Six Strategies for Successful E-commerce E-Mail Marketing

Are you considering e-mail marketing services in Massachusetts for your e-commerce business? If not, you could be missing out on an opportunity to boost sales and build valuable customer relationships. Here are innovative e-mail marketing strategies you can use to maximize profitability from your online business.

Integrate with Feature-Rich E-Marketing Platform

Most digital marketers agree that e-mail marketing services in Massachusetts can help online businesses regularly communicate with customer base and overcome the challenge of in-person customer interaction. E-commerce e-mail marketing is a thriving subset that requires time, attention and creative strategies to be successful. One of the simplest things an e-commerce business owner can do is ask the e-commerce website design company to integrate the website with a popular e-marketing automation platform such as Constant Contact,  MailChimp.

Target Shopping Cart Abandoners

A good e-commerce website design company will not only sync your website with MailChimp for effective distribution but also ensure that it is integrated with your shopping cart so that you can track and develop strong e-mail marketing strategies for your best prospects. For shopping cart abandoners, you can send e-mails reminding them of items left behind or notifications of discounts on items not purchased.

Create Customized Campaigns

The advantage of using the MailChimp platform is that you can create and send emails that equal the look and feel of your brand. This will foster brand recognition and provide a seamless experience to customers. Another benefit is that you can segment customers into various groups based on factors such as gender and past purchasing behavior. You can also easily add to subscribers and then create customized marketing campaigns targeting their needs and requirements so that they are encouraged to come back and make a purchase.

Reward High Value Customers

Expert companies offering digital marketing services recommend cultivating relationships with loyal customers including those who frequently purchase from your business, provide referrals, and follow through on your emails. You can offer them exclusive previews, deals, free shipping services or deep discounts to make them feel valued and drive them back to your store for more purchases.

Strategize For Seasonal Sales

Seasonal and holiday themed e-mail campaigns are a great way to take advantage of seasonal demand and increase sales during peak seasons. E-mail marketing platforms offer holiday-themed templates so that you can send out festive and fun e-mails to customers. If you’re currently working with an e-commerce website design company to create a new website, ask them if the e-mail marketing platform they’re integrating provides this feature.

Take Advantage of Transactional Mails

Don’t ignore transactional e-mails because these usually have higher engagement rates than other types of marketing emails. Use the opportunity to offer discounts on next purchase or cross-sell similar or complementary products a customer may need. For promotional emails, make sure the subject line and preview text are optimized because these create the first impression. The subject line and preview text should pique the reader’s curiosity and convince them to open your message.

For more such innovative e-commerce e-mail marketing ideas, simply get in touch with your trusted digital marketing company in the USA!

RCS Online Solutions is your go to solution provider for all your Website, Internet, Digital Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Needs Contact us

Ronald Couming, Internet  Marketing and SEO Expert

RCS Online Solutions

Email: info@rcsonlinesolutions.com

Address: 4 Mt. Pleasant St, Suite 203, North Billerica, 01862

Phone: 978-606-5432

Drive Branding, Build Trust and Increase Sales with Professional Video Marketing

Apart from website development in Massachusetts, what other online measures are you considering to get better leads, increased sales and long-term customer loyalty? How about video marketing?

Benefits of Video Marketing in Boston

Companies that use video marketing in Boston enjoy higher web conversion rates when compared to businesses that don’t. There are many consumers who prefer the convenience and visual appeal of videos over textual content, no matter how good it is. Videos are a great way to effectively present information about your company, product/service and make a clever sales pitch. Videos shared on websites, social media profiles increase user engagement, build credibility and capture prime real estate on search engines.

End-To-End Solutions

The same company offering services for website development in Massachusetts can help you create different types of videos such as company profile videos, testimonial videos, season’s greetings, how-to videos, product/service videos and much more. From concept building and script writing to final editing and distribution on different platforms, an expert Massachusetts web design company will leverage technical and creative resources to cover all aspects of video marketing. In the end, you will have a high quality video that holds viewers’ attention and lends credibility to your business.

To explore opportunities and avail a customized video package, get in touch with your favorite web design company in Massachusetts!

