Monday 29 May 2017

The Benefits of Business Blogs for Marketing

All those online promotions and digital marketing strategies are designed to drive traffic to your website and traffic bring business to your site. There are many ways browsers can drop by to your website.

Direct: The traffic is direct when the browser types your website name into their browser and directly logs into your site. Here the user is the audience that you already have and there is no increase in traffic.

Paid: When you buy your traffic by spamming, hoping that at least some of the users bother to click the link and check your site or you could pay for ads to get visibility and lure traffic, but the drawback of this plan is that it is expensive and the traffic can stop the minute you run out of money to pay for the ad.

How else can you steer traffic towards your site?

Blogging is the ideal way to fetch traffic to your site. A blog is an acronym for Weblog, initially it was used as web journal but  Blog took today’s form when entrepreneurs saw marketing potential in writing a blog, and from there Blogging took off. Blogging is now considered one of the most valuable and wallet-friendly marketing tool that engages our businesses with customer and makes their lives easier and brings traffic to the business. Blogging is now an integral part of digital marketing and if your business has a blog deficiency, start one and make sure your business does not lag behind. You can depend on a trustworthy content writing company to support you with creating blogs. 

Need for Blog

  • A blog is a simple direct, easy-to-use platform for connecting with customers and sharing timely and relevant information with them
  • Blog powers SEO, Search engines love valuable, SEO rich content and it will reward you with traffic.
  • You don’t have to be a professional designer or software expert to blog. Many blogging platforms are people-friendly and don’t require advanced graphic skills.
  • According to a recent survey 60% of businesses who blog have increased their customers base.
  • A blog provides you a place to talk about new products launches, brand’s views on timely news topics or market trends, and publicize company initiatives beyond your website. It gives your company a voice and provides you with a platform to let your brand’s personality shine and show people what you’re all about.
  • Writing a blog indicates your expertise and positions you as a subject area expert. 
  • A blog creates a two-way communication between the brand, consumers, prospects and industry peers.  Customers can interact and make their views heard through comments and feedback.
  • Writing a blog helps you to be focused on your content marketing strategy.
  • Blog is a free PR, bloggers are always up front communicating about the brand and getting interviewed by industry experts and journalists.
  • Blogs are cost-effective marketing and promotion, every blog that you post is advertising your business and building awareness about your brand. 

Content trends in Social Media Marketing

Marketing trends change every minute and it is very important to be in-sync with these changes to survive in the turbulent and highly competitive market. This article intends to spotlight the trends which could be wielded as marketing tools in 2017.
There used to be time when businesses’ preferred writing or posting pictures to uploading video to communicate marketing and promotional messages. The reason for this is videos consume more data and might take time to load; therefore people might not take interest in videos. But this has changed, Thanks to fast and cheap internet, now people enjoy videos the more than any other multimedia on the web. The video based content is rich and engaging and presently has the greatest amount of attention from internet users. In Facebook and other social networking sites videos autoplay on the page and when people scroll down their newsfeed, they will stop for a few seconds to check if the video is interesting and clickworthy. If the video can hook the audience in those few seconds, it is assured to get many views and good reach. Recently Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has foretold that by 2019; 80% content of the Facebook will be in video format. Facebook gets an average video view of 8 billion a day and Snapchat records 10 billion view every day. 360 Live Streaming is the latest feature enabled by social media sites; even Facebook has joined the movement by launching ‘Facebook live’. Popularity of Live video is increasing day by day and many brands are using live streaming feature available in social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The biggest advantage of streaming live is to keep the followers engaged with the brand by taking an event directly to the users’ screens.

The social network
Advertising in Facebook is expected to be the biggest marketing trend of 2017, as far as the internet marketing goes, Facebook is currently the undisputed king of advertising. The power, reach, incredible user base and most effective targeting feature makes the platform superior to all other websites. Advertising in Facebook is the most cost-effective and underpriced advertising available in any media platform. Instagram, the photo sharing site is equally preferred by advertisers. If your target audience is within the age group of 13-25, Instagram is the ideal platform to address young audience. Instagram also has introduced live streaming feature in US, this update is going to hit other markets soon. Whichever platform you plan to choose, make sure that you leverage the power of live videos. Snapchat is not far behind in reach and user base, it is currently number one social media platform in Australia and US for teenage and early 20s audience with over 150 million daily users.

