From a traditional marketing standpoint, there’s a simple answer to the question, “What’s the difference between content marketing and copywriting?”…
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If we spend time and effort creating content to get more traffic, SEO becomes an unavoidable subject. SEO plays a…
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On Monday, our good and wise friend Andy Crestodina showed the difference between optimizing for search engines and optimizing for social shares. He also gives us a nice piece of advice about how you can get really crafty and do both.
Proofreading might not seem exciting, until the day you publish a post with the headline Making that Shit into the Next Phase of Your Career. Don’t let that happen; read Stefanie’s Tuesday post.
On Wednesday, Brian Clark reminded us that search and social get all the attention, but it’s email that pays the bills. He explains why email is the most important content distribution platform you have … and reveals that my favorite analogy for how to treat your audience has always given him the jitters. (Do you agree with him? Let us know in the blog comments! …)
And earlier today, I posted our Content Excellence Challenge prompts for April. These are fun, creative exercises we do together as a community. Both of the prompts are practices that will make your content better, and get you making more of it.
On The Digital Entrepreneur, Bryan Eisenberg shared his insights with Sean and Jessica on how to leverage Amazon self-publishing to find new audiences and customers. If you haven’t encountered Bryan yet, he’s a bit of a marketing and persuasion guru/ninja/Jedi/grand master … but the kind who actually knows what he’s talking about. He understands Amazon on a deep level, and the conversation is filled with useful
Two weeks ago, my side project Further had one of its highest traffic days ever.
If you’re not familiar, Further is a personal development email newsletter in which I curate content from around the web. It’s basically whatever I find useful and interesting related to health, wealth, wisdom, and travel.
So what sparked the traffic? After all, the newsletter’s primary function is to send traffic to other websites.
Was it a significant social share from a relevant influencer?
Did I spend a fortune on a pay-per-click advertising campaign?
Had I caught a link in another personal growth newsletter?
It was indeed a link from a personal growth newsletter. Only thing is, the link was from me, in the Further newsletter itself.
Here’s what happened.
After adding the category of travel to the topics I curate for the newsletter, I also decided to test including original travel articles on Further.net to see what the response would be.
Long story short, I met a travel writer at a conference in Austin, which resulted in The French Riviera for the Rest of Us, an article that shoots down the myth that la Côte d’Azur is only for wealthy movie stars and international men of mystery.
I first built an email-based audience with curated content, so that when I moved to original content, it would get guaranteed traffic. In fact, that article got tons of clicks, because after two years of serving the audience, I knew it would be a hit with my subscribers.
Let me give you
When we talk about content marketing strategy, it’s amazing how often people think that means:
Can I Haz Moar Peoples!!!
(English translation: How can I get more traffic to my site?)
That’s not new — the quest for eyeballs is as old as online business.
And it does matter. It’s important to have a critical mass of folks who know you exist. Ask anyone trying to get a business off the ground with an email list of 34 people, 8 of whom they’re related to.
You need a big enough audience to allow for a meaningful response when you try out a new content idea, or craft an offer for your product or service.
But there’s no shortage of online publishers with big audiences and tiny businesses. If all you do is stand on the Information Superhighway trying to flag people down, you’re going to get flattened.
Instead, craft a thoughtful, well-designed path. Lead prospects from the noise and clutter of the larger web to a sustained and valuable connection that solves the problems they care about.
Smart business isn’t about gaining a massive amount of attention. It’s about gaining the right kind of attention from the right people … and continuing the journey from there.
When you want to persuade, it’s useful to take a look at the classic “formulas” of copywriting — because copywriting is simply persuasion that takes place (partly or completely) without the help of an individual human salesperson.
Most of these formulas begin with the letter
From a traditional marketing standpoint, the answer to the question in the headline above is simple.
Content marketing means creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers — and customers into repeat buyers.
Copywriting gets a reader to take a specific action. Sometimes that’s making a purchase, but it can also be subscribing to your email list, signing up for your content library, or calling you for more information.