RCS Online Solutions is your go to solution provider for all your Website, Internet, Digital Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Needs Contact us

Ronald Couming, SEO and Internet Marketing Expert

RCS Online Solutions

Email: info@rcsonlinesolutions.com

Address: 4 Mt. Pleasant St, Suite 203, North Billerica, 01862

Phone: 978-606-5432

Achieve Formidable Online Presence through Social Media Marketing and SEO

From the outside, it looks like SEO and social media marketing are two different things – the former is about gaining more visibility on search engines and building organic traffic to your website whereas the latter is about engaging users, generating discussions and establishing an appealing brand identity. However, both go hand in hand and there are solid reasons why an SEO company in Massachusetts should also include social media consultants in the team, as does RCS Online Solutions

Vital for Content Distribution

Social media is the biggest content distribution system today. When expert social media consultants in Massachusetts help you put out valuable, interesting social media content, it increases chances for those posts to get indexed by search engines and drive website traffic. Also, if your website blog posts get attention on social media platforms, they get indexed at a quicker pace.

Important for Building Brand Authority

An experienced SEO company  knows that establishing website authority is crucial for SEO and higher search engine ranking. As you publish great content on social media and distribute it among relevant audience with the help of a professional SEO and social media agency in Boston, you encourage social sharing and earn reliable external backlinks.

To know more about how social media marketing can boost your SEO efforts, get in touch with a top-rated SEO company in Massachusetts, RCS Online Solutions,

Contact Details:

RCS Online Solutions,

Address: 4 Mt. Pleasant St, Suite 203, North Billerica, 01862

Phone: 978-606-5432

Email: info@rcsonlinesolutions.com

Six Characteristics of Reliable Digital Marketing Agencies in Boston

While searching for a reliable digital marketing agency in Massachusetts, you’ll come across countless options. However, not all agencies are created equal and choosing the wrong one could prevent you from achieving your business goals and cost you dearly in the long run. Here’s a list of characteristics that reputed digital marketing agencies possess.

Comprehensive Digital Expertise

Today, online users are using multiple media, platforms and devices to access content and research for products/services. For comprehensive effectiveness, digital marketing requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Reputed digital marketing agencies in Boston offer different services such as e-mail marketing, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, video marketing, mobile marketing, local online marketing and social media marketing to help clients reach target audience and achieve campaign objectives.

Skilled and Experienced Talent Pool

The  best digital marketing agencies in Boston have a diverse talent pool consisting of skilled and experienced designers, web developers, content creators, SEO specialists, communication experts and social media marketing professionals among others. A versatile talent pool gives agencies the flexibility to deliver custom solutions and execute campaigns with faster turnaround times.

Custom Strategies and Solutions

An efficient digital marketing agency in Massachusetts will cover all bases, including researching your brand, target audience and competition, to develop a custom strategic plan aimed at maximizing ROI. It will take the time to understand your business offerings and customer needs in order build solid online marketing strategies that focus on engaging with prospects in meaningful ways.

Emphasis on Relevant Content

Attractive, valuable content is an important element of digital marketing campaigns as it helps in user engagement, conversions and brand building. A good digital marketing agency in the USA will not only know how to create premium content but also deliver it in forms that are appealing to target audience. For example, instead of a website blog, your target audience may be more interested in infographics or a social media post. In addition to this, a good agency will tailor content for prospects at different stages of the sales funnel.

Due Importance to Analytics

Data, KPI measurements and analytics are necessary for successful digital marketing because they help businesses understand the value of their marketing efforts and take informed decisions to optimize campaigns. The best agencies offering digital marketing services in the USA use state-of-the-art data analytics tools to analyze the effectiveness of campaign strategies. They also test new ways to increase ROI and identify the best mediums to generate quality leads.

Ahead of the Curve

Truly great digital marketing agencies are on top of the latest digital marketing trends, updates and innovations. Developments are constantly taking place in the online marketing world and an agency that’s unable to keep abreast of them will not be able to deliver top quality solutions. When investing in professional digital marketing, you don’t want to miss out on lucrative opportunities for user engagement because the digital marketing agency isn’t aware of the latest online marketing practices.

Look for these characteristics and soon you’ll partner a digital marketing agency you can rely on to get great online marketing results!,

WE at RCS Online Solutions fit all the above with a proven track record of assisting business owners and entrepreneurs  achieve even greater success by attracting, converting and retaining your ideal clients

Contact Details:

RCS Technology Solutions, LLC

Address: 4 Mt. Pleasant St, Suite 203, North Billerica, 01862

Phone: 978-606-5432

Email: info@rcsonlinesolutions.com

PPC vs SEO, what is the difference between Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization Ron Couming

 

PPC or SEO, Search Engine Optimization or Pay Per Click, what is the differences and benefits of each and which is right for you, by Ronald Couming, and Internet marketing expert discussed on a Facebook Live

Having an effective and efficient online presence is vital to a businesses success, and through Digital Marketing, you can Attract, Convert and Retain, your ideal clients to achieve even greater

We at RCS Technology Solutions, LLC provides business owners and entrepreneurs the ability to attract new clients with various Lead Generation services, Convert those leads into clients, and retain those clients, while also converting those clients in raving fans.

