You Are What You Read

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You are what you read. So we’re glad you’re reading our blog, packed with content tips and social media management tricks. After all, we’re experts. But what else should you be reading to ensure you get a balanced diet of noggin nutrients to maximize your digital engagement strategies?

Social media watcher Mark Hayes recommends Social Media Examiner, an information-dense, main dish type of resource. It’s the meatloaf of social media information consumption, if you will.

“This user-friendly site offers valuable tips for leveraging your opportunities on Facebook, Google+, Twitter et al,” he writes. “Whether you’re using Facebook for contests, Twitter for quickie ads or message forums to provide links to sites, you’ll find ways to enhance your marketing strategies. Social Media Examiner offers everything from advice on how to deal with website emergencies (such as security issues) to how to set realistic goals for your marketing campaign.”

Favorite side dishes around the office here at Brandsplat include Social Media Today for timely insight and analysis (like a spinach salad to add muscle to your social media plans), 12 Most for list-building inspiration (sweet potato fries, anyone?) and the smart, once-weekly Brain Pickings for discovering interesting new things (our version of spicy Indian-inspired green beans).

We also like Mashable for dessert. You don’t want too much of this sugary, image-dominated sweetness, but it’s a nice way to wrap up your reading. If you’re more of a cheese plate aficionado, try Forbes’ Social Media section. Less fluff, more substance.

Still, like any good diet, variety and moderation are the keys to good health. You wouldn’t want to consume information from just one of these sources and consider yourself well-informed. And don’t forget to exercise: Take some of the ideas you read out for a walk with you. Clear your mind and use them as a springboard for fun ideas you’d like to implement in your own diet (ahem, website). Then give us a call and put us to the test as to how we can help you realize those dreams.

But what say you, readers? Which blogs, news sites or other web-based sources do you rely on to ensure you’ve got a healthy amount of social media know-how? Sound off in the comments section below!

Storytellers Make the Best Bloggers

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Everyone loves a good story. When they are well-crafted, stories capture our imaginations and motivate us like nothing else. So why aren’t we doing more storytelling in our blogs?

Each of us accumulates funny, moving and strange stories over the course of our lives — and so do our businesses. It may not seem like a natural fit at first glance, but dig deeper and you’ll find that everything from cautionary tales, like the client who didn’t heed our advice and ended up in a heap of trouble (names and identifying information redacted, of course), to an epiphany-filled saga of the decisions that led your business into its current gangbusters-growth period can help our audience get to know us in ways that keyword-dense, Google News Alert-triggered, predictable copy cannot.

But not if they’re one-sided, muddled or overly dense. And not if they don’t play by the rules of storytelling, which are hard-wired into our very brains: Setup, conflict, resolution. Toss unnecessary information into a story and suddenly the reader knows he or she’s not in the hands of a master. And because we invest emotionally in stories, we’re wary of those from untrusted sources.

Another thing to remember is that effective story-based blogs are written with the reader’s inner dialogue in mind. What is the reader thinking? Expecting? Wondering? What emotional payoff does the writer want him or her to experience through this story? As such, what breadcrumbs must the blogger leave along the way to encourage the reader to continue reading? Finally, what kind of timing does the writer need to observe in order to drive home the point?

And how does that help you if you’re already running out of time to blog or don’t love the writing process? Simple: A great ghostwriter can conduct a brief interview with you or another thought leader at your company and spin those experiences into storytelling gold. And, yes, we just happen to know a few.

But what about you, dear readers? Have you used your storytelling skills recently to make your point in Technicolor? Sound off in the comments section below!

Full-width Post

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unsplash_5245b69bc5330_1

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?

Testing the Elements

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This is a sample caption

This is a sample caption

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. more

Will You Fall Victim to the 2014 Digital Detox?

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Happy 2014, loyal Brandsplat readers! There’s nothing like the start of a new year to get us thinking about improving ourselves and our lives. And in 2014, in addition to those overly-ambitious, year-long-gym-membership-buying types, we’ve got another class of Resolutioners — those among us who have pledged to spend less time online. Whether it’s doggedly reading each Facebook update about people they hardly remember from high school or following every known D-list celebrity tweeter on the planet, some people have developed bad digital habits and are looking to perform a cleanse. We salute you, digital detoxers!

Luckily, our clients are in no danger of being crossed off anyone’s list. That’s because here at Brandsplat, we make sure their content is spot-on by spending time understanding what their audience needs before we write a single word, search engine optimized or otherwise. It’s because we know there’s more to expanding our clients’ reach than cramming a bunch of keywords into a spammy post in hopes of boosting their Google page ranks. We offer our clients the real deal: Content created just for them by an informed, engaged writer whose first and only priority is to make a connection with the people their services or products are designed to help.

True, not everyone can write passionately day in and day out about topics including investment scams, telecommunications challenges or how to know if you need to hire a lawyer. But then again, not everyone writes for us — just those who like to dig deep and create interesting, informative content to bridge the gap between our clients and those who need them; those who go beyond writing a certain number of words to spec; those who care that their client’s message is making it in front of the right eyes. In other words, real professionals.

Do you have real professionals writing for your company’s blog, website or social media channels? Here’s how to check: Watch your Google Analytics numbers over the next few weeks. Are they growing by leaps and bounds? Then you don’t need us. Anything less tells you that your company may have fallen victim to the 2014 digital detox and would benefit from the great combination of smarts and heart our writers bring to their work.

Go ahead and check. We’ll wait. Our number’s below.