We Deserve Better Content Today

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writing content 2015Over the years I have written a number of content articles on this blog site as well as our company blog site.

The one key ingredient I have found is that if you are going to share great content and actually have an opinion, (most people write without any opinion) you will find people who disagree with you from time to time. This is actually a good sign. If everyone agreed all the time with the content you wrote, your content would frankly not be very good content at all.

The best writers are those people who write with:

  • Passion
  • Have an Opinion
  • May write content that people question
  • Are not afraid to write on topics that others are afraid to

The trick is to maintain a high level of patience and integrity everyday.

I’ve seen a number of great writers lose it quickly by falling victim to someone’s stupid comments. I’ve even come close to sending some not-so-nice comments too.

If you ever find yourself being attacked personally, you have many options. First and foremost, don’t retaliate in a vicious manner. You will never win this battle and ultimately could lose a lot more.  You can ignore the person’s comments. If you chose this method, monitor the future comments closely. You may have to delete your article if things get too out of hand.

Finally, the best method – Disable comments all together on your personal blog site. I did this a few years ago. I found that people are more likely to attack you on a personal level. Post your blog article on Linkedin. When your information is on a professional platform like Linkedin, you will find that people are careful about how the information they share on this platform and the beauty is if you have a good following, many people will come to your defense if the comments are too extreme.

If you want to be a great writer, start today by doing the following:

  • Have an opinion on something
  • Write on topics no one else is writing on
  • Write from your own experiences – People who always share other people’s information are just like all the rest.
  • Welcome comments of all kinds and carefully think through your responses
  • Back away from your computer if the tone of your article is very negative. Stop writing and start over

Today, more quality authors are needed to share specific experiences on all types of topics. Find something you are passionate about and start writing. If you are not a good writer, no worries – content from the hear will eventually resonate and you, as a writer will get better with more practice.

I want to take a minute and thank all the great writers out there who are willing to share their opinions from their heart and actually set the bar high for the rest of us. Great writing is a rarity these days  because it takes a lot of work and these people need to be appreciated more.

Picture Source: Pixabay

Do You Really Know Where Your Clients Are? | Are You Sure?

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#inboundmarketingWe are way too familiar with the phrase,

“Do You Know Where Your Clients Are?”

Most people see this phrase and think about social media sites or other marketing channels like trade shows and annual conferences.

There is a place that people are really neglecting and that place is your own website. Think about it, we use tools like Google Analytics or GetClicky to look at traffic that is hitting our site, but do we take the time and figure out who the person is or the location of the company they are accessing your website  from.

This topic really came to light for me as I looked at the prospect list that I generated using the HubSpot application. I have been working to get HubSpot implemented on our company site for the past couple of months. I ran a prospect report and exported it to Excel and came up with a list of over 2,800 unique companies. The report also identified the number of times that companies accessed our website and there are ways to drill down and figure out what type of content they were trying ot access.

Check out one entry listed below for example. This particular company had 20 visitors and viewed 250 pages in 2015.

Name
Website
Pages Seen
Total Visitors
Total Leads
City
Region
Country
Last Seen
Referring Domain
BIZ
biz.com
  250
  20
   0
Lansing
  MI
US
04/22/2015 – 11:08
  google.com

There is a huge market on your website and most of us including myself are oblivious to the fact that a number of people are hitting our site, but we do not take the time to dig deeper and learn more about these people. Imagine if 20 people from the same company visited your physical location and you took no action to work with them as a client.

The point here, is that Inbound Marketing has a lot of opportunities and I am going to dig deeper to learn more about the people who are accessing our company website and find better ways to connect with these people.

Final Analysis

Do you know where your clients are?    Answer: They are on your website if you are doing your job as a marketer.

What should our response be?  Answer: Start learning their names and try to understand what they are looking for on your site.

No One Really Cares About Your Articles

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Content Marketing 2015This is really a hard concept for many to get past. (Most people will never care about the information you write)

Just look at the number of people who read your articles and this information is very apparent.

Because of this, many people feel  it is completely a waste of time to write down thoughts and share them with others.  (Who really cares?)

This is the cold reality of what social sharing. As a writer, your job is to write about compelling content that people actually care about. For me, I’ve always cheered for the underdog and I have always wanted to be different. Not, different as adversarial, but different as in making a difference. Standing out for the right reasons and creating influence in a way that helps me connect with the RIGHT people.

In the past, when I first started with social media I was all about follower counts, like counts, plusses, etc. Once I figure out how to achieve this, I quickly realized I was in love with numbers and not the people I was connecting with. Frankly, the people I was connecting with really did not care either. So I had a large following of people who bascially did not care about me or the information I was sharing.