Contact Us Info@RCSTechnologySolutions.com 978 606 5432

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Ronald Couming, is an Internet Marketing Expert, and the Founder and CEO of RCS Technology Solutions He is an internationally recognized speaker, accomplished author, Radio Show host, and successful entrepreneur. Ronald‘s passion is helping business owners to ” Have even greater success, ” by creating scalable and sustainable business models, beyond anything they could ever imagine.

He is, and has been, an “Ask the Expert” (for Internet Marketing) at America’s largest trade show for entrepreneurs and small businesses, reaching 14 major US cities and nearly 100,000’s entrepreneurs.

Leveraging his diverse background in Internet marketing, technology, self-development, Leadership, team building and entrepreneurship, he has created an innovative approach to helping businesses, and business owners, achieve extraordinary, sustainable success.

Ronald has taught and helped businesses all across the country on how to achieve even greater success with proven Internet marketing strategies, coupled with analytic metrics.

Check our websites and connect with us on Social Media

Ronald Couming http://www.ronaldcouming.com/

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Basic 10 SEO Tips For WordPress Websites

Basic 10 SEO Tips For WordPress Websites

SEO is the procedure of enhancing the level or class of traffic to your website from search engines similar to Google. Bing, Yahoo etc. The concept is that the prior or superior sites show in the search results catalog, the additional guests it will get from the search engine. SEO tips for wordpress might objective dis similar kinds of search,as well as picture search,restricted search, video search and so on. There are following SEO tips for wordpress. SEO use for enhances traffic on web site. SEO tips for wordPress is one of top but not most excellent content administration schemes when it comes to SEO.

SEO Tips For WordPress Websites

  • Highlight Keywords On Your Website

Employ h1 – h6 to highlight titles or headings of an article or significant sentences. Use the sturdy label, also. But please do not exceed it.

But you should not try only supporting yourself.  Promote other posts and websites you are fond of.  People will respect your understanding and connect back to you.

  • Don’t Use Flash

Flash is almost unseen to search engines.  Use WordPress phase. Its description and it powerfully support you to inform your sites instantly.

  • Content Is Great Optimization

Any category of optimization is effectual only in grouping with high superiority and exceptional content. Perfectly, the texts hold keywords that emphasize the generally idea of the post.  The content should be comprehensible and clear. Use your keywords intelligently. Text should be written mainly for visitors, not for search engines.

  • Swap Back Links

Exchange back links with other related websites connecting to your themes and with elevated right websites. As well link among pages inside your website, but do this with care and just if it’s pertinent.  Don’t connect all pages to every other.

  • Suppose Of A Good Name For Your Image Files

Google as well sketches pictures in the computation of the position. Google shows equally text and pictures on it’s seek out results page,sketch on related images enclosed in the post itself, which are connected to the equivalent page.

  • Use Short Permalink Keywords

Use a logical permalink.  Please reminder that just the foremost four words in a permalink are pertinent.  Google doesn’t be concerned on any following words in your permalinks.

  • Utilize Search Engine Optimized Themes

Some topics use a lot system to make the outline and plan. Google will wade throughout the basis code to discover the related content. The additional system you have, the less content and keyword density.

  • Create A Sitemap In XML Format

With WordPress similar to Google XML Sitemaps it is a very simple mission.  Google has a selection of other helpful tools, also, such as Website Optimizer and Webmaster Central.

  • Don’t Use Black Hat Techniques

If you struggle to ploy Google, they will get out.  Just, several pretty elevated-report collection sites were only just punishing by Google for such do. Improve your site with the hep of seo tips for wordpress.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: http://www.knowledgefans.com/basic-10-seo-tips-for-wordpress-websites.php

Design To Sell: 8 Useful Tips To Help Your Website Convert

Design To Sell: 8 Useful Tips To Help Your Website Convert

As we see more and more businesses move their services online, and even more that begin their life on the Web, a greater need arises for websites that are designed and built to sell. A great-looking website may achieve the goal of shaping and delivering a strong brand, but its good looks alone aren’t enough to sell the products or services on offer.

1. Subliminal Suggestion Link

Research shows that objects and images you see around you can prime you for certain behaviors. For example, a study on children showed that after being shown a Santa Claus cap, they were more likely to share candy with others. The cap embodied the concept of sharing and giving in their minds, and exposure to it primed them for regarding sharing more positively. The same study also exposed kids to a “Toys ‘R’ Us” logo, which had the opposite effect of the Santa Claus cap, making them less likely to share their candy.

