Monday, February 25, 2019

Original Website and Blog Content: The Art of Being Unique

I don't know if this happens to you, but I see it all the time. I'll be looking up some topic of interest or other, and I'll find myself saying, "Wait a minute. Didn't I just read this blog article or web page on another site?" And sure enough, I did. So which organization came up with the original website or blog content, and which one simply did a copy-and-paste? I have no idea -- and if your site is the one I'm looking at, that's a problem for you.

Now, of course you can't comb the Internet constantly searching for any competitors who might decide to steal your content and pass it off as their own. But you can make sure that you're creating your own original content, content that helps you stand out by expressing your individual brand image, voice and values.

It should go without saying that Google doesn't think highly of duplicate content. Contrary to what some people think, the search engine doesn't usually slap any major penalties on companies that post the occasional copy of someone else's (or even their own) written content. That's partly because it's accepted that accidental duplication will happen to the best of us; it really can't be helped in the immense digital cosmos of the Information Superhighway. But you can forget about that duplicate content helping you to rank more highly. It confuses the search engines so that they don't know which site's version to index, re-index, or rank for query results.

But the problem of duplicate content doesn't begin and end with Google's reactions. How will visitors to your site react when they see an article or web page that they just read on someone else's site? If you don't assume that you're simply a thief, they'll at least get the impression that you have nothing original to offer compared to your competitors. Your brand will appear generic, and you'll become just another possible choice, as good as any other, in a crowded field of options.

That's the real reason you need to populate your digital marketing content with original material. Original content helps you stand out so that your message "pops" in comparison with all the other pages and posts your prospective customers are viewing as they seek solutions. There's no denying that you'll have to cover much of the same ground, topic-wise, as everyone else. But by putting your brand's unique spin on the subject, you can demonstrate that you've got something special to offer -- and isn't that what marketing is all about?

Don't fall into the comfortable trap of "borrowing" content from around the Web. Take the time to custom-craft your own original material, or bring a professional copywriter on board to help you. You're already one of a kind, so make sure that your target audience knows it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Marketing Content for Events: Do You Know What You Need?

Here in Central Texas, events abound at this time of year. Over the next several months, Austin will be bustling with such notable public gatherings as SXSW, the Pecan Street Festival and Eeyore's Birthday, while San Antonio hosts Fiesta San Antonio and a variety of other very visible celebrations. These events all represent opportunities for getting your brand out there and promoting your products and services. But do you have the necessary marketing content to take full advantage of the gold mine that lies before you? Let's run through some of the different marketing pieces you'll want to add to your to-do list.

Blog articles - If you want to catch prospective attendees' attention well ahead of the event in question, why not post some blog articles that specifically reference that event in the context of what you offer? Make sure they know that you'll have a presence at the event, and invite them to visit your booth and chat with you.

Direct mail - "We'll Be at [Such-and-So Event]!" screams the header on those direct mail postcards filling your prospective customers' mailboxes. Better yet, you're including a special coupon or discount that they can claim if they come visit your booth or table. Make it a sufficiently mouth-watering deal, and they'll be there.

Brochures or catalogs - Once you've got people coming to see you at a given event, you'd better have a proper "leave-behind" to hand them. A well-written brochure could be all you need to help you stand out inside that swag bag. If you really want to offer comprehensive information to your event visitors, take the time to craft (or update) a full-color catalog featuring professional content describing your company's history, mission, values, and full range of offerings.

Promotional videos - Will you be occupying a table or booth at an event such as SXSW Interactive?If so, you may find it hard to get attendee's attention amidst the sprawl of noise, banners, and sign-up tables. That's when you need to set up a giant-sized monitor displaying an exciting, funny, startling, or dramatic promotional video. But keep in mind that a video isn't just as series of images -- it's a structured presentation built on a rock-solid script that tells your story.

You see where I'm going with this. It's time to plan your event marketing strategies and tactics across multiple channels. Contact me today so you can get the top-quality print, blog, or video writing you need to turn yourself into the biggest event of them all!