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This is some dummy copy. You’re not really supposed to read this dummy copy, it is just a place holder for people who need some type to visualize what the actual copy might look like if it were real content.

If you want to read, I might suggest a good book, perhaps Hemingway or Melville. That’s why they call it, the dummy copy. This, of course, is not the real copy for this entry. Rest assured, the words will expand the concept. With clarity. Conviction. And a little wit.

In today’s competitive market environment, the body copy of your entry must lead the reader through a series of disarmingly simple thoughts.

All your supporting arguments must be communicated with simplicity and charm. And in such a way that the reader will read on. (After all, that’s a reader’s job: to read, isn’t it?) And by the time your readers have reached this point in the finished copy, you will have convinced them that you not only respect their intelligence, but you also understand their needs as consumers.

As a result of which, your entry will repay your efforts. Take your sales; simply put, they will rise. Likewise your credibility. There’s every chance your competitors will wish they’d placed this entry, not you. While your customers will have probably forgotten that your competitors even exist. Which brings us, by a somewhat circuitous route, to another small point, but one which we feel should be raised.

Long copy or short – You decide

As a marketer, you probably don’t even believe in body copy. Let alone long body copy. (Unless you have a long body yourself.) Well, truth is, who‘s to blame you? Fact is, too much long body copy is dotted with such indulgent little phrases like truth is, fact is, and who’s to blame you. Trust us: we guarantee, with a hand over our heart, that no such indulgent rubbish will appear in your entry. That’s why God gave us big blue pencils. So we can expunge every example of witted waffle.

For you, the skies will be blue, the birds will sing, and your copy will be crafted by a dedicated little man whose wife will be sitting at home, knitting, wondering why your entry demands more of her husband‘s time than it should.

But you will know why, won‘t you? You will have given her husband a chance to immortalize himself in print, writing some of the most persuasive prose on behalf of a truly enlightened purveyor of widgets. And so, while your dedicated reader, enslaved to each mellifluous paragraph, clutches his newspaper with increasing interest and intention to purchase, you can count all your increased profits and take pots of money to your bank. Sadly, this is not the real copy for this entry. But it could well be. All you have to do is look at the account executive sitting across your desk (the fellow with the lugubrious face and the calf-like eyes), and say ”Yes! Yes! Yes!“ And anything you want, body copy, dinners, women, will be yours. Couldn’t be fairer than that, could we?

Moisturizer for Dry Blogs

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How do we put this delicately without offending? Some blog content management strategies can be a real challenge when the subject matter is… well, uh, maybe a little too dry for the average reader. After all, our blogging-for-business efforts are supposed to excite readers and inspire them to learn more about our products and services, not put them in a deep sleep. Luckily, we’re pros at this sort of thing. Here’s our list of 3 easy tips to turn that dry blog into something juicy and readable regardless of subject matter. 

Explain and Entertain: So you know when you’re at a party and somebody asks you, “What is that you do?” and you have a clever couple of sentences that you rattle off about your business? Do that with your blog posts. It is entirely possible for company blogs to talk about the day-to-day happenings and inner workings of their business in an entertaining manner even when the company itself might not be all that fascinating. See the TSA blog, the PayPal blog and the Department of the Interior blog for real-life proof. 

Nibbles, Not Meals: Believe it or not, there are great blogs out there written by engineers, lawyers, medical companies and geologists. The thing all these blogs have in common is the ability to disperse their expertise in short, bite-size posts. Research shows that somewhere over 400 but under 700 words is the magical blog length sweet spot. Remember, you don’t have to cover everything in one post. Blog readers will come back. Tackle one subject per post in an engaging fashion. Spread your wealth of knowledge to future posts. Videos, infographics, memes and original images also make for easy-to-digest (and even easier to link) blog posts. 

