Elayne Whitfield, BA, MVA ~ VA Industry ExpertSubscribe Now

Content Marketing: How Sales-Oriented Should Your Content Be?

Content Marketing - How Sales OrientedIn the world of online marketing, two very different crafts are often confused: content writing, and copy writing. Although they are mostly confused in name only, sometimes the actual text gets mixed up too. One especially guilty group when it comes to this mistake is article marketers who often introduce unnecessary sales copy into their content writing. On the flip side, generic content is frequently put into sales copy by accident, drastically reducing its effectiveness.

Online marketing success demands an ability to differentiate between the two. While copy and content both have their proper places, it is rare that they go together, and it can be quite detrimental to a promotional article if they are used improperly. This simple guide explains how to balance sales copy and promotional content, and where to use each of them in your marketing efforts.

Incorporating Sales Content into Articles

It is best to keep direct sales, and sales related talk to a minimal throughout any promotional article. Although the purpose of a promotional article is not necessarily to inform the reader, it is certainly not to sell to them straight away either. If the reader is sold on a product right there in the article, where will they click to buy the product?

Save the sales copy for your landing or sales page. You can always incorporate pre-sales copy into a promotional article, but even then it shouldn't have an overwhelming presence. The purpose of a promotional article is to achieve one thing – get the reader to your landing page with a slight intention to buy in their minds. If your articles are not accomplishing this, you need to work on flow and content, not sales copy.

Where to Start the Pre-Selling:

The basic structure of any article, or really any written text, is introduction-discussion-conclusion. The first section of your promotional article should introduce a problem, a situation, or an opportunity to your reader. Once you have established this, move on to the body of the text. What is going on in this situation? How could this opportunity translate to the life of the reader? Where are the best places to find these opportunities?

Once you have established and discussed all that you can, introduce a potential solution for the reader; your solution. Do not jump to selling the idea straight away -- that is the job of your sales copy -- but push the reader slightly so they feel like moving towards it. It is not your job to sell them in the article, only to get them to click on your link.

The Transition from Pre-Sell to Actual Selling:

Your content should work in tandem with your copy to make the sale. Before you start marketing any product through a promotional article, familiarize yourself with the sales page and landing pages that you will be leading readings to, to the point where you can seamlessly incorporate their points into your writing.

People generally love familiarity and trust, not unknown situations. When you can design an article to convince a potential customer into moving to your sales page, and have them arrive there full of confidence and intrigue, you have found article marketing success.

Click here for your copy of my ebook "Straightforward Strategies for E-commerce Success" a great guide full of ideas and practical tips to get you started and on the path to e-commerce success!

Things to Consider When Creating a Content Plan for Your Blog

Things to consider when creating a content plan for your blogCarefully preparing the content for your blog will put you ahead of others in your industry in a huge way. Many bloggers will only blog when inspiration strikes them instead of having a regular content plan. Those who are serious however and want to create a money-making, high value blog, will always start with a plan. Here are some important things to keep in mind when creating your plan.

Understand Who Your Audience Is

Part of running a great blog with compelling content is to really know your audience inside and out. You need to know what words will make an impact with them and which ones they will respond to. Also, you need to know their general worries, fears, loves, and interests, and how they relate to your products and/or services. The more you can speak their language, the more drawn to your products they will be.

Know Your Industry

The niche you’re involved in has a past, present, and future. It’s important to understand the history of your niche as well as who has been making an impact. Knowing about your industry will keep you on the forefront of everything which can help you improve the content you create and that will take you to a whole new level.

What Seasons, News, and Events Impact Your Niche?

Keeping an eye on upcoming events and being aware enough to jump on things that have just happened are important components in creating an excellent content plan. Whether you blog about events, accomplishments and happenings in your own life, or about a business industry, it doesn’t matter. Keep it relevant by matching it to things your audience cares about that are currently taking place.

Consider the Impact of Newsletters, Email, and Social Media

In order to be successful today, your blogging content has to work in concert with newsletters, email, and social media content. You cannot plan your blog content without thinking about how you will promote the complimentary content. It’s no longer good enough to just write it and assume people will come – instead, it’s important to understand how it all works together.

What Other Pages Will Your Blog Have?