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LegacyLocker features a photo of a happy family on its landing page, presumably to evoke in visitors a warm feeling for its product and a desire to care for their loved ones.

When choosing images for your website, think carefully about the message you’re trying to send. Pick images that are meaningful and that embody that message or feeling. Don’t put graphics on your website for their own sake — if they’re not doing a job, they don’t have to be there. Clichéd and overused imagery and stock photos are also dangerous because it may not send the right message in the given context, so select images that get the effect you’re after.

2. Prevent Choice Paralysis Link

There is a phenomenon in marketing known as “choice paralysis.” Choice paralysis happens when the user is given too many options. Choice is great, but when your customers are presented with too many options, they may be confused about where to go. Nobody wants buyer’s remorse (where a person chooses an item and decides later it’s not right for them), so many people spend more time than they should on the selection process: they become paralyzed.

In fact, according to Barry Schwatz, when customers have too many options to consider, they end up avoiding a specific service or the task in general (Paradox of Choice) – and this is exactly what we as designers need to carefully consider in our designs.

The Highrise pricing list shows a set of monthly payment plans. The most popular one stands out visually to help you make a choice.

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To remedy choice paralysis, make it easier for people to find the right product or service for them. Tell them what each option is great for, and then suggest the one they should choose. You can even use visuals to highlight the most popular product and steer potential customers towards it. If the product is not right for them, they’ll pick another, but if they’re confused, a “default” choice helps prevent choice paralysis.

3. Show The Product Link

When you visit a physical store, perhaps a grocery, you can look at, examine and sometimes even taste the products on sale. You make your purchasing decision based on the information you gather there. Are the tomatoes ripe enough? Are those strawberries red enough? What about the look and smell of that freshly baked bread?

When you sell services or Web apps online, you should do exactly the same thing: show the product. It’s surprising how many websites that sell software don’t actually show screenshots of their applications. Sure, these are intangible goods, digital goods that you can’t touch or smell, but they’re still goods you can see.

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Dashboard puts large screenshots of its lead-tracking app right on the front page.

People make judgments based on what products look like. Why? Because appearance is an indicator, rightly or wrongly, of a product’s usability. This is known as the aesthetic-usability effect.

Xtorrent, a torrent download client for OS X, has a product screenshot right at the top of its minimalist landing page.

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If people see a complicated and cluttered interface or, in some cases, even just an unattractive interface, they may assume it is not very usable or is hard to learn. On the other hand, if people see an attractive and simple-looking interface, they may start figuring out how it works right then and will want to give it a try. Get people to imagine using your software, and you’ll get closer to closing the sale.

4. Let People Try It Link

Once you start using a product, you become involved in it. Once you start entering data into it, you begin to make it your own. Every second a user spends trying out features is a second of their time invested in learning and using your product.

When that user is then presented with the question of whether to purchase or subscribe to the product or service, they will more likely say “yes” because they are already involved and have invested time in it. Of course, if the product is bad, then it may turn people off, but then your priority should really be to improve the product until it reaches a level people are happy with.

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MailChimp, an email marketing service, allows you to start using the service for free with your first 100 subscribers.

In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of the “freemium” business model. A freemium service allows people to use a portion of it free of charge, but requires a purchase to use all of its features. It gives people a taste of the full product but doesn’t limit them to a trial period. This lets them use the product for free without monetary commitment and then upgrade if they like it.

It’s a great model for many online Software-as-a-Service businesses because once somebody begins using your product, they get sucked in. They start to rely on it, and when they rely on it to do business or manage their life, they will very likely need the premium features down the line and will be happy to upgrade because they already know your service well.

Stories are very important in sales because they get potential customers to imagine what it would be like to use your product. Letting people actually try your product for free goes even further. They don’t have to imagine because they can begin using it right away at no cost. Letting people try out your product, whether through a demo, a trial period or a freemium model, is an excellent way to win customers. Now, this isn’t really a “design” element but is important to mention here because of its potential to drive conversions.

5. AIDA Link

AIDA is a well-known strategy in sales and stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. It is relatively simple and describes the sequence of events you should aim for to get a sale. So, first of all, you must capture the attention of your potential customer. Once you have it, you should win their interest by explaining how your product or service can help them.

Then, once they’re interested, generate a desire in them for your product. For example, a story about how this product has helped someone like your visitor can help them imagine what this product would do for them, and especially what benefits it would bring. Indeed, the benefit part is key here because benefits, not features, sell products.

