Tag Archives: content

You hear about content marketing all the time these days: but what the heck does it mean and what are you supposed to do?

What is content marketing?

And why should you care about content? Because marketing is too important to be left to marketers.

So here you go: our complete guide to content marketing for small businesses.

But who do you create content for? How do you pick your target audience and make sure your content is relevant for that segment?

How do you decide what’s the best place for your content?

Keep reading for more advice on content marketing.

The Content Marketing Pro: Interview with Ann Handley of Marketing Profs

Ann Handley, Marketing ProfsAnn Handley is the Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, one of the most popular sites for marketing advice (and responsible for some of my marketing education!). She has been cited in Forbes as the most influential woman in Social Media and recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules.

Ann talks to us about marketing and content. My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us about how you got involved with Marketing Profs.

Continue reading The Content Marketing Pro: Interview with Ann Handley of Marketing Profs

Quick Readability Check of Your Web Pages

We talk about content a lot here on this blog. And content’s important, believe me. But no amount of great content is going to do it for you unless that content is displayed well — that is, you have good design.

I’m not talking about awesome, impressive design. Just a clean and modern setting for your awesome, impressive content. Enough to make it easy for users to read and navigate.

In my latest blog post at Search Engine People, I’ve outlined a checklist of 7 items you should look for to make sure your web content is readable. (The post says “blog posts,” but this applies to any web page with a lot of text.)

All of these tips are pretty elementary, but many websites and blogs still make these mistakes. Make sure you’re not one of them!

Career Blogger: Interview with Alison Green, Blogger of Ask A Manager

Alison Green, blogger at Ask A ManagerAlison Green is the blogger at Ask A Manager, a popular site that answers questions related to work and careers. I have read Alison’s blog for a couple of years now, and am amazed not only at how she manages to be insightful day in and day out for so many people who write in with questions, but also at how she has nurtured her community — read any of the comments sections to see how much helpful advice commenters usually offer on the blog.

Alison doesn’t have a background in HR — as one comment on her blog from an employee she had managed attested, she is just an exceptionally good manager who is sharing her perspective to help others navigate tricky issues of politics and performance at work.

She talks to us about how her part-time blog turned into her full-time career! Read on.

Continue reading Career Blogger: Interview with Alison Green, Blogger of Ask A Manager

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Software Products and Content Marketing

Four colored floppy disksThe first two of this week’s bunch of articles are especially relevant if you have or are building a software product.

If you have a SaaS product, be sure to read this long post on what to measure and why.

Joel Gascoigne of Buffer explains how bugs and downtime can be a good thing.

Do you know how to use apostrophes correctly?

What makes content go viral? Leo Widrich of Buffer dissects a blog post that got over 500,000 likes.

And from Neil Patel, here are 5 SEO mistakes even experts make — but you shouldn’t.

Have a great weekend, and see you on the other side!

The Only Five Essential Elements of Website Content for A Small Services Business

In the last six months, I’ve reviewed over 30 business websites with a view to helping these businesses figure out how they can make their marketing more effective. Especially if you are a small services business — you provide software development services, or you’re a trainer or consultant or plumber — it can be difficult to figure out what goes on your website. Especially if you’re a consultant or freelancer, where does your personality end and your business begin?

Today I’m gonna help you figure out the five most essential pieces of information you need to provide on your website.

Promote your business on your website

Continue reading The Only Five Essential Elements of Website Content for A Small Services Business

Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

Rand FishkinRand Fishkin is the CEO and Co-founder of SEOmoz, one of the most well-known and respected internet marketing companies. He’s been in Businessweek’s 30 under 30, and has got tons of press coverage for himself and SEOmoz.

He talked to us about community-building, products vs. services, and more! Read on.

SEOmoz got started after you joined your mom’s (Gillian Muessig, Co-founder of SEOmoz) marketing business… How did you decide to focus on SEO?

Continue reading Marketing for Tech Products: Interview with Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz

13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013

Lights

Instead of our regular Weekend Reading post, today we have for you a round-up of the marketing sites and blogs you should read, recommended by the marketing experts and entrepreneurs we have interviewed in 2012.

Read on for the 13 blogs you should follow in 2013.

Continue reading 13 Marketing and Small-Business Blogs for 2013

Our Best Posts of 2012

New Year fireworks

started this blog nearly two years ago, when I wanted a space to put down my thoughts about marketing. Better Marketing wasn’t a business then — it wasn’t even the blog name.

It’s this year, after we started as a business, that we actually started writing regularly — and this is the 60th post of the year.

We would like to end the year by spotlighting both our most popular posts — that is, the ones you readers liked best — as well as my favorite posts.

Continue reading Our Best Posts of 2012

Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Bhaskar Sarma, B2B CopywriterBhaskar Sarma of Pixels and Clicks is a copywriter specializing in B2B technology businesses. He is also a fantasy fan, judging by his marketing blog posts that reference Tolkien and Dr. Who. He talks to us about copywriting and social media for B2B.

My questions and comments are in bold.

How and why did you become a consultant?

I came into consulting and copywriting through a pretty roundabout fashion. Before my current gig and after getting my BE in computer engineering I was a tech journalist, an infosec consultant and a volunteer with a non-profit running schools in remote mountain villages near Mussorie. I decided not to get back into the corporate rat race and opted to work for myself, travel when I want and choose my own clients and projects.

Continue reading Tech Marketing: Interview with Bhaskar Sarma, B2B Marketing Consultant

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: All About Startups

Do you have it in you to be an entrepreneur? Successful entrepreneurs possess five key traits.

Women selling vegetables in a local market

But once you’ve started your business, what is your goal? Joel Gascoigne of Buffer shares some interesting thoughts.

And over on Women’s Web, I write about eight things a new entrepreneur should do.

