How will publishing articles help your business?

As everyone knows – the internet has changed the way we live.  Most everyone has experience of interacting with friends or relatives online on Facebook.  Too, many people use the internet to shop for clothing or services.  The trends apply equally to those buying and selling professional services – or to small businesses operating in local communities.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A study published in 2011 by Hinge Marketing (@HingeMarketing) about businesses seeking to sell their services online found that “Firms generating 60% or more of their leads online are 2X more profitable than those generating less than 20% of their leads online.”  The results of this and other similar studies reflect that as a result of the power of the internet – your business is going to be more successful if it engages customers online.

How to engage potential customers online

One of the best means by which to engage customers online is via publishing articles which effectively initiate or continue constructive interaction between you as a business owner – and customers who have or may have an interest in your services.   Hinge Marketing provides the statistical evidence of why being online is important.  In the case of articles in particular – Kymeshia Morris, Esq. (@KymeshiaMorris),  founder of BizCopywriters & San Diego Esquire outlines how publishing articles in particular can help you engage with your customers and potential customers:

  • Creating and publishing articles affords businesses or professional services providers with the opportunity to become an authoritative source of information in your business niche.  By creating and sharing compelling and trustworthy content – a business or professional services firm can attract an audience where those audiences are seeking information:  the internet.
  • Writing and publishing articles online helps a business “grow your online social community” interested in your services or products.  As Morris explains:  Interaction — not simply publishing — is also important.  This means businesses or professional services providers need to understand how to effectively engage on social media – where these articles are most often found and discussed.

Consider publishing articles to promote your business

This article focuses on just a few of the reasons publishing articles is helpful to business owners.  There is much more information available about how consumers are increasingly seeking services and products online.  As well, there’s also a considerable amount of research available outlining how content (i.e. articles) are one of the best means by which to attract and engage customers online.   The ultimate reality businesses ought to consider is the increasing importance of the internet as a means by which to connect with customers.  And secondly, that publishing articles is one of the most effective ways to connect online.

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

 

4 types of research that help support business blogging

Excellent research underpins the efforts of business blogging.  An article by Alex Turnbull (@alexmturnbull), CEO & Founder of Groove (@Groove), demonstrates why business bloggers should first research, and then write.

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????As Turnbull explains, research helps provide your readers with strong support for believing you.  He outlines 4 key types of research — all of which can be used by business bloggers to support key messages they seek to convey to their audiences:

Studies and statistics — Many studies and statistics applying to numerous business-oriented subjects are available via on-line research.  What’s important with use of studies and statistics, as Turnbull outlines, is demonstrating how the statistics or studies you’re using are applied in real-life business circumstances.  By doing so, you make the data come alive and therefore more effectively communicates your message.

Quotes from authoritative sources — Providing readers with statements from third-party sources who are already known and trusted serves to strongly support the case you are seeking to make.   These sources are often available via internet research.

Data from other sources — Since the advent of the internet, data once difficult to find is now widely available via online research.  Information from sources ranging from official government sources to corporate studies can effectively be accessed via good research practices. It’s vital to understand both how to find as well as effectively utilize these resources.

Your own data — Many businesses maintain a significant amount of data which can be repositioned for effective use in business blogs, white papers, media releases and other communications.  It’s important to use this data where appropriate to underscore key messages you seek to bring to your key audiences.

Use research to bolster business blogging efforts

Data, properly utilized, can serve to maximize business blogging goals.  Since the internet came into existence, access to data has arguably never been greater.   Given data’s demonstrated utility to business blogging goals,  proper adoption would be a wise move for any business.

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

 

How one of Washington’s elite lobbying firms is marketing with content

Washington, DC is a vital center of political decision-making for citizens and stakeholders around the United States and indeed the world.  Importantly, it’s also a required locale for advocacy for domestic and foreign companies and foreign governments seeking attention from America’s regulatory and political decision-makers.  Hence, the business of lobbying is a crucial means by which those not intimately familiar with the system can seek assistance in navigating the complex bureaucratic maze that is Washington.

????????????????????????????????????????The rise of the internet economy in the 1990’s has fundamentally transformed the means by which consumers of services find information about what they might be seeking to achieve their goals.  This is no different in the world of legislative, regulatory and political advocacy.  Buyers of sophisticated lobbying services, like buyers of other services, are increasingly turning to the internet to find what they’re looking for.

An elite K Street lobbying firm embraces digital media

Tess VandenDolder (@TessVanden) outlined in an article last year how content and other digital marketing efforts were being utilized by one of Washington, DC’s most elite lobbying firms, Cassidy & Associates.

As VandenDolder explained, “Companies in every industry looking to make an impression with consumers know that digital marketing is the new face of advertising.  [And] “K Street is catching up to speed on these new advertising trends.”

