I know it’s been done, and probably pretty cliché, but I originally wanted to call this blog post Fear and Loathing in Cleveland. I was so in love with the idea that I started writing the lede while standing in line to board my plane in Green Bay.
“I was somewhere in the air over Chicago when the antihistamine finally kicked in … “
My trip did start in a Hunter S. Thompson-esque fashion. Nursing a mild hangover from Labor Day weekend, running late after oversleeping, un-showered with bloodshot eyeballs thanks to the ragweed in the late summer air, I was leaving Wisconsin in a fog.
That wouldn’t last long.
Continue reading 7 Moments of Clarity from Content Marketing World 2017
Ten years ago, Bridget opened a yoga studio in her small, Midwestern hometown. Back then, yoga’s popularity was on the rise and she was among the first to introduce it to her community. Before long, she had a waiting list of students.
Flash forward to today …
There are dozens of yoga studios and other places to attend classes. Moms in yoga pants are everywhere you look, and Bridget is far from the only yogi in town. Lots of people saw the same opportunity, and even though the potential customer base for yoga has grown, her market is oversaturated. Bridget needs a way to differentiate her business from the competition.
I bet you think we’re about to suggest content marketing as the solution? Nope. In fact, digital content creators have the exact same problem as Bridget.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee shop, commercial construction, or your content marketing plan, when you’re not the only player in the game, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Digital marketing strategies often fall flat because companies fail to analyze the competition’s efforts before jumping in. You must look for ways to add value and break through the noise. But how?
Continue reading How to Create Content that Cuts Through Clutter and Crushes the Competition
Everyone in your company wants to get something different out of content creation.
- SEO specialist: Better rankings, backlinks, and more traffic.
- Social media marketer: More likes, shares, and comments.
- Public relations director: Lots of press coverage and brand awareness.
- Sales reps: More qualified leads with contact information.
- The boss: Just wants to know how it’s going to affect the bottom line.
Meantime, the content marketer wishes she could just sit back at her computer and create cool stuff instead of worrying so much about trying to make everyone happy.
First, let’s get one thing straight. You should be creating content for your target audience, not for the people on your marketing team. However, there are still decisions to make concerning what kind of content you should develop.
So, does the best content marketing educate people who have questions, entertain an audience, or sell products and services to prospects? The answer … is yes.
Continue reading The Content Marketer’s Dilemma: Educate, Entertain, or Sell?
One of the most common client concerns we get when launching a new content marketing program is, “How are you going to write for us? You don’t know anything about our industry.”
It’s a legitimate question to ask. They’re wondering if a copywriter, digital marketer, or maybe even a blogger who doesn’t work in your industry can really write complicated content and explain technical topics.
Doubting an advertising agency’s ability to represent the expertise of your company is understandable. However, when it’s done right, you’ll end up with relevant, highly-targeted content marketing campaigns that help you reach your business goals.
Here’s a look at how Element’s content marketing teams takes on the challenge.
Continue reading Content Marketing – How to Write Like an Expert for Any Industry
As this article is being written, we’re nearing the end of what can easily be called the craziest, most frustrating presidential election in recent U.S. history.
The Republican and Democratic party nominees are so unpopular, supporters spend most of their time talking about how terrible the opposition is while making excuses for the downfalls of their chosen candidate.
A lot of voters feel like they’re being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. They have to vote for the person they dislike the least instead of someone they truly believe in.
The worst part is, it seems like no matter what the election results are, we’ll still end up with a mess.
Sometimes your options for marketing feel that way, too. However, when it comes to choosing how to reach your target audience, there is a very viable alternative.
Let’s take a look at the marketing candidates …
Continue reading Do You Have to Choose the Lesser of Two Marketing Evils?
Far too many B2B companies have blogs they’ve neglected, mismanaged, and left to rot. They go month after month without updates, and when a new post is finally published, no one reads it anyway.
So, management decides blogging isn’t even worth the effort. Don’t let that happen to you and your company’s blog!
A good blog can be a cornerstone of a powerful content marketing program, but only if you know how to do it right.
It seems so much easier to create content for a business-to-consumer company while business-to-business marketing seems like it is supposed to be dry and dull.
Here’s how some marketers assume the formula works:
B2C Content = Fun! B2B Content = Bored to death.
But, that’s just not true!
Continue reading 6 Ways to Make Your B2B Content Marketing Better
Can an ancient Greek philosopher teach us how to be better at marketing?
Just about everyone comes across Aristotle’s writings Poetics and Rhetoric at some point during high school or college.
If you were like me at that age, you probably didn’t appreciate the subject matter, but Aristotle literally wrote the book on using stories to persuade people.
Smart marketers can learn a thing or two from Aristotle, especially when trying to create compelling and convincing content for your target audience. And, you don’t have to be a literature or philosophy major to understand how it all works.
Continue reading Advice from Aristotle on Better Brand Storytelling
Food days and potlucks are a regular part of agency culture here at Element. Any time there’s an excuse to eat, we’re ready to stuff our faces and fill our bellies.
But this time … we decided to do something a little different and added technology to the mix.
We called it Element’s Apps & Apps Day! 20 of us brought in our favorite appetizers and also dished on our favorite mobile apps. It made for some great conversation. That is – when our mouths weren’t full of delicious food.
Keep reading to find out what we devoured during this feast, and discover some mobile apps that are both fun and useful!
Continue reading Element Favorites: 20 Appetizers and 20 Mobile Apps
It can be a tough world out there for journalists. TV and newspaper reporters have to deal with daily deadlines, stressful subject matter, and constant criticism.
The pay isn’t always great. Plus, when you combine the overall struggles of traditional media with cost-cutting measures as well as frequent mergers and acquisitions in the industry, there’s not much job security either.
That’s why a lot of journalists are switching career paths and using their skills to help businesses with marketing.
It’s a practice known as brand journalism. But does your company really need a brand journalist?
Continue reading Brand Journalists – Does Your Company Need One?
In the “good old days” of social media, it seemed so easy.
Your company could create a page on Facebook or a profile on Twitter and you had a digital megaphone to help you reach fans, followers, and potential customers anywhere in the world.
Times have changed.
There has been great moaning and gnashing of teeth over how difficult it’s become for companies to reach their fans on platforms like Facebook. Some businesses feel duped, like the victims of a bait-and-switch. They worked hard to build an audience, maybe they even paid to get people to “Like” their pages, but now their posts are only reaching a fraction of those people.
Should you pay for social media exposure? The short answer is “yes.”
But here’s why … Continue reading Social Media Exposure – Should You Pay for It or Just Give Up?