Wonder Words: In the Internet ocean of bad writing, things like good grammar, clever copy and good, old-fashioned kick-butt storytelling stand out. Great writing never goes out of style, even in this age of aggressive content marketing. In fact, unique and well-crafted copy proves to be more delicious to search engines time and again (and continues to do so with every Google algorithm update). Read great blogs and books for inspiration and you’ll be writing dynamic posts in no time. Take the time to write it well — or have somebody else do it for you — and your blog will never feel dry again.

Online Video Creation & Google+, a Match Made in Heaven

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Social media marketing is a must to promote branded videos. Links to your company’s newest videos on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like are the easiest way to get your amazing online video creation in front of audiences. Posts with original videos make for dynamic and viral social media gold, so there isn’t a reason not to do it. Yet for our money, no social media channel is better for video marketing than Google+.

For starters, Google+ is incredibly YouTube friendly (naturally, given both channels are part of the Google family). This ease means original videos posted to Google+ can be added instantly to a brand’s YouTube channel. For anyone who has ever spent an entire day loading a video to YouTube, this is fantastic news. Also, videos uploaded to YouTube and then posted on Google+ look and sound great given there are no compatibility issues. And with Google+ Hangouts On Air, you can actually create live content which can also be saved to your YouTube channel. Hangouts On Air are used by tons of brands of all sizes for things like interviews, product reviews, conference coverage and live Q&As with followers. In fact, these hangouts can become a live event in themselves, potentially driving folks to your brand’s channels. If you’re good at rolling live and have a game plan for an entertaining segment, Hangouts On Air are a real solution for fresh video content. Finally, Google+ has dozens of ways to promote videos throughout the platform. Communities, for example, are terrific spots to place videos in front of handpicked audiences with interests in what you and your brand do. From bookworms and weekend warriors to travel lovers and fashionistas, there are Communities for everybody.

Finally, posting videos on Google+ has a distinct edge that the other channels won’t ever have: It’s Google! This means every time you create content for Google+, your company has just given its SEO a shot in the arm. Videos — and everything you post on Google+ — winds up in Google searches for your business. 

Readers, have you used Google+ for videos? Tell us your love stories (or tales of woe) in the comments section below.

Blog Like the Big Brands: Pinterest

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As social media experts, we’ve blogged a lot about Pinterest. This social media giant has taken our collective love of window shopping, image sharing and engaging to new heights. Brands of all sizes have turned to Pinterest to show off the latest products, run exclusive contests and generally create a buzz not possible on other networks. Yet in addition to being an incredible social media platform, Pinterest can also teach us a thing or two about blogging.

Oh, How Pinteresting is the company’s image-rich, gorgeous-looking blog. Fashion, interiors, food and weddings are some of the biggest categories on Pinterest. Therefore, posts filled with these topics are a no-brainer for the brand’s official blog. The happening-now Fashion Week, for example, has provided blogger fodder for days on Pinterest. From London to New York to backstage photos and on-the-street trends, Pinterest blogs about the things its users love about Fashion Week. The brand has even created special Fashion Week boards, which it wisely provides links to in every fashion-filled post.

The “point” of Pinterest is to inspire users to create collections (also known as boards) of images found on the web. These boards can be everything from birthday party ideas to kitchen makeovers. With this in mind, the Pinterest blog is also filled with tips and solutions on how to make the site work better for its users. Every recent site and mobile app update is blogged about here with the intention of making pinning even easier for the folks who already are wild about it. Other posts, like 10 Back To School Tips For Teachers, offer creative advice to users who utilize Pinterest in nontraditional ways.

Pinterest is a brand built on imagination, inspiration and creativity, so it’s fitting the blog sticks to that mission statement. But more than that, the blog speaks to more than just avid Pinterest users. The wording, the simple ideas and overall ease of the design invite and entice newbies to use Pinterest — which is exactly what our branded blog writing should do.

5 Things for September 13: Fiona Crucifies 'Big Food' for Chipotle

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Haunting and genius online video creation? Yup. Oddities from the world of social media marketing? Uh huh. Some legitimate news thrown in just for good measure? You got it. Our weekly list of five things you might have missed has all that and then some.

