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Blog, Song — Same Diff

Posted by Dawn Walnoha

Woman Playing An Acoustic Guitar In Spacious Warehouse

Writing a great blog is like penning a Top 40 hit. Whether you’re into Brad Paisley, Ani DiFranco, Romeo Santos or Paul McCartney, you know a great song when you hear one. There’s truth in a great song — be it emotional or comedic gravitas — and a perfect blend of lyrics and melody. A hit song has a great title, a catchy chorus, a revealing bridge and that extra something that makes you want to play it again.

The same is true with blog writing. Just as songs are really poems set to music, blogs are essays posted to a specific place on the Interwebs. Both require a unique take on a central theme, whether that’s love or marketing. They have to reach their audience with a message that feels like it’s crafted just for them.

As blog writers, our goal is to spark a feeling with your blog. In songwriting, that’s known as the hook. Just like the way hearing a heartbreak song makes you think of your long lost first love, we strive to write something that inspires your audience to connect emotionally with you and your business. Say you’re an accountant. That can be dry stuff, accounting. How do we make a hit out of that subject matter?

Well, the main job of any blog is to establish you or your business as a trusted source of a product or service. When I’m choosing an accountant, I want to know that he or she is informed, personable and easy to work with. Your blog can show these things directly (“New State Rules Go Into Effect July 1”) as well as by using accounting and money issues as a springboard (“Family Saves $437 on Disney Trip with This Simple Tip”). Let’s say I’m a busy marketing professional and mother of four. Which one am I going to click on? There’s your hook.

And if they end up wanting to “play it again,” they share the blog via social media and suddenly you’ve got a revolution on your hands.

If you like what you’re hearing, book us for your wedding contact us today to learn more about how Brandsplat ghost(song)writers can help make you a hit.

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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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Three Benefits of Blogging You Might Have Missed

Posted by Benjamin Porter

Three Benefits of Blogging You Might Have Missed

 

Most business owners now understand the importance of blogging in terms of raising the profile of their company.  But even those who were early adopters of blogging as part of their marketing strategy don’t always think of the following three benefits:

1. Ward off competition

It’s true: Blogging can help your business stave off a competitor. Let’s say you run a small consulting firm specializing in helping companies lower their telecommunications costs. If you’re doing it well, your blog is full of stories of satisfied customers and tips that make it clear that you’re the expert in your niche. Quality content can act like an anchor in terms of online findability. And once you’re established, potential competitors will find it very discouraging trying to displace you from your online position.

2. Attract investors

Having a record of your thoughts and industry experiences establishes your personality as well as your professional bonafides.  If you’re in the hunt for investors, it can make your overall business presentation more complete and more personable.  A successful business model is obviously important but great leadership is a critical factor for many potential partners.  And once you sit down with your prospective investor, they will feel as though they already know you.  (And, hopefully, that’s a good thing!)

3. Organize your own thoughts (and get feedback!)

Like keeping a journal, a business blog can help you keep track of ideas you’re considering for your company. Better yet, they’re ideas that your audience can weigh in on. Say you run a small chain of coffee houses in a tri-state area and you hit upon an idea: What if your stores hosted an open mike night or a poetry slam? By blogging about it, you can both record your idea and gauge potential interest in these events. Maybe your readers aren’t that interested in either idea, but they would like to see you make room for a mother/daughter tea event. There’s extra revenue.  And a mistake avoided.

We know what you’re thinking: “Man, I have GOT to get on this blogging thing, but I have no time!” Don’t worry… we can help you out. We work closely with clients to go beyond informative blog writing — we study your industry, learn its acronyms, talk about your dreams. The term we use is “writing in the voice of your brand.”

When it’s time to finally start that blog, or turn your existing one over to a professional who can update it more than once a quarter, give us a call at (800) 299-5498 or shoot us an email at hello [at] brandsplat [dot] com.

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Four Ingredients in the Brandsplat Secret Recipe for Content Marketing Greatness

Posted by Dawn Walnoha

Four Ingredients in the Brandsplat Secret Recipe for Content Marketing Greatness

 

Easy, Col. Sanders: We’re not giving away the store. But we’ll share a portion of our secret recipe for content marketing greatness with you today. (Psst! Check back every week for more ingredients and eventually you’ll have all the ingredients you need!) Why would we share this information with you, knowing you could apply these tips yourself, you ask? Because what’s great for content anywhere is great for content everywhere. We don’t want a sloppy Internet. Besides, we’re betting if you cook up great content using our tips, you’ll have more success than you have time to deal with and then you’ll look to us to take over!

So, without further ado, here are a few tips for tasty content:

1. Focus on the benefits, not the features:

Go beyond writing about a particular product or service’s features — instead, write about the benefits of the product or service. This allows your target audience to imagine themselves and their lives being made better in the short- or long-term. That’s ultimately what closes the deal for you.

2. Use an active voice:

Too many great ideas have failed to be communicated due to passive voice syndrome. Education is key to ensuring your idea isn’t next.

3. Use bulleted lists:

Bullets help readers more quickly understand how much content they’re agreeing to read — an important part of the give-and-take relationship of content marketing. Every time we write a blog, we know that we’re asking someone to give us the time it will take them to read something in exchange for the information

4. Be brief:

Along the lines of #3, remember that keeping your content short and sweet helps keep readers engaged with your piece — and keeps them coming back for more. One caveat, however: Make sure you don’t sacrifice the proper content tone for the sake of brevity. No one wins when that happens.

Got your hands full in the kitchen? Need help whipping up some delicious content? Let Brandsplat be your sous chef. Give us a call today at 800-299-5498 or email us at hello [at] brandsplat [dot] com and watch us cook!

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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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