Social media E-commerce
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest allow users to shop directly from the site. According to a recent survey, 56% of social media users said that they followed brands to get updates about new products, sales and to make purchase directly. Brands should take these shopping habits seriously and design their pages and other promotional activities interesting in these sites so that people ‘like’ you and ‘follow you.
Familiarizing with these social media trends could bring great results to any business. Apart from that always anticipate abrupt changes in online trends and practices; make your social media marketing strategy flexible to accommodate such immediate changes.

5 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Content Writer

You could be a good writer but does that make you a good content writer? A certain set of skills and disciple is required in excel in this field. Content writing aspirants out there, read the article and find out the areas where you need to brush up your skills and to succeed.

1. Successful content writers must master different writing styles.
You should have different writing styles in your kitty to be successful in writing. The reason is that each form of writing has its own style and charm; for instance news is delivered in inverted pyramid style, a type of writing where informational paragraphs with the meat of the story at the top. Blogging is personable, friendly and often opinionated. Ad copy is short, engaging and persuasive. The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes and the technique he implements to organize the flow of words. The writing style will be different among writers, and it is important to develop an interesting and unique style of one’s own to stay fresh and relevant.

2. Successful content writers don't pick random subjects.
"Ideation" is an industry buzzword that describes the creative process of conceiving a subject, title and an angle to write about. A good content begins as an idea and expands and develops from there. Ideation is the primary and crucial step in writing therefore involves a lot of research.
Familiarizing with the ‘buyer persona’ is another important stage that follows ideation; it involves understanding the audience and their interest.  If you know who your readers and their interests are, you can write what they want to read. You write for your audience, not for yourself, or your company, or your brand.
It is integral to perform a keyword research, if the topic or keyword of your writing is not search engine friendly the writing could go unnoticed. Always check out your competition; to see what successful content is being shared by others in your industry sharing?

3. Successful content writers are original.
Whenever you publish, be genuine because your reputation is hanging on the originality of your content. Every post with your name on it should be original. That is not as hard as it sounds; with all the tens of thousands of people writing about the same subjects. Every talented writer can bring a unique voice, different perspective or new light to an over published subject.
Plagiarized content is bad for SEO, bad for your employers and even worse for you. Before you submit your work, use an online program to check plagiarism. With all the content out there on the web, it's likely that you accidentally duplicate some other writing.

4. Successful content writers know the technicalities of it
For a content writer to be successful he cannot be totally oblivious to technicality. Some basic techniques like SEO, keyword integration has to be mastered to excel. Apart from creative skills; to develop a good content the writer should also possess good marketing skills to sell the content. Writing for web themes have varying levels of automatic functions, and sometimes the only way to make your text look the way you want it to is to dig into the text/HTML tab and manipulate the code to make a title tag or fix a spacing issue. It's worth your time and effort to learn the basics.
Up to date SEO knowledge is also critical; search engine algorithms change regularly, and writers have to keep up. The one thing remains constant is the demand for high quality. If you can write in-depth content from a unique perspective, you'll be in demand.

5. Successful content writers are social media specialists.
To be a successful content writer and a social media specialist one needs to be in-sync with the brisk changes in social media trends. Successful content writers are active, interactive and friendly. The more active you are on social media, the more likely your content to be recommended by your followers. A good content writer not only impresses the readers but also the search engines and internet browsers. Content writers are marketing experts, SEO specialists, on-page coders and social media butterflies.
So, if you possess all the aforementioned writing skills, a successful career in content writing awaits you.

Friday 19 May 2017

Common grammatical hitches a writer encounters

No matter how much you master the language of English; grammatical errors are assured to come in your way. We all spend long time learning grammar at school, but some areas of grammar remain problematic for even the most prolific of writers. Grammar is tricky and sometimes confusing, but when you become a professional writer you need to be careful and make sure that you use correct grammar all the times.  No matter how prepossessing your language is, wrong grammar can put off even the most indulgent of readers. So, the only solution is to use grammar well. There are quite a few issues that most writers stumble at while writing. Here is a list of such mistakes or confusing areas in grammar, to help you tame the perturbing grammar issues.