In the past three years, I have come to develop a new perspective. Great content comes from people who share from their “own” experiences. People like these, are looking for a fresh perspective on topics and will add supporting information, because the content brought back some type of memorable event from their past. In addition, these same people will remember articles  that you have written in the past and will let you know about it when they see you in person.

In addition, people start connecting your content with your company. This is where the real opportunities are realized. Developing a professional brand for yourself and your company is critical. It is one thing to talk about your company, it is another to talk about your own perspective. People really appreciate knowing more about the company representatives and what they stand for with respect to their company.

Success is achieved when people can see a connection between you, your company and the content you provide. Many people may be reading this article and still wonder why I take the time to write articles like this. The fact is, I have a strong compassion for writing on topics that most people tend to ignore. Since I started adding content on this site and our company site, I have witnessed first-hand the value of fresh content. People are still looking for answers to questions. That includes me. I get frustrated when I can’t find information to questions I have.

Finally, results. When you write content, you will see results. If you write content that people are interested in, people will connect with you and your company. If you invest the time in writing content, over time you will see more traffic to your company site and personally, your information will connect with the right people. Some of these connections will be some of the best connections you will ever make. Again, the only way you will know is if you are in the game. I can tell you, that if you want to see results, take it upon yourself to write your own content and start sharing it with others. Start reading and following a select group of writers and get connected to the right people. It will make all the difference.

Picture Source: Flickr

Content Producers Could Be a Company’s Best Asset

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Executive Content ProducerI have talked in the past about the reasons why CEOs need to be on social media and writing content.  It is more important than ever.

Well, now I am starting to believe that too many CEOs are fearful of writing content and are trying to take a back seat and not put themselves as representatives of the company.

It takes a lot of integrity and transparency to be able to create content for your company and share the company’s message with others. For this reason, many executives run the other way when they are asked to talk about their passion and desire for the company. However, customers are really wanting to know more and more about companies and they really want to develop relationships with company executives. Again, this might be scary for some of your top officials who have felt more comfortable closing their doors and always staying an arms length away.

Today, companies need to work hard everyday, yes everyday at developing content that resonates with their clients. For this reason, more top people need to be involved in this process and be able to back up their words by placing their name and title behind their content.  Today, there is so much content and information and for the most part the information is copied and restated  over and over. Many marketing executives are recognizing this trend and are trying to take steps to write better quality content.

My advice, better quality content is one approach, but a more sustainable approach is to identify “Executives” on your team who can serve as your content producers. These people are your difference makers in your company. These people are the “Face of Your Company”. These people should be identified and challenged to write and prepare content that is representative of your company and clients. As an  executive, are you willing to take on this challenge or do you want to be just like all of the rest of your executive team.

In addition, it is critical that executives get out in their community and online and make sure they are recognizable for the content they create. It is not just a write it, and they will come and read approach.  The company message needs to be delivered, shared and promoted by different marketing channels.

In 2015, I have stayed the course and continued to create content on a weekly basis, (3-5 times a week). I am seeing an increase in traffic, new clients and ultimately more business. I can only speak from my experiences, but I am seeing the value in top executives becoming content producers. It might be an area you want to look at closer in your own company.

Picture Source: garyknight

Developing an Amazon Footprint

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Amazon - Getting DigitalIs Amazon having an effect on your business? If you answered, “No” I would beg to differ with you.

Amazon is continually making its way into the digital footprint. At first, they were able to get into the retail book market and develop a distribution second to none. Next, they came out with the Kindle which took e-Readers to a whole new level. From here, they have been able to not only seel their own tablet, but also interface with Android and iPad tablets.

Today, our company offers users the ability to setup their accounts. Unfortunately, we have a system where infromation is reviewed first and then entered into our system. At Amazon, people can quickly setup and account and order items without any waiting at all.  Because of this, we receive complaints from clients that they are not able to access our site right away. Amazon is really promoting this type of culture. Some way, we need to get better in this area.

In addition, Amazon has been able to connect with people regarding data storing needs, a retail sales outlet page, a way to rent books and movies via loyalty account. Also, reduced shipping as part of a loyalty program. Amazon has improved the whole client service experience.

Amazon is introducing same-day delivery in some areas. Also, integrating local purchasing processes in addition to national purchasing. Many retailers would like to have the same success in this area.

Digital technology is hot and digital marketing is even hotter. It really starts with serving clients and it ends with serving clients even better through advances in technology. Check out Amazon Dash – Introduced in 2014!

I plan on trying to adapt more of an Amazon Digital Footprint in the future. I don’t think we have much choice.

Picture Source: Pixabay