Content marketing is blogs, podcasts, and email autoresponders.
Copywriting is sales pages, ads, and direct mail.
Two different critters, right?
Well, not if you’re doing it right.
Content without copywriting is a waste of good content
There are some blogs out there with seriously good content — and only a few readers. (Maybe yours is one of them.)
If you’re writing great articles that people would love to read, but you’re not getting the traffic you want, the problem may be ineffective copywriting:
Your headlines might be too dull. When your headlines are boring, they don’t give people any reason to click through to the rest of your writing.
Your headlines might be too cute and clever. If this is the case, you’re simply showing how smart you are without communicating any reader benefits. If your headlines are too dull or too clever, learn how to write magnetic headlines.
You haven’t explicitly thought about how your content benefits readers. Just like a product has to have a benefit to the buyer, your content has to be inherently rewarding to readers or
It’s the question I get asked more often than any other when I’m talking with business owners about content marketing strategy.
And it’s the question we see most often from new members in our Authority Q&A sessions.
“How do I get more traffic?”
There’s more — a lot more — to content marketing than traffic.
But if you can’t attract a critical “minimum viable audience,” you’re finished before you get started.
Here’s how to use content to get the attention of those all-important prospects — the men and women who are in the market to buy what you have to sell.
The content conveyor belt
Before we start talking about traffic, we need to talk about your overall content marketing strategy.
Smart marketing is “salesmanship in print” (or, these days, pixels), to use the classic copywriting definition. And as any good salesperson will tell you, a sale progresses through predictable, natural stages.
First, you have to attract the attention of that prospect. That’s the piece we’re going to talk about today. No matter how brilliant your sales sequence, if no one knows you exist, you’re going to fail.
Then you have to engage that person’s interest. This is a particularly risky moment in today’s web environment, with millions of distractions competing for our attention.
As you keep delivering strategic content over time, engagement starts to turn into desire for what you have to sell. Whether it’s a product, a service, a charitable cause, a political candidate, or even an idea … we all have
Everyone’s fixated on getting traffic, whether paid or organic. As if, somehow, this will unlock the door to a flood of new clients.
Truth is, traffic should be the last thing on your mind. Sure, you need it, but if you don’t have the right marketing system in place that attracts leads and properly nurtures them over the buying cycle, you’re just burning cash with any form of online advertising.
Today on Unemployable, Brian Clark shares the exact marketing system he used to attract more clients than he could handle back in the day. Plus, Brian reveals the tweaks that make this rock-solid system work today and into the future.
In this episode of Unemployable with Brian Clark, Brian discusses:
Why you should begin with the end in mind
How to get in your prospect’s head
Why syncing the buyer journey to email is critical
How to educate people into choosing you
Why demonstrated (instead of claimed) authority rocks
Advertising secrets of the best of the best in paid traffic
How “content upgrades” work with smart advertising
Click Here to Listen toUnemployable with Brian Clark on iTunes
Click Here to Listen on Rainmaker.FM
About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier digital commerce and content marketing podcast network. Get on-demand digital business and marketing advice from experts, whenever and wherever you want it.
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This week, Robert and I put on our commentary caps to take on subjects that have been in the news. Plus, we reveal what’s in the very near future for Rainmaker.FM (think big).
The main story this week is all too familiar … short-cut marketers are the reason we can’t have nice things. Now, apparently, they’ve destroyed trust in social media, as consumers assume everyone is on the take.
As you might expect, we have an answer for that one. Plus, we talk podcasting for content marketing, revenue models for podcast networks, and heartily agree with some advice given by Gary Vaynerchuk.
In this 39-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:
The big, new project that we’ve been hinting at
3 business benefits of producing a podcast
Revenue models for your podcast
A key content marketing trend we’re riding
How marketers have destroyed social media
The second coming of word-of-mouth marketing
How to grow your audience when momentum is flatlining
Click Here to Get Rainmaker.FMEpisode No. 28 on iTunes
About the authorBrian ClarkBrian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, host of Rainmaker.FM, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.
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