1. Pure Imagination:  The creative team on Chipotle’s new online short film and game reads like a big-budget movie: Fiona Apple singing an iconic song, Oscar-winning producers and a compelling look at a controversial topic. While cute and charming in animation, make no bones about it: This film takes a tough stance against “Big Food.” Undoubtedly one of the most creative and most-talked-about online videos of the year. 

2. Footlong Couture: Project Subway incorporated the currently happening New York Fashion Week with its “$5 Any Footlong in September” promotion to produce a competition where designers made outfits entirely out of Subway wrappers. The hashtag #ProjectSubway was used by the chain to help engage its 1.6 million followers in this unique fashion smackdown. 

3. Twitter’s New Song: Speaking of Twitter, the social media giant has long tried to launch its own music platform. The results have been underwhelming at best. Yet all hope for #TwitterMusic may not be lost: This week, the company paired with massive music service Spotify to hopefully take music streaming and social search to new heights.

4. Skip the McLine: Mobile ordering to pick up real-life items and in real time is something a few brands have been ballsy enough to attempt. According to Mashable, McDonalds is willing to give it a shot. The company is now testing a mobile payment application in Utah and Texas. “With the app, you can order ahead and pick up your food at drive-thru windows, curbside or in the restaurant,” Mashable reports. 

5. Try to Forget: Finally, we round out this week’s list with a major Twitter bellyflop from AT&T. The communications magnet tried to pay tribute to those lost on 9/11 with a tweeted image of the Twin Towers in searchlights, but consumers weren’t having it. After hundreds of complaints, the company took the image down and apologized a couple of times. The moral of the story? Take the day off from marketing on 9/11, brands… Or deal with the wrath.

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04
This is some dummy copy. You’re not really supposed to read this dummy copy, it is just a place holder for people who need some type to visualize what the actual copy might look like if it were real content.

If you want to read, I might suggest a good book, perhaps Hemingway or Melville. That’s why they call it, the dummy copy. This, of course, is not the real copy for this entry. Rest assured, the words will expand the concept. With clarity. Conviction. And a little wit.

In today’s competitive market environment, the body copy of your entry must lead the reader through a series of disarmingly simple thoughts.

All your supporting arguments must be communicated with simplicity and charm. And in such a way that the reader will read on. (After all, that’s a reader’s job: to read, isn’t it?) And by the time your readers have reached this point in the finished copy, you will have convinced them that you not only respect their intelligence, but you also understand their needs as consumers.

As a result of which, your entry will repay your efforts. Take your sales; simply put, they will rise. Likewise your credibility. There’s every chance your competitors will wish they’d placed this entry, not you. While your customers will have probably forgotten that your competitors even exist. Which brings us, by a somewhat circuitous route, to another small point, but one which we feel should be raised.

Long copy or short – You decide

As a marketer, you probably don’t even believe in body copy. Let alone long body copy. (Unless you have a long body yourself.) Well, truth is, who‘s to blame you? Fact is, too much long body copy is dotted with such indulgent little phrases like truth is, fact is, and who’s to blame you. Trust us: we guarantee, with a hand over our heart, that no such indulgent rubbish will appear in your entry. That’s why God gave us big blue pencils. So we can expunge every example of witted waffle.

For you, the skies will be blue, the birds will sing, and your copy will be crafted by a dedicated little man whose wife will be sitting at home, knitting, wondering why your entry demands more of her husband‘s time than it should.

But you will know why, won‘t you? You will have given her husband a chance to immortalize himself in print, writing some of the most persuasive prose on behalf of a truly enlightened purveyor of widgets. And so, while your dedicated reader, enslaved to each mellifluous paragraph, clutches his newspaper with increasing interest and intention to purchase, you can count all your increased profits and take pots of money to your bank. Sadly, this is not the real copy for this entry. But it could well be. All you have to do is look at the account executive sitting across your desk (the fellow with the lugubrious face and the calf-like eyes), and say ”Yes! Yes! Yes!“ And anything you want, body copy, dinners, women, will be yours. Couldn’t be fairer than that, could we?

