for a freelance copywriter. Good experience in that it showed me what companies were looking for in word counts, topics, SEO. It also forced me to work quickly.
"Ideation" is a marketing industry buzzword that describes the creative process of finding a subject, title and angle to write about; and ideation begins with analytics. Most ideation is done in a team setting, but freelance writers are usually on their own. Which is why it's helpful to know how professional marketing teams generate ideas. Before doing that, successful content writers need to:
Announce a sales contest Contact customers with inactive accounts for sales purposes Extend an invitation to attend a trade show, seminar, or conference Extend Mother's Day or Father's Day greetings and/or announce sales or promotions for these days Follow up after a sale to thank the customer and offer service Follow up after a sales appointment or telephone conversation Follow up after a sales presentation or demonstration Follow up on a sales interview, presentation, or exhibit Follow up on a sales offer Introduce a catalog, brochure, or other sales literature Introduce a product or service Introduce gifts to customers and prospective customers Invite a customer to request a sample product or more information Invite a prospective customer to a sales appointment, presentation, or demonstration Motivate a sales force Offer a discount for early payment on products or services Promote a product by announcing a special sale or complimentary gift Resell to long-time customers Respond to a sales rejection Respond to an inquiry about products or services Sell a seminar or conference Solicit mail orders for your product Strengthen relationships with customers Welcome a new account or an account reactivation Welcome a new customer or client Welcome a potential customer or client to the area Write a sales letter Write an insurance sales letter Accessories Activities/Services Activities Arts/Environment Assistance Auto Loans Auto Services/Repairs Automobile Business Loans Catalogs/Brochures Catalogs Catering CD ROMs Cell Phones Christmas Sales Cleaning Clothing Collections Computers/Electrical Cosmetics Credit Cards Credit Unions DVDs Educational Fundraising Equipment/Merchandise Exercise/Spa Extend an Invitation to a Demonstration Extend an Invitation to Tour a Facility Extend an Offer to a Previous Customer Feedback Fitness at Clubs/Centers Flowers Follow-Up Food and Giving Food For Holidays Food Games General E-Commerce General Insurance General Sales General Subscriptions/Memberships General Hair/Shampoo Health Home Builders Home Expos Home Furnishings Home/Personal Property Home Homeless Hospital Hotels Household How to Journals Lawn and Garden Life Long Distance Magazines Materials/Aids Medical Memberships Miscellaneous Collection #1 Miscellaneous Collection #2 Miscellaneous Collection #3 Miscellaneous Services Mortgage Loans Mortgage Music Newsletters Nutrition Offer a Discount Office Opportunities/Starting Ordering Online Personal Loans Pets Photography Planning/Costs Planning/Investing Prescriptions Professional Development Questionaire Real Estate Renter's Sales - Referrals Sales School Loans Security Services/Repairs Services Skin Care Special Lines Supplies Taxes Thanksgiving Sales Time Management Valentine's Day Sales Videos Web Design Weddings Yard
I personally prefer things simple, so I think of content marketing technology solutions in terms of "need it" or "nice to have." Nice-to-have technologies are things like competitive intelligence tools, market research tools, or software that clues you in to real-time trends. Experiment with these on a rolling basis -- most will offer a free trial so you can validate it. But first, make sure you're set up with the core technologies every content marketing team needs.