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Content creation takes time. Any shortcuts?

By | August 11, 2009 |

There Is No Shortcut (Sorry) I recently picked up a new magazine that featured beautiful photography and great writing. At home, I flipped through and spotted a story from David Sedaris. (Yeah!) But I had read it before. (Boo.) Some of the photos I realized I had seen before. The whole publication appeared to be licensed content. Not a bad thing, licensing content. Especially licensing great content, as this magazine did. But when you license everything … you’re not unique. In fact,

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What are the best email subject lines?

By | August 3, 2009 |

I have a dedicated email address for advertisements from my favorite brands, and I scan through the subject lines, oh, once a week or so. Most get deleted. Yes, I want gray suede shoes, but I’m resisting. Delete. I don’t need a new batch of business cards. Delete. I’d like to win a trip to Hawaii, but I’m not going to bite. Delete. Then some are just delightful, even if I’m not in the market. Like the recent email I received from The Parker in

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Any grassroots campaign content advice?

By | July 24, 2009 |

Grassroots campaigns are much like social media campaigns. Or at least, they should be. Here’s a quick story. Two people with clipboards are flanking the grocery store exit. I steel myself to avoid eye contact. One takes a half step toward me. “Do you believe in ….?” Grr, shake, turning away. Wait: “What did you say?” He repeats. It’s a political question. And Yes. I do believe. I stop. Nice catch, bearded grassroots guy. But after his spiel — which was not necessary, I already said Yes — he wants a credit

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Any quick SEO writing or editing tips to refresh the site?

By | July 1, 2009 |

You take extra care to ensure your content on your marketing materials, business cards, and Web site are accurate, compelling, and drive your primary message. But what about your organic brand? This is what people see in the organic search results (not the paid search ads) when they search for you. They may search for your brand name, a generic industry-specific word, or a niche word to have you rise up in search results. How do you look? Try This Open a new “private” window in your favorite browser (to avoid cookies). Type your brand name

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How do we leverage the competition to improve content?

By | June 17, 2009 |

Let’s say you know a specific site — competitor or not — is really successful. It doesn’t matter how you know. You just know they’re bringing in the bucks. There’s something about their site that works. Can you leverage that? Oh, yes. First, don’t copy. Ok, that’s obvious. But for some reason it seems to be a human instinct. When we see something we like, we emulate. We copy structure. Tone. Colors. Words. Copying is the highest form of flattery, right? But you

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Reputation Management (Software): Do You Need It?

By | April 29, 2009 |

As user generated content and social media campaigns zoom sky high, so is the possibility — no, probability — that people are talking about you and your brand online. Even if you don’t have a social media campaign yourself. Good talk or bad — this is great information to feed into your overall content strategy. Traditionally, your PR firm tracks and manages the publicity. But when the discussion becomes a cloud of voices, and you’d like to maintain your brand and build customer

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Do you have any Twitter writing tips for businesses?

By | February 9, 2009 |

More and more businesses are embracing social media as a part of their marketing efforts. If you have experimented at all with tools such as Facebook, forums, or Twitter, or have actively blogged and commented out there, you know the online social-sphere is different than any other type of medium. Here are some writing tips and guidelines to help you successfully connect with your customers on one of the many social media platforms, Twitter: Sincerity rules. Drop the jargon and write

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Get Your Customers to Take Action

By | December 22, 2008 |

To paraphrase Seth Godin in his post “Confusing Activity with Action:” we’re all doing a lot of activities online (such as me writing or you reading this post), but is it getting in the way of action? Is it getting you where you want to go? I’d like to add a thought to that. It’s not just you that should be taking action. It’s your customer. So when you’re putting together an online marketing initiative — let’s say a new e-mail series, expert

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How do we reach more people with content?

By | November 18, 2008 |

Wish you could reach more of your targeted customers online? Adding value — and I’m not talking a new product or service — could expand your reach. Sure, a new offer is valuable. And when you launch, you’ll likely write all about its benefits and features on your Web site, showing off its value. But there’s something else you — you, the expert in your industry — could provide your customers. Content. What information about your industry would potential clients find valuable? What types

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Should we consider a seasonal content strategy?

By | November 7, 2008 |

Once your web site is right where you want it — it supports your brand in tone and design, attracts new visitors with seamless SEO, and converts prospects into buyers effectively — you’ll, of course, want to make it even better. One way is to take a look at your seasonal content strategy and how it fits within your overall marketing strategy. When Are Your Peak Seasons? Every Web site has highs and lows in terms of site traffic and sales.

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