Tuesday, February 27, 2024

3 Underrated Topics That Can Enhance and Empower Your Blog

Here we go again, encountering that most dreaded of nemeses: the blank screen. If you maintain a blog, you probably face this recurring battle about as enthusiastically as your next root canal appointment. We bloggers are always on the hunt for varied, entertaining, valuable subject matter we can share with our target audiences. But it can be all too easy to fall into a rut where you rehash the same handful of topics over and over, boring both yourself and your readers in the process. Additionally, it's just plain hard to find a hundred ways to spin the same article. Maybe it's time to start thinking out of the box by tapping some other kinds of blog posts -- posts that mix things up while still offering genuine interest and marketing value. Take a look at three powerful contenders that business owners often underrate or neglect.

Underrated Topic #1: The Employee Spotlight

Many company blogs spend most or all of their time addressing customer questions, needs, and concerns -- rightly so, since Google searches on these topics can lead directly to helpful blog posts on these subjects. You definitely want to keep creating a steady stream of such posts, but you should also take a little time to remind your audience of just how well-equipped your team is to tackle those challenges. So why not post a "Team Member of the Month" or "Meet Our Newest Team Member" article every once in a while? Introduce one of your specialists and mention that person's position, functions, background, credentials, industry experience, hobbies, et cetera. It's an easy write; after all, you've got their resumes on file, and you can email a simple questionnaire to get any other details that would enliven the article. Plus it helps your customers feel that they know you.

Underrated Topic #2: The Industry Update

You might be thinking, "Oh, none of my customers care about the ups and down of my industry." Think again! Changes in techniques, strategies, economic factors, cultural preferences, and other dynamics have a direct impact on your business -- which in turn can have a direct impact on how you serve your target market. This means that you can, how has the evolving EV market affected what kinds of cars people are buying? If you're in the electronics industry, what do your customers need to understand about the impact of supply-chain disruptions? It might feel like you're trading marketing for journalism, but you can spin these facts and figures back to the bottom line: why you're the knowledgeable expert your customers should continue to trust.

Underrated Topic #3: The Hearty Laugh

Enough of the serious stuff -- sometimes people just want and need a lighthearted break in their day. Believe it or not, you can make a big impact just by giving your target audience a laugh or two. Now, unless you're in the comedy business, you obviously don't want to devote your blog to nothing but yucks. However, an occasional humor-oriented piece does no harm, and it may in fact do your brand a world of good. You're not just a company; you're a team of witty, charming humans worth listening to, laughing with, and ultimately buying from. I throw out the odd "comedy" piece from time to time, such as my annual October post in which I relate common marketing challenges to Halloween horrors. It's fun for my audience, it's fun for me, and it still lets me address genuine marketing issues.

Give these three kinds of blog topics a try. I think you and your readers will appreciate the fresh dose of variety and vitality that results. I'm always happy to help you dream up and write these articles, so don't hesitate to reach out!

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Best Practices for Assembling Your Own Marketing Team

Are you ready to put together a regular marketing team to promote your brand? Maybe you're launching a new business from scratch, or maybe you'd rather have your own go-to gang than rely on(and pay for) a big-time marketing agency. Whatever your reasons for assembling your own crew, you'll want to go about it as efficiently, effectively, and painlessly as possible. So here are some tips and considerations worth keeping in mind as you proceed.

Outsource that talent. Sure, it's great to have the "always-on" available and consistency that you can get from an in-house marketing department. But with those advantages come the disadvantages of having to offer insurance, paid vacation, and other benefits employees expect in today's workplace. Outsourcing different marketing tasks to freelancers with the necessary skill and experience in their assigned areas can yield the same high-quality results as long as everyone communicates well. (More on that in a bit.) It also lets you pay for services on an as-needed basis instead of having to dole out full salaries to people who might spend the quieter days twiddling their thumbs.

Make sure each team member fits. The most brilliant portfolio or resume in the world can't tell you everything you need to know about a prospective marketing team member. How reliably do they produce a high standard of work? How consistently do they meet deadlines? How favorably do previous clients or employees rank the experience of working with that individual? Ask for referrals and testimonials, interview candidates personally to determine whether you can deal with them comfortably on a regular basis, and ask other marketing team members to recommend some of their favorite past colleagues.

Engage multiple pros for each function. I once had a client who depended desperately on my availability any and every time he needed copywriting. I had to urge him to get acquainted with at least one other copywriter, and preferably a small bullpen of copywriters, in case I got run over by a steamroller or something. Don't put all your creative eggs in one basket -- have two or more writers, designers, and other marketing specialists in your contact list at all times. You'll not only ensure a steady stream of marketing content production, but you'll have the option of cherry-picking the best mix of individuals for this or that project.

Make the hierarchy clear and simple. The last thing you want to deal with in a complex marketing campaign is a confused mish-mash of ideas and execution from a bunch of individuals who are each following the beat of a different drum. Hire a full-time marketing coordinator who can serve as a point person for the entire team. Have this person create a clear long-term marketing strategy, complete with a detailed editorial calendar. Your marketing coordinator can then consolidate all communications, drafts, notes, and revisions from all hands via a collaborative work platform such as Basecamp or Asana.

Best of luck in assembling your marketing team -- and remember, if you're looking for a freelance marketing copywriter, I'm just a click away!