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The 3 x 3 x 3 Guide to Testimonials

Rubiks Cube by Lars Karlsson

What’s Your Strategy?

Testimonials are a written or spoken statement emphasizing the virtues of a product or service. Like a good song, a glass of fine wine, or an unexpected good deed: a testimonial is a simple item with the power to change someone’s perspective.

In real life, we use them all the time. Continue reading The 3 x 3 x 3 Guide to Testimonials

Does Your Marketing Have These Persuasive Basics?

 

 

A couple of months ago my fifth grader came home with an assignment. The directions read, “Create a thoughtful, one page advertisement in color that shows the dangers of smoking.” The instructions provided a list of items the ad had to include.

You may find yourself dismissing a grade school assignment as a mild amusement. After all, it’s the stuff of childhood nostalgia — lunch room antics, art projects, chalk dust and the unadulterated joy of summer vacation. Let me assure you, it’s much more.

The need for marketing efforts to succeed runs high. Knowing the basics of persuasive strategy isn’t an ought-to-know…it’s a must.  It’s astonishing just how much money is spent on material that fails to make the grade. Is your company producing B grade marketing? If you want to ensure your efforts are worthy of an A be sure your piece has: Continue reading Does Your Marketing Have These Persuasive Basics?

Due Diligence: The First 6 Moves of Any Content Plan

Content marketing has moved from a trendy sideline position to a mainstream key player. No surprise here. People like to read about themselves and high quality, well-positioned content feeds prospects’ and customers’ egos. It appeals to their emotions. It soothes their concerns. It increases a company’s visibility. It defines your brand by putting your clients and prospects in the spotlight.

A good plan does all of the above, a poor one wastes effort and money. So what separates a good plan from a poor one? Continue reading Due Diligence: The First 6 Moves of Any Content Plan

Do This One Thing to Improve Your Blog Post Content

Have you ever watched a sports team dominate a game? Star players are important but it’s the collective effort of the individuals working fluidly together towards a common goal that delivers the win. Content operates the same way. Strong writing is the star player but the win won’t happen without the contributions of good design. And both writing and design must work together to achieve readability.

Today I’m going to focus on the readability of a specific type of content; blog posts. Blog posts get the spotlight because of the  explosion of their popularity in the past few years. Moreover, with an increasing number of businesses and individuals realizing the power of content through blogging for professional and personal gain the ability to create winning posts is more important and competitive than ever.

Continue reading Do This One Thing to Improve Your Blog Post Content

3 Things that Irritate Readers

Can we agree that there is no shortage of material explaining the wisdom of why you should include a healthy amount of content into your marketing strategy? There is also an equal amount of how-to information. I know I’ve handed these strategies out to my readers numerous times.

What seems to have slipped through the cracks are the nuts and bolts of fundamental content construction. Emails, the do-it-yourself blog posts, the occasional sales letter, fliers, press releases, announcements–these are basic communication materials required of all of us. Yet it amazes me how often good information is buried under simple errors.

Continue reading 3 Things that Irritate Readers

Playing Keywords on the Internet Orchestra

Have you ever listened to a live orchestra when someone hits the wrong note? Five minutes of elegance and bliss overshadowed by one awkward moment of discord. Or what about hearing a song that you just don’t like? If you’re like me I can’t get the cacophony turned off fast enough. 

Your content marketing strategy is like music. If your company’s web site is an instrument the keywords are the notes and your content holds the melody. The last few years were a time when companies experimented with their web site sounds; a few got it right, some hit some wrong notes while others made us scramble to find the “off” switch. What can you do to make sure your content melody is a harmonious sound that is clearly heard through the internet’s din?  Continue reading Playing Keywords on the Internet Orchestra

Checklist For A Winning Home Page

More people than ever are online for the holiday season. So what is it about certain home pages that they find inviting, reassuring and memorable? Why do these pages motivate them to take action? In other words, what makes a winning home page?

Clear communication, that’s what. A winning home page successfully filters out great customers and gets the visitor to do what the business wants them to do and the customer/prospect is happy to do it. Everyone wins.

Making a List…Checking It Twice

Santa has a checklist for those who have been naughty or nice. Here is your home page checklist for making sure it’s in winning form and communicating exactly who you are and what you want from your online reader.

How many of these does your home page have? Continue reading Checklist For A Winning Home Page

How to Revive Your Creativity

Just Full Of Ideas

Ugh. I hope you can relate. Just when the Halloween candy was finally starting to go away, a wave of Girl Scout cookies hit our pantry. And of course I ordered plenty of boxes telling myself that it’s supporting a good cause. We finished the last of the thin mints…just in time for…the abundance of Thanksgiving! Not sure about you but after this I still have to navigate through cookie parties, gingerbread houses, and mugs of eggnog.

Of course the snowy weather that plans to descend on us only encourages one to stay tucked inside the office, cozy and warm, with tasty snacks on hand. A couple extra cookies, days spent inside…this behavior can drain your brain of its creativity and quietly sabotage your productivity.

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. Continue reading How to Revive Your Creativity

Content Is Online Currency: How Much Should You Pay?

Money Grab

 

When you’re online, well before money enters the scene, there is another kind of exchange rate: time and attention for content.

Recent surveys reveal that 90 percent of B2B buyers prefer to do their research online. There is certainly no shortage of material for them to peruse. Businesses provide content in exchange for a prospect’s time and willingness to consider them a supplier source.  

This exchange is a powerful form of marketing. But how much is this content worth? As a writer, many people call me with vastly different perceptions of a content budget, expectations, and needs. As someone tries to solidify an action plan and budget I recommend they factor in the answer to this one question: how much value will you get from your content?  

Continue reading Content Is Online Currency: How Much Should You Pay?

Respectful Selling

 Handshake

Aretha Franklin demanded it. Rodney Dangerfield got none of it. Your clients want it. And, if your business communication materials don’t have it, you are sunk.

The magic word here is respect.

Respect has a significant and (all too often) underappreciated role in business and marketing communications. What is it, exactly and you can you make sure your site expresses it?

Continue reading Respectful Selling