Finally, you need to get people to act. This means purchasing the product or signing up for the service. If people want your product, all they may need is a button to check out. If they are interested but not yet sure, you could use a few methods to motivate them further; for example, creating a sense of urgency with a limited-time offer or limited supply.

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Yokaboo features large, eye-catching graphics. You’re likely to first read the short description on the left. The stats on the t-shirt then help build trust. Finally, you are presented with a call to action on the right.

Now, the AIDA approach applies more to copy — the actual marketing text on the website — than design, so what we need to do on the design side is reinforce that copy, make it stand out and ensure visitors read it. This means making sure the first thing a new visitor sees really grabs their attention. The flow of the page should then direct their focus to the items that achieve the other two goals: interest and desire. Finally, at the end of this flow, we need to convert. So, provide calls to action: “Order now,” “Sign up here.”

It’s important to understand that the design alone won’t sell: you need strong copy in place to do most of that work. The design is there to reinforce and support the copy, rather than the other way around.

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Reinvigorate captures your attention with three large words at the top: “measure. analyze. evolve.” You’re then led to a more descriptive bit of text below and a call to action link.

This means you shouldn’t design a nice website first and then fill up the space with words. Instead, think about the message you want to send out, write the copy and then construct a design that delivers that. If a delivery truck breaks down, then the package does not arrive, but if there was no package in the first place, then the delivery wouldn’t matter at all.

6. Guide attention Link

To benefit from something like AIDA, you have to lead your visitors through your content. You can do this by aligning items in a manner that will flow, and using images that guide the eyes. For example, if you want to focus attention somewhere, use a big arrow. Our eyes will notice the arrow and will naturally want to see where it points to.

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Business Catalyst uses an arrow graphic to lead the visitor’s gaze onto the “Watch the video” button.

The content on the Silverback site flows down towards the download button. Additionally, the arrow on that button points towards the purchase link.

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Structure your content in a way that will flow towards something. Having a bunch of scattered feature descriptions may confuse and make your visitors lost, unless of course if all of the points end in calls to action. If you want to ensure your visitors don’t miss anything, align everything in a linear structure so that the user scans along it. Make sure to end it with the ultimate call to action: that signup or download link.

7. Always Provide Next Actions Link

ABC: Always Be Closing. If you’re designing a website to sell something, whether a software application or Web service, you should always be thinking about how you’re closing the deal on each page. This doesn’t mean filling every page with big “Buy now” buttons; it means when the customer is ready to buy, they shouldn’t have to look around for the check-out link.

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Notice how each of the three bits of text on the Skype website has a call to action after it, whether it’s a “Learn more” or a purchase link.

Always provide next-action links to keep the flow going and to ensure you don’t lose the attention of potential customers. Next-action links can direct the visitor to a page with more information about the product or to the actual page where they can make the purchase or sign up. These links could read something like: “Ready to order? Click here,” “Learn more,” “Take the tour” or “Shop now.”

Don’t leave a dead end on any page: always suggest to your visitors where they should go next.

8. The Gutenberg rule Link

The Gutenberg diagram (or the Gutenberg rule) is a concept that maps out something called reading gravity. Reading gravity describes a habit of reading in the western world: left to right, top to bottom. The Gutenberg diagram splits up a page into four quadrants: the “Primary Optical Area” in top left, the “Strong Fallow Area” in top right, the “Weak Fallow Area” in the bottom left and a “Terminal Area” in bottom right.

The Gutenberg diagram

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It suggests that the bottom left area of the page will get least attention as our eyes scan the page from top left to bottom right and that our glance would end up in the lower right portion of the page. How can we utilize this concept? Buttons and calls to action could be placed in bottom right instead of bottom left, as this is the place where the visitor’s glance is likely to alight.

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Notice how GoodBarry has the trial signup button placed at the bottom right of the above the fold area of the landing page.

Note that the Gutenberg diagram is more likely to work on pages which have more a balanced distribution of content. If parts of your page have strong highlights through high contrast and bold typography, then those areas would likely attract more attention and so will direct the way a user scans the page.

To provide the best possible result oriented solutions available we have created the following websites and divisions to work in unision and under the umbrella of RCS Technology Soltutions, LLC : RCS Online Solutions , RCS Digital Marketing, RCS SEO Solutions , RCS Website Solutions , The Best Website Company  , The Best Internet Marketing Company , RCS Managed IT Services, RCS Computer Solutions  Besides that we have dedicated services for Boston, Massachusetts as well including The Best Website Company Boston  & The Best SEO Company Boston . RCS Technology Solutions, LLC is powered by Digital Marketing and Website Expert Ronald Couming who has been  providing expert solutions for more than a decade. Please contact us with any questions or help regarding our services fees  at 001-978-606-5432 or email at info@rcstechnologysolutions.com

Author Link: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/04/design-to-sell-12-tips-to-help-your-website-convert/

How to Create Great Written Content

How to Create Great Written Content

You would think that everyone and every company would want to know how to create great written content. You’d be wrong. They don’t.