Your blog needs to have more than just a blog page. There are important pages that you will need also in order to look very professional. Potential pages to choose from may be:

      • About
      • Contact
      • Guest posting information
      • Advertising information
      • Media
      • Services/product
      • Archived posts
      • Tools and resources
      • Subscribe
      • Start here
      • Privacy policy
      • Terms of service
      • Disclosures page

Not only are these pages important, but they also provide more room to add in copy that is needed to attract search engine traffic. Decide in advance what pages you’ll have so that you can plan the content for each page before everything goes online.

Categories Are Important But Don’t Have Too Many

Once you’ve determined the pages you need outside of the main blog page, it’s important to determine which categories you’ll have on your blog. Limiting the number of categories for your blog is also important; stick with somewhere between 9 and 15. The more you can narrow down your subject matter and categories, the more focused your blog posts will be and the easier they will be to find for your readers.

What Type of Content Schedule Will You Choose?

When creating the content plan for your blog, be sure to choose how often you will be posting content. This is very important to know ahead of time as you can then create an editorial calendar based on the products and services you want to promote at certain times.

What Are the Major and Minor Keywords That Define Your Niche?

Studying keywords within your niche can help you come up with categories as well as subjects which you plan on blogging about. These subjects can also help determine what forms the content will appear in. For example, you may want to interview big names within your niche. These interviews could be suited for a podcast while a “how to” post might be better to appear as a video on your blog.

Without a plan of action to move your blog forward, it’s easy to get stuck only blogging when the whim strikes. This is one of the biggest reasons why most blogs do not produce an income or lead to much success. Blogging with purpose and focus will make all the difference, and that starts with a content plan.

How to Create Wow-Worthy Content for Your Blog

How to create wow-worthy content for your blog  When people read your blog your goal is for them to immediately want to share it with their friends and then click away thinking, “Wow, that was awesome!” With blogs being such a large part of internet marketing today creating wow-worthy content is more important than ever. Here are a few tried and true methods that you should consider if you want your blog to be truly successful.
 
 
 

Know Your Audience

Remember, audiences change and it is not as simple as you may think to keep on top of who they are. Studying your audience as they grow and develop is important for you to stay ahead of trends. A great example to look at for this is a company like Ivory Soap. They have been around since 1879 and although their audience has always consisted of the same general demographics, their morals and ideas have changed a great deal.

Keep Up-to-Date on Industry Trends

The more you know about your industry, the more knowledge you’ll have to share with your audience and the more valuable you’ll be to them. Being aware of what is going on will make you a go-to person for information in the niche you’re involved with. Reading and studying your industry will also improve the quality of how you run your business too.

URL Structure and Tags Matter

Often times bloggers will underestimate the power of the right URL structure and the tags they use on their blog posts. These things still matter. The best URLs consist of unique, keyword-rich titles, and the best tags consist of keywords that are within the content. Don’t forget the tags on your images. Make it all count.

Know Your Numbers

Do you know what kinds of blog posts bring the most attention to your blog? If you don’t, you should. Once you know what types of blog posts get the most shares, views, engagement, and comments, you can create more of that type as well as spiff up the ones you already have.

Create Shareable Content

Content that has valuable information, great images, or content in video form, is shared more than other types of blog posts. Pay attention to what your audience shares and create more of that.

Link Internally

A great way to draw more attention and up the wow-factor in your blog posts is to develop good linking practices by linking internally to other blog posts that relate to the current post your audience is already reading.

Understand How Keywords Work

From short tail to long tail and all in between, there are many different types of keywords. The more you can understand how keywords work and which ones are important within your niche, the better you can use them to your advantage.

Use Many Forms of Content

Don’t skimp on your content variety. Use different forms of video, images, podcasts, text, and more. Your blog will be much more dynamic and interesting if the content used is not always the same. For example, some “how to” blogs might be best presented along with a video rather than a text only post.

Engage Your Readers

Don’t leave out your calls to action and reader engagement ideas like asking them to buy, click, read, or comment. By promoting it upfront you’ll get a lot more engagement than if you just hope it happens on its own.

Creating wow-worthy content for your blog will come naturally the more you understand your niche and what your audience likes best. If you’re unsure about anything, consider polling your audience to find out what types of content they prefer and what products and services they need most. Stay focused and up-to-date and your blog will be successful.