VandDenDolder reported the details of Cassidy & Associates digital marketing plans:

  • “We’ve focused on taking four core platforms from placeholder status to fully interactive venues on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter and having them all point to Cassidy.com as a clearinghouse for everything Cassidy,”  spokesman Tom Alexander told POLITICO.”
  • “This past summer the firm announced the launch on their own online magazineThe Insiders,” focusing on K Street news and legislative movement, all with, of course, a branded twist. Cassidy & Associates also runs a YouTube channel with some great content explaining the political implications of policy battles.” [emphasis added]

The future is here

The intersection of the internet economy and elite public affairs advocacy is here, as has been clearly demonstrated by what is already being done by some in America’s capital city.  Given the importance to companies and governments of seeking assistance in navigating Washington’s bureaucratic mazes, the stakes could not be higher for elite public affairs advocacy firms in terms of what they do in digital marketing.

A comprehensive digital strategy is necessary to attract and retain clients increasingly migrating to digital sources of news and information. Importantly, too, the increasing sophistication of digital campaigns is, I believe, what is likely to characterize the future.  Hence, the simple adoption of basic digital marketing isn’t close to enough to what firms will be required to do to stand out. Rather, the adoption and constant re-engineering of the most sophisticated digital marketing efforts will be what will truly distinguish the public affairs advocacy firms of the future.

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

6 tangible rewards of business blogging

Business blogging may be a difficult challenge – but the rewards are tangible.  Gerry Moran (@GerryMoran), Head of Social Media Marketing for SAP in North America, compares business blogging to mountain climbing in a 2012 blogpost.  In that post, Moran outlines how blogging takes time, patience and perseverance.  But once mastered, those who have developed a skill in the craft – can help others to develop their blogging capabilities.

Moran outlines a series of key benefits a business can secure as a result of business blogging.  Below I’ve broken Moran’s outline into 6 tangible rewards of business blogging.  Here they are:

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????1. Blogging will provide your business with a competitive advantage

As Moran explains: “Many businesses and thought leaders do not integrate blogging into their marketing mix and this is a gap opportunity. Why wouldn’t you if, as HubSpot reports, that blogging companies get 97% more inbound links (vs. non-blogging companies). Web pages are also indexed 434% more, so these are two ways to create a competitive advantage.”

The bottom line of this advice is – blogging essentially ensures that more will be made aware of your business as a result of more visits to your website and/or social media accounts (eg a Facebook page or Twitter account) – simply because you’ve chosen to blog.

2. Meet your customers where they’re making buying decisions

“People are changing how they buy, relying partly on online search. A recent Fleishman-Hillard report notes that 89% of all customers turn to a search engine[s] to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases”, Moran explains.  Hence, when you’ve made a decision to blog – your prospective clients or customers can more easily find you – when you’ve made the decision to ensure you’re there for them when they’re online.  Importantly, a blog is accessible 24/7 globally.  A blog extends and deepens your exposure to even a global client base – if that’s what you’re seeking.

3. Become a trusted resource for those seeking your services

Blogging is a superb avenue to becoming a trusted resource for business owners.  Whatever focus your business has – blogging regularly on topics of interest to your customers or client base helps attract people who to want to learn more from your blog.  Personally, I find this one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of blogging.

4. Developing a highly specialist voice

Blogging allows a business to articulate a high degree of specialization over time and multiple blogposts.  This depth of specialization, regularly articulated – can and will go a long way to helping you differentiate yourself in even the most minute ways.  And these specializations can mean a lot to an audience seeking that extra element a blog can uniquely help transmit.

5. Connect to other influencers in your niche

Blogging helps you become recognized not just by potential clients and customers – but by others with an expertise in your business niche.  And why is this important?  Because when you publish blogposts and engage with a growing audience – those influential in your niche will become allies in extending your voice by blogging about your ideas, citing you in the process — and sharing your posts among their audiences.  Isn’t that a great endorsement?  It certainly is.

6.  Increase your interaction with key audiences

Blogging allows you to develop deeper connections offline.  And these connections allow you to not just build a customer or client-base – but also develop speaking opportunities, increase your knowledge of your sector and specialization, even develop friendships — as well as other opportunities too numerous to mention.

Discover a world of opportunity from blogging

If you’re in business and considering blogging as a means by which to attract new clients, or expand relationships with existing clients, these 6 tangible benefits are likely to accrue to your business if you choose to add blogging to your marketing repertoire.  Sure blogging is hard – but should you choose to begin climbing the mountain Gerry Moran describes, I believe over time you’ll be glad you did.

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

 

5 qualities of an excellent content writer

When seeking to hire or retain a superb content writer, there are 5 key qualities you may wish to consider before making a decision.  Chris Warden, CEO of Spread Effect, a leading content marketing and publishing house company, explains in a guest blogpost on Jeff Bullas blog – just what those key qualities are.  Here’s a summary of those 5 and my own additional thoughts on each:

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Ability to meet deadlines — Content writers should be able to write to deadline.  When your business fate is on-the-line, you should expect a writer with the capability of producing superior content within strict deadlines.  Your business meets deadlines every day – so you should expect your writers to perform similarly.

Distinctive ability to tell a story — Warden outlines his belief that a good writer “has a definitive voice.”  “It’s a hard characteristic to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it”, he writes.