I believe most companies simply want to create written content – blogs, for the most part – and don’t care whether or not it’s great. And I submit, as evidence:

  • The Internet at large: It’s polluted with dreadful blogs.
  • The blog graveyard: A shocking percentage of bloggers pull the plug.
  • The proliferation of content farms: Low-cost writer brokerages continue to thrive because marketers want more pages, posts, URLs, emails… Essentially, they want more web real estate.
  • The atrophy of writing fees: Now that everyone and their cousin-in-law provide content writing services, it’s become Walmart.
  • The bell curve: As interest, and activity, in content marketing continues climbing, a normal distribution curve suggests only a small percentage will achieve excellence.

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Google Trends data indicates interest in content marketing has risen steadily since 2011. I suspect a line charting content quality would look different.

If it’s not great, then why?

I wonder if the masses that produce low or mediocre quality content understand content marketing, and in particular, the purpose of written content. It’s hard to deny many companies simply feel it’s an obligation of doing business, perhaps like getting listed in the Yellow Pages once was.

 

“The competition has a blog, so we should too” – that sort of thing.

I may fail to deliver new revelations here, but I’m going to reiterate what you can accomplish with content marketing. Understand, first and foremost, the purpose is to help get and keep customers.

 

Great written content can:

  • Rank high on search. The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), as it’s come to be called, is when a potential buyer performs an online search. At that point, your content (and brand) gets discovered or it doesn’t. Fittingly, I share what Google served first when I searched “ZMOT.”

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  • Earn traffic. The marketer’s hope is the result of ranking high is getting a searcher to click-through to the company’s website. The value of having your content listed and seen on search pales in comparison to prompting a visit. Understand visits from search have a relatively high intent to buy compared to visits from other channels.
  • Generate leads. Great content draws the prospect closer to the brand. This may mean the prospect requested a subscription, a downloadable offer, an opportunity to attend an event, a demonstration, trial, consultation, meeting, evaluation, or any number of actions indicating interest.
  • Sell. A satisfied content consumer may develop trust in the brand and consequently become a customer.
  • Earn loyalty. Content should target existing customers for a variety of reasons: satisfaction, retention, upsell, referrals and brand advocacy.

The benefits above are more standard than complete. Great written content can accomplish additional objectives, say, secure donations (for a charity); inspire applications (for an HR department); and so on.

Poorly written content will accomplish none of the above. There’s no point in wasting resources, however slight, on writing and publishing shallow, uninspired, copycat content.

Let’s talk “who” before “how”

It takes a threesome to create great written content. You need a:

  1. Strategist – Great written content comes with context. It’s created to help fulfill a business objective.
  2. Subject matter expert – Content writing for marketing purposes is not news reporting or journalism. The great stuff showcases the insights of experts.
  3. Talented writer – It’s unlikely your strategy and subject matter are unique. You have competition. In the long run, the prize goes to the producers of the best-written content.

Your threesome may or may not comprise three people. One person may fulfill one, two, or all three roles. Just be sure someone wears these three hats.

14 ingredients found in the tastiest written content

I did a good deal of searching and reading before writing what follows and I’ll quote some of the nuggets I found. Unsurprisingly, I found a useful “ingredients” infographic from Damian Farnworth at Copyblogger with an emphasis on writing style. And a post by Zach Bulygo and Sean Work on the Kissmetrics blog hammered home nine important points.

Still, I didn’t find a list of the “ingredients” or “elements” of great content which I felt was thorough or complete. I came up with a list of fourteen. I’ll expand on each, but first, let’s look at the list in the form of a nutritional label. (You’re welcome to copy, republish and share it.)

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1. Purpose

In the nutritional label, I explain, by “purpose”, I mean your message should have a clear point. Neil Patel expands on this nicely on the Entrepreneur blog:

“An article is supposed to communicate a point. When your article has a point, it gives readers something memorable to latch onto. They’re more compelled to share it, comment on it, and engage with it. An article with a point is an article that accomplishes a mission and is therefore successful.”

I’ll expand on “purpose” with another idea, an even bigger purpose, if you will. If you missed it, go back and read the final part of the label: Content Marketing Institute’s definition of content marketing. It includes the purpose of content marketing: driving profitable customer action.