Who vs. Whom
One of most confusing pair of words in grammar is who and whom. Just remember that you use ‘who’ for a sentence’s subject and ‘whom’ for a sentence’s object. When you want to substitute it with ‘she’ or ‘he’ or any other noun, then that is the proper case for using ‘who’, and not ‘whom’. On the other hand, if you can use ‘him’ or ‘her’ instead of the word in question, then remember to us ‘whom’ and not ‘who’. 
The singer, for ‘who’ the audience went wild, was a young boy is wrong.
The singer, for ‘whom’ the audience went wild, was a young boy is the correct version.
The judge called out to the young boy, ‘whom’ appeared to be crying on stage is wrong. 
The judge called out to the young boy, ‘who’ appeared to be crying on stage is right. 

Fewer vs. Less
The word ‘fewer’ is to be used when you are talking about objects or things that you can count or things to which you can assign a particular number whereas as less is used to describe uncountable entities.
Examples of few
There are fewer sailboats in the bay this morning than yesterday. 
Fewer people are expected to attend the conference this year.
In both cases, you can assign numbers – that is, number of sailboats and number of people. 
Examples of less
I would like less milk in my tea.
A little less pride might have helped him to stay grounded.

Subject and Object Pronouns
The next grammar cumbersome we will deal with is the usage of ‘me’, ‘my’, and ‘I’. Many pronouns in the English language have varied forms and different roles in a sentence. While the word ‘I’ is the subject form of the pronoun and ‘me’ is the object form of it.
Examples: Subject form
My mother and me will go on a vacation together.
Here, ‘my mother and me’ together constitutes the subject. Now, look at the sentence, after removing ‘mother’ and only ‘me’ as the subject. Question yourself whether you can say ‘…me will go on a vacation…’? No; ‘me’ cannot be used as a subject. So, replace it with ‘I’ – a subject, such that the correct sentence reads:
My mother and I will go on a vacation together.

The taxi driver was very helpful to my mother and I when we got lost in Kolkata. 
Here, the taxi driver is the subject and ‘my mother and I’ can be taken together as the object. Now, ‘I’ is a subject pronoun. To make it clearer, say it aloud, by breaking it up: ‘The taxi driver was very helpful to ‘I’ when we got ….’ Now, this will seem wrong. So, the correct sentence will read:
The taxi driver was very helpful to my mother and me when we got lost in Kolkata.
Therefore the correct usage of ‘I’ is as a verb’s subject. The object form of the same is ‘me’, which is used as a verb’s object. 

That Vs Which
Using ‘that’ and ‘which’ interchangeably looks easy, but in most cases, you cannot and should not. Remember that ‘that’ is a restrictive clause while ‘which’ is a non-restrictive one. So, what is a restrictive clause? A restrictive clause is a part of a sentence which you cannot remove as it particularly restricts another part of the same sentence.
The automobile conglomerate, which has those famous engineers, is based out of Tennessee.
The automobile conglomerate that has those famous engineers is based out of Tennessee. 
The first sentence talks about a ‘particular’ automobile conglomerate. The audience knows which conglomerate is being discussed. So, even if you leave out ‘which has those famous engineers’, the meaning of the sentence still remains the same. The information about the famous engineers merely adds more information for the audience. The crux of the sentence lies in the understanding that particular automobile conglomerate is based out of Tennessee.  In the second sentence, the ‘that has those famous engineers’ is restricted to the ‘automobile conglomerate’. It suggests that the audience and the speaker were talking about multiple conglomerates, and the conglomerate with those famous engineers is based out of Tennessee. If you remove ‘that has those famous engineers’, then it is not known which conglomerate you are talking about.

The rule of thumb for easy usage is to consider the context of usage. If the information you are providing after the ‘that’ or ‘which’ is removed and that changes the meaning of the sentence, then remember, you can use only ‘that’. On the other hand, if removal of the part after ‘that’ or ‘which’ does not change the meaning of the sentence, you use ‘which’. You get the drift?

Cause marketing and how it matters

It is not just your product, good service or compelling advertisements that attract customers towards your brand. Social responsibility and commitment play a vital role in building a good image of the brand and thereby attracts business. CSR or corporate social responsibility is an approach that contributes economic, social and environmental benefits to the business and all stakeholders by delivering sustainable development.
 In this new era of CSR, what you don’t do can cost you. “Cause marketing” is now a prominent marketing technique and customers who follow your brand, visit your website and see your advertising want to know if you are socially responsible and to know if you share their desire to make the world a better place by supporting an important cause.
 If your business or brand does not stand for or support a social cause, consumers may turn to your competitors with better social responsibility. According to a recent survey the number of consumers who say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand were associated with a good cause has climbed to 87 percent.
There is a strong connection between entrepreneurship and giving. The challenge is to make your corporate social responsibility efforts equally beneficial and profitable to nonprofit group you support, the community and your business. You can master this marketing challenge by following these five important steps:

Give from the heart.
Cause marketing works best when you give it from your heart and not out of compulsion. You and your employees should feel great about the help you are providing to a nonprofit group. So work with an organization you and your team believes in; the one which you really feels like helping. What matters most to you, your team and your customers? You will work hard to make a difference when you give from the heart.

