Online Brand Management

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Brandsplat’s Secret Recipe, Part II

Posted by Dawn Walnoha

Brandsplat's Secret Recipe

 

(Editor’s note: This is the second installment in our Secret Recipe series. If you missed the first helping of our tips on content marketing greatness, click here.)

Main ingredient alert: We’ve reached the part in the Brandsplat Secret Recipe where we disclose a big, protein-dense tip on successful content marketing. It’s the one that has moved more than one client to accuse us of using slight of hand and other forms of magic to boost their website traffic and conversion rates. (Hey, we’re not above that; if your coven has any tips, please let us know.) But getting more visitors to your site isn’t magic — nor is getting them to offer up their email address for your newsletter or to engage with your company or brand on social media.

In our first post, we listed several key ingredients to tasty content:

• Focus on benefits, not just features;

• Use the active voice;

• Use bulleted lists (see what we did there?); and

• Be brief.

And those are great tips. But this one’s even better:

Write to one audience member.

We know what you’re thinking: “What in the heck does that mean?” We mean you should write like you’re having a conversation — like you’re sitting with your next potential customer or client at a T-ball game, cheering on your kid’s team and chatting between at-bats. Write like you’ve just finished listening to them describe their needs and have an idea to share. After all, your business is built on anticipating those needs.

Writing with this in mind helps build a real connection between you and your audience for one simple reason: They feel that you are dialed in to them and their needs. They feel seen and heard and recognized. In a world in which most people struggle to connect meaningfully with others, this is a powerful tool — one that sets you apart from your competition.

So how come we’re giving away this tip? We know writing to a single audience member is a lot harder than it looks. It takes time, patience and creativity (in addition to awesome writing) — and most companies simply don’t have the resources to keep awesome writers on staff. That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to boost your Internet conversion rates, let us hear from you. Together, we can cook up a mighty fine dish. And stay tuned for more tips!

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Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

Posted by Benjamin Porter

Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

The current formula for turning web content into a viral sensation may appear to many as tried and true, but the future for that kind of content marketing is limited, according to digital analyst, author and futurist Brian Solis at Altimeter Group. Solis recently spoke with Technorati about the future of content marketing, reserving his harshest criticism for clickbait articles and current engagement measurement practices, and reinvigorating our faith in quality content.
Solis expressed his exasperation with clickbait articles that promise to “blow your mind” without offering real value to visitors. Sure, these posts capture a good deal of attention, but as people learn how empty the promises are on the other side of the click, their popularity will die a quick death. This model simply is not sustainable, Solis notes. Tricking visitors into jumping through a hoop only tires them out, he explains. Rather than clicks, the goal should be interaction and engagement. Visitors should think about and share the content, he adds. But that all starts with good content rather than sensational headlines.
Another frustrating thing about content marketing practices today is the continued emphasis given to impressions rather than expressions, Solis says. Getting eyeballs on your brand is the low-hanging fruit of content marketing; meaningful that it’s the engagement that’s key. But just what is meaningful engagement? In a word, it’s a relationship, he notes — meaning interactions between companies or brands and their target audience need to be both two-sided and genuine.
At Brandsplat, we couldn’t agree more. But that kind of relationship building takes a lot of time and energy. It requires companies to write and promote engaging blogs plus stay on top of their social media feeds — all while presenting a consistent message in one voice to their audiences. If you’re running a small- to medium-sized business, this is probably one of just 17 hats you rotate daily. And that means it’s not being done well — or at least that it’s not being done as well as it could. If you’re tired of losing online customers to your competition, reach out to us. We’ll take a look at your digital presence and recommend what changes you could make to increase your engagement.

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You Are What You Read

Posted by Dawn Walnoha

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!

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