Honest Blog Marketing or 21st Century Panhandling?

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Blog creation can be used by businesses for millions of different reasons, and as blog marketing experts, we’ve seen them all. Or at least we thought we had: On Sunday, Mashable.com ran a piece about a company blog set up by its founders to hopefully save the company.

Two years ago, Erin Hopmann and Jess Lybeck started Dabble, an education startup which hosted a series of diverse online and in-person classes for Chicago residents. Fundraising and investments for the startup were moving along just fine and sales have been up this year. However, when it came to get the next round of funding, Hopmann and Lybeck had little to no luck. The crunch has been so bad that the founders stopped taking a salary and cut their staff down from 7 to 3. The pair hopes their blogging campaign, 30 Days of Honesty, will help get investors and consumers alike excited about their brand. The blog, which started on August 26, chronicles the ups and downs of running a startup. 

“The dream would be that our knight in shining armor comes along with a belief in the business to fund it,” Hopmann told Mashable in an interview last week. “I think knowing [that option is] a stretch for 30 days, the other hope is awareness: People that use Dabble love it, so we just need more eyeballs.”

The campaign is not dissimilar to the viral Tumblr blog “My Startup Has 30 Days to Live” which served as an inspiration to Hopmann and Lybeck. While certainly unique, we’re not sure how effective the blog campaign to save Dabble will be. Only time will tell. We do know that these kinds of fundraising efforts for for-profit businesses in blogging aren’t usually received with open arms. In this era, nearly everyone knows of or has been a part of a business that failed or went under. So unless it’s for the greater good or a worthy cause, folks tend to roll their eyes at blogs that beg. Also, the campaign isn’t exactly selling readers on how great Dabble is and why it’s worth saving. Yet something about the campaign must be working, as it is definitely gaining publicity for the brand. 

Readers, what do you think? Is this brilliant blog marketing or smug panhandling? Sound off below!

Are You Making This Major Social Media Mistake?

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179320163resizedWe have long preached about Facebook and Twitter marketing being two-way streets. These social media channels are great for selling our company, getting the word out about products and services while helping with SEO. Yet social media management cannot exist solely on sales-driven posts. These efforts should help tell our brand’s story and build relationships. A new survey for Econsultancy, however, proves that marketers are more interested in using social media for lead generation and list building than for branding.

The study, published on MarketingCharts.com, found that 37 percent of marketing professionals surveyed used social advertising for lead generation. Eighteen percent used it to increase traffic, while another 18 percent used it for direct online sales. Only 27 percent used it for branding.

Steve Olenski of Forbes explains why this is not such great news.

“It means that marketers are putting more emphasis on selling than they are at establishing relationships with consumers via branding,” he writes. “It means that marketers would rather try and sell you something than say tell you a story. It means that marketers are only in ‘it’ to increase their bottom line.”

Olenski describes placing sales-driven marketing placed ahead of relationship building as “catastrophic.” We could not agree more. Over and over, we’ve seen social media marketing “fail” small businesses. Upon a closer inspection, we usually find that these efforts failed because they were filled with only sales-driven messages. No effort to reach out, zero engagement and a brand’s unwillingness to connect with followers is what fails, not the platform itself. The mistake is thinking these efforts are short-term, quick fixes for lead generation. Consumers and especially social media users can see right through brands who do that and are quick to unfollow those who exist only on a “please buy our stuff!” diet. Social media has invented a class of savvy shoppers who expect a little conversation and intelligent back-and-forth before they plunk down their credit cards. For the most part, this is a good thing — and, good or bad, it’s a reality. Embracing the culture of social media and reaping its benefits is a more long-term survival method.

“What these same marketers fail to realize is that by building their brand via storytelling, sharing of relevant content and truly engaging with consumers will lead them to the lead gen promised land they seek,” Olenski notes. “Make no mistake about it, however. Those marketers who go down the path of putting lead gen/sales over branding and relationships will not be successful in the long run.”