Choose a related cause.
Always choose a cause which is related to the nature of your business. A solid cause- marketing campaign should start with the right affiliation. For example a toothpaste brand, giving free dental checkups to the unprivileged.

Contribute more than just money.
Cause marketing generally involves donating products or services and not simply writing a check. This can help form even stronger consumer associations between what you offer and the good work you do.

Formalize your affiliation.
To make your affiliation beneficial for everyone involved; the nonprofit you choose to work with should increase visibility of your business, brand recognition and company awareness. If the organization has a newsletter or other communications with its constituents, negotiate for opportunities to do joint promotions. Develop a strategy to get your organization’s logo and name mentioned in your marketing campaigns wherever possible increase the reach and impact.

Mount a marketing campaign.
Like any other marketing campaign success in cause marketing often means motivating an audience to take action. Using a well-designed and strategized cause marketing campaign, you can reach and persuade the target group while also raising awareness for your business and its commitment to social responsibility.

Word of Mouth Marketing

Before the advent of internet and social media; when we liked a particular product, movie, place or any entity we speak about it, we recommend it to our peers. This process has evolved in the digital age and now it is being widely employed as a marketing tool. In marketing WOM or word of mouth communication is the transmission of information from a non-commercial communicator to a receiver regarding a brand, product or service. The participants and nature of this conversation are non-commercial and they are not rewarded for spreading the information. When word of mouth is mediated and executed through electronic means; it becomes electronic word of mouth. The process in which the sender of word-of- mouth communication is rewarded is referred to as word-of- mouth marketing. WOM is now a powerful way to influence business results; the success of word of mouth depends on the contemporary efforts to create experiences worthy of being passed from person-to-person.

Why should Marketers focus on WOM

WOM has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing as it helps to garner trust and to sound genuine to the consumers. Trust is assured to drive sales for your company and cement brand loyalty. An efficient marketing person will not sit back and hope that conversations will commence organically about his brand on social media; he will initiative conversations and unleash the power of word of mouth in social media to win the marketing race. According to online surveys, consumers trust recommendations from family and friends than they trust other forms of marketing. The marketers should focus more on unconventional marketing methods than the traditional ones to make more impact. They should channel their efforts for ‘connecting’ rather than ‘collecting’.

The Three E’s of WOM

Engage—Engage with your audience and give them the gift of you. Engage in conversations about your brand and listen to what the people are communicating to you. Give prompt responses to people’s queries and doubts and be a presence in your fans’ lives.

Equip—Give people reasons to talk about your brand. It can about the amazing products or services, great customer service, social elevation, incredible experiences and stories, unbelievable facts or even funny announcement. The good image of your company depends on your understanding of consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Another area to excel in is social customer service.

Empower— Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinion is important to you. Provide consumers different means to talk and share. Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around.

How to rank your website high in Google

There are countless websites and humongous content online, but only few search results that make it to the first page are seen by browsers; the rest goes unnoticed. Ranking is the ticket to first page in Google search and it is decided according to some factors.  Not all ranking factors are created equal; you can maximize your visibility by focusing on a few specific ranking factors. Google’s algorithm is always changing, and we cannot rely on obsolete ranking factors as we step into 2017. These top three ranking factors are based on the most recent studies, read on to discover how to optimize your site to capture today’s important signals.

1. Content
Content is one of the most important Google ranking factors; it has always been a crucial ranking factor but in recent years, we’ve seen a shift away from keyword-focused content towards more relevant content written in natural language. According to a recent study just 53% of the top 20 queries have keywords in their title tag, and the remaining landing pages have keywords less than 40%. There is a visible drop in this trend year-over-year, which clearly demonstrates that Google evaluates content according to its relevance and not by the inclusion of individual keywords. So what exactly does relevant content look like and the short answer is comprehensive. Long story short, quality content takes you to the top.