Read HubSpot’s article on 7 common SEO myths: and if you’re building on any of these, please stop.

HubSpot also tells you when to — and when not to — outsource your marketing: think twice before outsourcing social media or content creation!

5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing

The recent brouhaha over Instragram’s policy changes brings into sharp relief the fact that marketing on social media entails a lot of dependence on the social media sites. Instagram’s users might not be in trouble right now, but do you remember the last cries of outrage over changes in Facebook’s policies?

Which brings me to the question: is it wise to focus your marketing efforts primarily on social media?

I’m not advocating ignoring social media (of course). But realize this: you don’t control Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. Your most important content should be on your own site, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, FAQs, a photo gallery, or video tutorials.

Here are five reasons why.

Continue reading 5 Risks of Relying on Social Media Marketing

How to Determine Which Social Media Channels You Should Use

FruitsAs a business-owner, you have a hundred things clamoring for your attention. But you also need to be on social media, to listen and talk to your customers and to influencers in your industry. Focusing on one or two channels will probably be more useful to you than creating profiles on many that you can’t keep up with.

The biggest factor that determines what social media you should focus on depends, of course, on where your customers are. But here are some other factors that might help you make the decision.

Facebook

If you’re a B2C business, you probably can’t afford to ignore Facebook. Facebook has a huge user base, and it’s where everyone hangs out — teenagers, office workers, stay-at-home parents, freelancers, grandparents. So you should seriously consider having an active Facebook page if:

Continue reading How to Determine Which Social Media Channels You Should Use

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Productivity and Content

We use Trello to manage our tasks, and this post gives you a lovely breakdown of why and how you should use it. And it’s free!

Here are six writing tips from Roald Dahl, via Copyblogger.

Copyblogger also breaks down Facebook’s EdgeRank and tells you what you should be doing for more engagement. Tl;DR? Keep trying different things to engage your audience (as Sahil Khan says here).

Create better landing pages with these tips from Hubspot: we especially like the last one!

Rand Fishkin ponders how you can get the best out of your employees.

And lastly, I loved this article about productivity myths. Now I can continue to not get up early or sort my emails properly without feeling guilty!

How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

Continue reading How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Anita Campbell of Small Business TrendsAnita Campbell is the Founder and CEO of Small Business Trends, a popular U.S.-based site for small business advice. Small Business Trends has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and the New York Times, and Anita herself is a popular writer and speaker and is on several advisory boards. She talks to us about content creation, content monetization, and entrepreneurship.

My questions and comments are in bold.

Tell us a bit about Small Business Trends – I read you started it as a version of an email newsletter? Who was your first audience? Continue reading Small Business Marketing: Interview with Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Website and Social Media

Do people really think content marketers don’t care about sales? This and other myths here.

Outspoken Media has an easy, excellent guide to link-building in 15 minutes a day.

And here are a few quick ways to improve your website’s usability.

If you aren’t using photos on Facebook yet, here’s more evidence to convince you: photos get 53% more likes.

Here’s another blog post laying out why LinkedIn’s Endorsement feature is awful.

Have a great weekend, and make your marketing better next week!

Why You Shouldn’t Use Social Media

Does every business have to be on social media?

I’ve heard the arguments: it’s too risky, it’s not profitable or measurable… It’s not necessary for your industry. None of these is usually true.

Today, I tell you the real reasons why you shouldn’t be on social media.

You don’t want to listen

Contrary to what most people think, social media is primarily about listening. It enables you to listen to what your customers or even competitors are saying about you. It lets you view conversations about your industry or your competitors. It tells you what people are thinking.

If you’re not interested in any of that, sure, stay off social media. (And don’t talk to your customers, either.)

Continue reading Why You Shouldn’t Use Social Media

Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now

This week’s reads are all about tips you should start following right away or mistakes you need to avoid. Get on these right away so you don’t lose opportunities!

This is something we have found too: everyone wants to help you. As usual, Joel Gascoigne dispenses excellent and inspiring advice to entrepreneurs.

The KISSmetrics blog lays out seven critical errors made by e-commerce websites. Make sure you’re not making any!

Are you optimizing your images for search? If not, start now!

A study of smartphone and tablet users in the U.S. found some interesting results with regard to mobile searches for restaurants:

Continue reading Weekend Reads for Better Marketing: Do This Now

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Diwali is next week. Did you send out special offers or greetings to your customers and prospects?

While everyone is talking about social media, email marketing remains an excellent way of nurturing your prospects and customers. In this post, I look at some common mistakes marketers make in email campaigns, through a few Diwali-themed marketing emails I received.

Wasting the Subject Line

Here is a screenshot of some Diwali offers in my inbox.

Diwali Emails as Seen in Gmail

Continue reading Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web

Aparna Vedapuri Singh is the Founder and Editor of Women’s Web, an online magazine for Indian women. (Full disclosure: I’ve known Aparna for years and I write a career column and the occasional book review for Women’s Web.)

Read on for Aparna’s experiences in and tips for entrepreneurship and marketing! (My comments and questions are in bold.)

Aparna Vedapuri Singh, the Founder and Editor of Women's Web
Picture credit: Bilat Singh Thongram

Tell us about Women’s Web – how did you come up with the idea for the site?

Women’s Web is a product that came about as a result of a need I felt existed in the market – and as with many entrepreneurs, beginning with a need I felt myself!

While women’s magazines are certainly not a new phenomenon in India, increasingly, there is such a sameness to them. Many women are interested in beauty, but why should the pursuit of beauty define us? Really, is better skin and anti-ageing all that there is to our lives? I wanted to read something better! I felt that there is a niche in the market for interesting, useful information and reads, directly relevant to our lives.

Continue reading Marketing to Women: Interview with Aparna Vedapuri Singh of Women’s Web