Communication skills are more important than ever, but what if your grammar doesn’t quite make the grade?
Technology has reshaped how we communicate in the business world. Fifty years ago, you would have walked over to your coworker’s desk or called up to the second floor to ask a question. Now, whether your coworkers are in the next cube or half a world away, it’s standard practice to email, instant message, or text.
Businesses pump out content at a staggering rate these days — and as that volume increases, more inconsistencies are bound to creep in. Whether due to lack of clarity about the style in which you’d like to write or disjointed communication across the multitude of content creators in your organization, failure to decide upon and document accepted editorial guidelines is a recipe for inconsistent messaging.
That’s why at some point, most companies accept that they’ll need to develop a writing style guide: a document that indicates the basic rules of writing we’ll all agree to follow (like whether I should’ve capitalized the “a” after the colon in this sentence).
Last week, Facebook made a big announcement: the release of their new Instant Articles feature. It allows publishers to create and distribute mixed-media articles in a self-contained Facebook “capsule,” while promising mobile app users a more visually interesting reading experience that loads significantly faster that articles have previously.
In response, my HubSpot colleague Kipp Bodnar wrote a blog post concluding that Instant Articles is bad for marketers. But I think he’s missing the point.
Today, succeeding in inbound marketing means putting content at the heart of your communications strategy.
This is no secret, of course. Content marketing is now a well-established technique and the space has become pretty competitive. So, the question is, how do you invest wisely in content marketing to improve your capabilities so that you can compete and stand out from the noise?
When Facebook recently launched Instant Articles, the internet and publishing community was buzzing.
Publishers were excited — by hosting their own articles within Facebook but still displaying their own ads, they could generate more traffic and attention from the Facebook community. Users were also excited — Instant Articles are much faster and more interactive than typical mobile websites.
In Velocity’s latest SlideShare, “Insane Honesty in Content Marketing,” we argue for a little-used but hugely powerful strategy: taking the worst attributes of your company, product or service … and highlighting them for all to see.
I really, really, REALLY believe in this approach and I’m amazed more brands don’t practice it.
In the perpetual race to stand out on social media, visual content is pulling in front and kicking up speed.
According to Socially Sorted, the image-focused Instagram is now surpassing Twitter in daily mobile traffic. And Facebook posts with images generate an estimated 53% more likes that solely text-based posts.
Content marketing is nothing new to marketers all over the world. Many of us know it’s the fuel that drives many of the key inbound marketing techniques across web, search, social, and email marketing. But because content has become a well-established part of global companies’ overall marketing strategies, the online content space is becoming more and more competitive.
To get ahead and stand out, the key is knowing where in your content strategy to invest.
Every time you create the content for a direct response campaign, a landing page, an advertisement, or a sales email, you want the copy to be powerful enough to convert visitors to sales. You want the words to roll out of your keyboard in an unending symphony of, ultimately, higher sales.
But writing copy for these marketing assets can be hard.
Blogging every day clarifies my thoughts — it helps me notice things. It’s one of the most important practices of my profession.” – Seth Godin [Click to Tweet]
Seth Godin is a busy guy.
He’s considered to be one of the best marketers on the planet. He’s an entrepreneur, speaker, and author of over 20 books. Oh, and he still finds the time to blog every single day.
“Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match,” explains social media entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk.
He couldn’t be more right.
Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like a sprint in a swamp.)
While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. Automation hasn’t yet replaced what we do (thank goodness).
That being said, there are plenty of tools out there to make creating content much easier.
After writing several thousand blog posts and articles, I’ve learned something about writing: It’s not just what I write that’s important; it’s also what I don’t write.
There are some things you should simply not write. I’m not referring to well-placed curse words or salacious stories. There’s a time and place for everything — except the following five awful writing habits.
I started my content journey the same way many other marketers do: Trying to “go viral.”
Some of the posts I created were “72 Content Ideas for Fill Your Pipeline” and “50% of Searches Have Never Been Made Before.” Posts like these filled me with false hope — they got thousands of hits and brought attention to my site, but did absolutely nothing to move the needle on my company’s monthly revenue (which was still $0).
What do overalls, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, and hashtags all have in common?
Believe it or not, they are all products of the 90s.
While hashtags didn’t rise to popularity (with the help of Twitter) until after 2007, they were actually first used during the late 90s to categorize items into groups on IRC (Internet Relay Chat.)
When do you do your best work?
For me, it’s realllllly early in the morning. I used to get up at 4 a.m., grab a steaming cup of coffee, and just start writing. At that time of day, words flowed so easily that I could finish a 1,500-word post in an hour. Later in the day, that same post would’ve taken me twice as long.
But that’s not the case for everyone.