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.

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4 Common Subject Line Mistakes

I must be getting old...

Email. It has become as familiar to us as brushing our teeth. Many businesses use its easy, affordable, and instant communication abilities for their marketing campaigns. But don’t let email’s ease-of-use and large numbers lull you into thinking all your letters are reaching your prospects.

What do I mean? Well, an email really consists of two main parts: the subject line, and the body (the body can be broken into other sections but we won’t go there today).

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10 Article Ideas for Your Blog or Website

Fuel your content
Fuel your content

So you have a website. Ten years ago, even five years ago, it was perfectly acceptable to have a static website that sat there and did nothing but occupy space.

Times have changed. Websites are filled with content, they’re interactive–they engage readers, build communities, introduce your company, educate prospects, engage prospects, establish credibility…need I go on? Today, businesses have a myriad of tactics and tools available to allow them to turn their website into their marketing and relationship building hub. All of it hinges on quality content. Continue reading 10 Article Ideas for Your Blog or Website

10 Resolutions Revived by Case Studies

Do you hear that fizzle? That’s the sound of all those collective business New Year’s resolutions fading away.
The secret to keeping a resolution is in how you set your goal. Instead of goals that rely on the unpredictable behavior of others, establish goals that give you the control and accountability. Continue reading 10 Resolutions Revived by Case Studies

What Gives?

A gift

 
Giving. It’s a celebrated act during the holidays but not so much for business communications. Or is it? A recent study by the university of Massachusetts Dartmouth discovered that the fastest growing businesses are the ones that are boldly engaging in social media.
 
Social media is powered by the interactions between people. So what are these successful businesses doing? They’re giving.
 
In his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Robert Cialdini uses scientific scholarship to explain what influences our decision-making. He introduces six principles of ethical persuasion (no torture here): reciprocity, scarcity, liking, authority, social proof, and commitment/consistency.


How do these tie to giving? Recipricocity, liking, authority and social proof are all big players in social media and content.

When someone offers something of perceived value the recipient automatically feels a sense gratitude and an obligation to reciprocate. It’s human nature. If you give me something useful I’ll give you something in return. That something can range from a few minutes of my attention to positive word-of-mouth to money.
 
Social media allows us to publicly share what we choose to return. This builds on another of Cialdini’s principles; social proof (if all my peers support this, it must be good).  
 
Something wonderful happens when you produce high quality, helpful content. Readers will start to see you as an authority on the topic and they will like you because you helped them. See how this works?
 
Marketing through giving also creates some pretty cool side-effects.
 
Authenticity. One article, one tweet, one update: giving in social media and marketing isn’t a one-shot bullet. Nor is it snake oil.  Giving repeatedly helps prospects really understand who you are and what you can do for them. In his 2009 White Paper Success Summit, Michael Stelzner used the analogy of a bank account. Every time you give you’re making a deposit. Every time you ask for something (a call-to-action) you’re making a withdrawal. Overdraw on your account and you’ll be penalized. Manage your account well and you’ll develop a credible and trusted reputation.
 
Integration. Giving allows you to tie traditional and online marketing methods together. Businesses are advertising the availability of helpful information in lieu of announcing features. This information is then made available through social media channels, email, or hard copy. That’s a lot of touch points for your investment.
 
Enthusiasm. A positive, can-do attitude. Facilitating awareness and learning. Wouldn’t you agree these are desirable qualities and actions? The best communications, either through content or conversation, radiates these elements.
 
If you like this article and are on Twitter please consider retweeting it. Nothing like an example!   

 

K. Marley is a professional content writer who helps businesses communicate their value to their prospects and customers. Make contact at http://www.kmwordsmith.com.