Perhaps the idea could be simplified to simply “sell.” You could make a case some written content aims to entertain instead of sell. Additionally, you could make a case content marketing is more effectively when it avoids “hard sell.”

But don’t lose sight of the prize. If you’re creating content in the interest of marketing, it should elicit action – or you won’t be doing it for long.

2. Relevance

Your written content should address the reader’s pain and/or help bring them pleasure. It should enhance their life at work, at play, or in some way. There’s only one way to pull this off consistently. You have to develop empathy for your reader.

You have to relate to be relevant.

3. Education

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.”

~ Nelson Mandela

I found that quote in the post Why Education is a Powerful Content Marketing Strategy, by Joe Pulizzi of CMI.

Education has changed the marketing world too.

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I’ve shared this before. I love it. It’s a quick exchange of ideas in the comments stream of the post I mentioned.

So much has been written about this simple idea. I dug into it in one of my favorite articles, Your Guide to Mastering the Most Critical Content Marketing Skill.

The skill is teaching, which is the essence of most effective content marketing efforts. Think about the role of the teacher and how it maps to content marketing:

  • The teacher is the authority.
  • The teacher sets the agenda.
  • The teacher delivers the lessons.
  • The teacher answers the questions.
  • The teacher instructs the student what to do.

4. Emotional triggers

Here’s where content marketing writers and copywriters have the same job: move readers.

Don’t make the mistake of believing your readers rely on rationale to make decisions. It’s what we feel that drives our decisions. While effective written content is purposeful, relevant and educational, it can become great when it trips the reader’s emotional triggers.

5. Timeliness or timelessness

Here’s the definition of “news,” according to Merriam-Webster.com:

  1. a report of recent events
  2. previously unknown information
  3. something having a specified influence or effect

It’s not easy to publish news. You have to act fast. In other words, be timely.

Here’s the definition of “evergreen:”

  1. having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season — compare deciduous
  2. retaining freshness or interest:perennial

We could do without the (a) part, but it does reveal why the word’s a popular metaphor in the content discussion. Evergreen content is timeless. It’s easier to create timeless vs. timely works, but it’s far from easy.

If your written content is neither, it’s likely old news or bound to be. And neither is great.

6. Truth

“All I want is the truth now. Just gimme some truth now.”

~ John Lennon

Lennon didn’t want to hear, see or read “a pocketful of hope” (or soap). He wanted the truth. As do I. As do you. As do your readers.

There’s a dreadful amount of conjecture flying around the web. Content writers shamelessly misinterpret, re-use, misuse, and abuse statistics and quotes to support their position. Credibility flies out the window.

Take care to backup the points you make with research, facts and quotes you can cite to the original source.

Want to tell a story to color your content? Fine. Tell a true story. Want to illustrate a point? Great. Share research that can be traced and substantiated. Want to state your opinion? All good. Just make sure you state that’s what it is.

“Research is necessary for quality blog posts. To provide the highest quality information, you should only use authoritative sources such as universities, government agencies, trade associations, research studies, and other expert material. Any opinions you offer should be backed up by citing relevant sources.”

Thanks to Nicole Karlis, who shared these ideas on the Scripted blog.

7. Ease

This is interesting…

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As you see, in this CMO Council study from 2013, “Ease of access, understanding and readability” ranked second in the most valued characteristics of B2B content.

Many content marketers blatantly fail the “ease” test. And many do so unknowingly by not recognizing the online reading experience differs from reading words on paper. It’s really that simple.

On paper – that is, in books, newspapers, magazines, and mail – readers are prone to tolerate pages densely populated with copy. Online they don’t.

Heed this reality and compose your pages accordingly. Think skimmability.

  • Write shorter passages
  • Use more white space and increase line breaks
  • Use ample visual cues
  • Add images and captions
  • Set key points apart to break the monotony
  • Include subheads generously
  • Create lists (You might have skipped these points if I crammed them all into a paragraph.)

Great written content isn’t great at all if its presentation deflects readers. Content writers must also design a satisfying reading experience. Easy does it.

8. Originality

“Perhaps the best lesson that I ever learned as a blogger was that people are drawn to others who speak their mind, who have something unique to say and who say it in a creative and fresh way. Say what everyone else is saying in the same way that everyone else is saying it and you’re almost guaranteed of being largely ignored.”

Nicely put, back in 2007, by Darren Rouse on ProBlogger.

And I have little to add. “Regurgitation” sounds bad because it is.

9. Voice

Find your voice. If you’ve read writing lessons, you’ve heard the tip before. And usually, the directive is followed by some advice for pursuing it. But is it a pursuit? Is it something you can find? Don’t you already have a voice?