Creativity and adaptability – Good writers will possess unique skills which permit them to write a wide variety of works.  White papers, blogposts, semi-scholarly articles, press releases, website content — all require a unique style.  A good writer will understand how to write well for all of these mediums and more.

Ability to write well-researched content — Good writers are able to integrate excellent research into any content they create.   Importantly, they should be capable of performing research on a broad range of topics to underpin any written work them propose to undertake.  Too, they’re able to then utilize that research in a fashion which maximizes the value of the messages being conveyed.

Flexible and business savvy – Writers should be able to make themselves available to clients and work within guidelines that benefit the businesses and others who seek to retain their services.  A writer can be very talented – but without the personal discipline required to help clients achieve often challenging goals – writers diminish their value to clients.

Seek to secure writers possessing these 5 key qualities

Whether you’re a business owner or senior human resources professional within a corporation, a government agency, a non-profit organization — or any other organization that may need to retain the services of a writer:   Seek to find a writers possessing the 5 key qualities outlined above.  Should you do so, you can be confident your content goals – whatever they may be — are likely to be achieved efficiently and effectively.

3e6766d (1) John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

 

Essential steps to successfully marketing your business with content

Much has been written about the positive impact content has in helping businesses promote themselves.  But how can a business put in place the essential elements necessary to utilize content as a means of promotion?

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????San Francisco-based KISSmetrics (@KISSmetrics) has published a blogpost citing a blogpost which originally appeared on Open View Marketing Lab blog — outlining 11 key steps to build a content marketing initiative.  Here’s a summary of the main points:

  • Develop a focus for your content.  Who is your ideal client base?  Seek to understand them.
  • Hire or retain a managing editor with the skills and experience to develop a content strategy and manage the process which delivers it.
  • Build an in-person and virtual community that will support your content marketing efforts.  This will serve to extend your marketing reach.
  • Create unique, high-value content that will permit you to successfully engage with prospective customers.  This will help you build relationships with your ideal customer base via an exchange of information and feedback, often via social media.
  • Once created, find ways to re-purpose good content to maximize its utility — both for your business and your audience of prospective clients.
  • Ensure your content has a call-to-action – requesting your ideal client or customer base to move through a process toward engaging your services.
  • Create a plan for distributing your content for maximum exposure among your ideal prospective client or customer base.
  • Establish a consistency in content production and distribution.
  • Create a system which can be passed on to new employees or already existing internal staff.  This allows your business to expand the efforts or be flexible with staffing to meet your needs while always maintaining your content marketing effort.
  • Keep track of these efforts in order to improve or modify them, as well as to track your success.
  • Meet with your team on a regular basis to adjust your strategy as needed.

Customize a plan for your unique business

Importantly, the list above can be modified to meet the unique needs of any business of any size.  What’s most important, however, is to understand why content marketing is important, the best means by which to utilize content marketing for your business.  Then, implement a custom plan built around your unique business needs and customer and client preferences.

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley

Well researched articles a “cornerstone” of effective marketing efforts

Savvy business today are engaging key audiences via a variety of methods, many of them involving interaction with clients and potential clients on social media platforms.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Important to keep in mind, however, as Barbara McKinney explains in an article published on exploreB2B (citing Derek Miller): “With every content marketing shooting for ways to stand out from among the competition, one simply cannot settle with mediocrity. The only way to compete is to offer something quite unique, and rich-media content is the go-to “variety” that everyone is looking for.

Articles a ‘cornerstone” of business marketing

McKinney goes on to outline the various components one would consider essential to that variety of rich media content.  They include: Podcasts, eBooks/whitepapers, video, and interactive content.  All of these are worth exploring in-depth.  I noted in particular McKinney’s mention of eBooks and whitepapers.  With these, she explains their importance:   “eBooks and whitepapers offer thorough information and/or data on industry specific topics. This form of content should be a cornerstone of your overall strategy.” [emphasis added].

In addition to eBooks and white papers, well researched articles and blogposts are among the sort of content businesses can utilize as a means to engage key audiences.

How will your business benefit from publishing articles?

Travis Balinas (@Tbalinas) published an article last year entitled 7 Benefits of Content Marketing for Small Businesses,  which provides any businessperson with excellent points to ponder when considering whether to embark upon a content marketing campaign. His excellent list includes:

  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content.
  • 7 in 10 consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles, not ads.
  • 90% of consumers find custom content useful.
  • 78% of of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content want to build good relationships.
  • 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand they are interested in.
  • Social media and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online.
  • Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media.

Publish articles uniquely tailored to your client or customer base

As the figures and trends I’ve just cited reflect – it’s in the best interest of any business to publish well researched articles containing useful information for your ideal client or customer base.  A well thought out plan would place any business in the an advantageous position in seeking to engage customers online.  If your competitors aren’t already publishing well researched articles – it’s likely they’re considering it.  Why not join them?

3e6766d (1)John Grimley helps clients engage key audiences with precision communications services tailored to their unique needs.  To enquire about his services, you can reach him at: Tel: +1 (213) 814-2855, or Email: johngrimleycomms@gmail.com, or by Skype: JohnGrimley