2. Backlinks
Backlink is another important Google ranking factor. Any backlink is beneficial to the website but now Google has learned to weed out the bad links from the good. More links will still result in a higher score, but only if they are from a number of diverse, genuine and authoritative domains. The key to building a strong backlink is to create content, that people crave for and then to promote that content relentlessly. When other web entities read and link to your content, Google will read your backlink’s matching anchor text and consider your content more relevant. To hit three important ranking signals: number of backlinks, link authority, and link diversity; your content should garner high-quality backlinks. There are many different ways to approach link building, but what they all boil down to is content marketing. Step one: Create high-quality content. Step two: Promote it.

3. Mobile-First User Experience
One of the biggest amendments Google executed in 2016 is the shift towards mobile-first indexing. This means that Google’s index will now primarily focus on the mobile version of websites as opposed to the desktop version. Mobile optimization is a pivotal factor in Google ranking and all top visible domains have mobile-friendly solutions. In the coming years it will be more important for your content to be responsive on all mobile platforms and identical to the content on your desktop site. Mobile-friendliness is the criterion to excel in Google search. If you intend to improve your website and draw more traffic to it; think mobile first and not just mobile-friendly.

Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving industry and in the past few years, we have witnessed Google’s attempt to make a steady push for rich content, quality links, and a perfect mobile experience. The aforementioned factors are certainly important and will play a great role in your rankings and help you come out ahead of the competition.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Things to keep in mind when you are writing for web

Having excellent copy on your website is one of the easiest ways to grab the attention of new visitors. To write high ranking and search engine favoring articles you need to possess a set of skills and need to follow some rules. Master these content writing tricks and keep the readers coming back for more.
Always start with keyword research for SEO. 
Every successful web writing process begins with a sound keyword research. Keyword research is very crucial and is a high return activity in the search marketing field. Ranking for right keyword can give your site the edge over other sites.  By keyword research you can predict shift in demands, prevailing trends in online search and can help you bring out the product, services and content that web searchers are actively seeking
Keyword stuffing is never okay.  
SEO should always be the focus of writing, although if you stuff keywords into your copy you will negatively impact the readability of your content, its conversion rate and how well it ranks in the SERPs. Hideous keyword stuffing will force readers to bounce off the page as well as the search engine. If there is a commonly searched grammatically wrong or incorrectly spelled keyword; do not incorporate this in your writing just because it is commonly and popularly searched.
Always hyperlink to your sources. 
When you refer content of another website, make sure you hyperlink the source. You will get backlinks and it is good internet etiquette; brings benefit to both the sites. Always cite your sources even when there is the risk of losing your web traffic to another site. In such cases you can always make use of the “open link in another window” option if you are that concerned about keeping your traffic.     
Make the reader happy. 
Framing content that goes viral is every writer’s dream; triggering a reader’s emotions is the way to do it. Social media users are more likely to share content that intrigues them, interests them and makes them happy. Give a positive message or angle in your writing and craft the content keeping the readers interests in mind.
Keep the action in your content writing. 
Make the writing engage and live using active voice and avoid passive voice as it makes the writing lengthy and ambiguous. Substitute the commonly used terms with exciting verbs and word plays. For example; instead of ‘sales climbing’ use ‘sales rocketing’ and instead of ‘cutting costs’ try ‘killing costs.’ Always focus on making your content engaging and readable not on your word count.
When writing for the web, be brief. 
Writing for the web is a totally different from other media writing; you cannot ramble on your thoughts in a haphazard manner.  Attention spans online are a lot shorter than they are in Books or other printed medium, and your paragraphs need to bear that in mind. Don’t use 3 words when just one would do; use the word banana not elongated yellow fruit. Overuse of meaningless buzzwords will put off the interest of your readers.
If you’re not sure, look it up: 
Before posting something online perform spell check, grammar check and every other check possible to make sure that your material is error-free. Presence of such errors affects the accuracy and the readability of the writing. When you proof read and check the article for spelling, grammar etc. you improve your article as well as your knowledge. It takes a little time and getting used to at first, but if you make it a habit you’ll be an expert in no time.

With enough discipline, solid web content writing skills are attainable to anyone. All these skills can be easily mastered with practice, diligence and are assured to help your writing in the long run 

Tricks for Business Writing

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