Tricky stuff.

“The best way to find your voice is to write more. Writing brings clarity, deepens our understanding, strengthens our ideas.”

That’s blogger extraordinaire Henneke Duistermaat, from Why You Should Stop Searching for Your Authentic Voice.

I like Henneke’s point of view. You need not go looking for what you already have. Perhaps better advice than “find your voice” is “use your voice.” Where writers stumble is where they try to write like someone else.

Note Darren’s advice again, where he says you shouldn’t say things in the way everyone else does. Great content is, can, and will be, written about common topics.

Imagine being advised not to write a story about falling deeply in love with someone from “the other side of the tracks.” Shakespeare did that. You can’t out-write Will. It’s not good advice. Good advice would be don’t try to write like the Bard.

Be your own bard. Of course, you should edit your copy. But don’t cut out the “you” part.

10. Great headline or title

In the nutritional label, I suggested a headline needs stopping power. Would it be more accurate to call it “going power?” A great headline compels readers to go forth and get into it.

Call it what you will, but call this content writing rule number one: Thou shalt aim to arouse the reader with a magnetic title.

 

There are an infinite number of ways I could have written the rule. I chose one. But I considered many. And rather than attempt to deliver a headline writing mini-course here or walk through the headline formula hall of fame, I’m going to ask you to settle for this one tip…

Write a lot of headlines. I might have written 25 for this post.

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I even put 12 of my favorite contenders through the blog post headline analyzer tool from CoSchedule. It’s not foolproof, but it does score headlines by tapping into a ton of data to help you gain social shares and SEO value.

A great headline is one that __________________________ .

If you asked 101 content writers, you might find that blank filled in 101 different ways. My answer would be: makes a promise. (And hopefully the piece that follows delivers on it.)

BTW, I don’t mean to be stingy. You can read (and save) my HEADLINES cheat sheet here if you’re hungry for more.

11. Friendliness

“Pretend that you’re having a conversation with a friend and write like that.”

~ Darren Rouse, again, this time from The 4 Pillars of Writing Exceptional Blogs.

Yep. The best way I can think of to expand on Darren’s thought is to drop the “pretend” part. Simply write to a friend.

That’s what I’m trying to do here. And my friend, we’ve been hanging out for nearly 2300 words now. If you’re reading at an average speed (and not clicking through to the resources I’ve provided links to), we’re about 11 minutes into our rendezvous. We’ve probably done this before. And I hope we will again.

So how do you have conversations? You ask questions.

What else? You keep it casual. You say “you.” You don’t overthink what you say.

You try to be sensitive, responsive, respectful, non-judgmental and fun.

You share. Share thoughts. Share opinions. You crack jokes. Good or bad. Sentence fragments? Whatever.

You lighten up. You don’t complicate shit. No one likes that.

12. Direction

Here’s Neil Patel again, purveyor of fine (and seemingly infinite) blog posts…

“You have all this wonderful long content with an amazing point, a beautiful structure, internal links, great images, and flawless style and grammar. Now what?”  

“Every post needs a call to action. The reader is ready to respond, to do, to click, to engage. What do you want them to do? Whether it’s capturing an email address, visiting another page, purchasing a product, or downloading an ebook, you need to have an explicit call to action for each article, every time.”

Tell you reader where to go. And how to get there. And why.

Try to exercise some influence and powers of persuasion.

13. Shareability

If your written content is great, readers will want to share it. And that’s great. Having your content shared might even be the ultimate indication of its greatness.

Don’t make it difficult for readers to do you the favor of sharing. Display share bars that are easy to find and use. Feed readers suggestions and shortcuts for sharing your content.

Embellish your content with digital flourishes people are prone to share: images, quotes, infographics, GIFs, video clips.

Ask for shares. And share your appreciation when you get them.

14. Optimization

If great content falls in the forest, that sucks. It’s not a philosophy; it’s a reality. It’s tough to call content great when it fails to reach an audience.

While you may have a decent mailing list and an active approach to sharing your content via social media, the best way to find new readers over the long haul is to earn a spot on page one of search.

You have to optimize your written content for search engines. It’s not as complex or scary as it sounds. You need to:

  • Understand SEO
  • Understand keyword research and semantic search
  • Apply on-page optimization tactics
  • Write informative meta descriptions for the search engines
  • Understand the most important ranking factors

So there you have it. I’m finally done running down and through the list of ingredients I believe get mixed into the recipe for great written content. And it feels great.

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Author Link: http://feldmancreative.com/2016/06/make-written-content-great/