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The Competitive Advantage

tag: content marketing

September 8, 2015

Why Spelling and Grammar Matter in Marketing

bad_spellingA guest post by Debra Semans. Based in Atlanta, Debra, is the lead writer for Harpeth Marketing, as well as an independent market researcher and focus group moderator. She can be reached at Debra@HarpethMarketing.com.

I am a Grammar Nerd. I know the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re.” I know about the Oxford comma. The difference between active and passive voice is clear to me.

I read your Facebook posts, your Tweets, your emails, and I judge you for your typos and grammatical errors. My esteem for a company drops if they have typos and grammatical errors in their materials.

I know it is not my most endearing quality, but there it is. I admit it.

However, does any of that matter? Or, am I simply hyper-critical and old-fashioned?

Apparently it does matter – quite a bit.

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July 29, 2015

Need Fresh Content for Content Marketing? Do Survey Research!

A Guest post by Debra Semans. Based in Atlanta, Debra, is the lead writer for Harpeth Marketing, as well as an independent researcher and focus group moderator. She can be reached at Debra@HarpethMarketing.com.

frustrated at workWhile the debate rages about whether “Content is King”, many marketing researchers feel like Content is some maniacal despot, or at least a weighty albatross hung around your neck. You already have a 70-hour (or more) a week job! How are you supposed to make time to produce fresh content? And how do you make it fresh when everyone else is publishing content on the same topics? How many blogs on customer satisfaction measurement can the world endure?

Ironically, marketing researchers have the best source for fresh content right at their fingertips. I’m talking about marketing research! The results of a quick survey can fuel your blog posts for weeks.

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January 20, 2015

Top articles and blog posts of 2014

We spend a lot of time writing articles, blog posts and other content for our industry – at least one article every month and one blog post every week – and we have since the day we opened our doors. So, out of curiosity, we looked back to see the top articles and blog posts of 2014.

We looked at the articles on our website, posts on our blog and posts to the publisher section of my LinkedIn profile… and listed the Top 3 most popular pieces from each one:

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November 11, 2014

10 Website Tips for the New Year

At this time of year, some firms will take on the gargantuan task of rewriting and redesigning their website to help kick-off the New Year. But most won’t. If that describes you, it’s still a good time to step back and take a critical look at your website to make sure it’s as good as it can be.

To help get you started, here are 10 [pretty easy] website tips that can help enhance the effectiveness of your most important marketing tool:

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November 19, 2013

Frequency vs. Quality: The Content Marketing Balancing Act

Guest blogger: Debra Semans, Lead Writer at Harpeth Marketing

Vince-Lombardi-3Content is King!

Consider*:

  • Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t blog at all.
  • Small businesses (1-10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains in traffic when they publish more articles.
  • Companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times/month to 6-8 times/month almost double their leads.
  • Even B2B companies that blog only 1-2 times/month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog at all.
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July 30, 2013

If your summer is slow, focus on marketing & sales for a competitive advantage; part 7 – develop content ideas

Amazon Kindle in Womans Hands at beachI hope you’ve been following along this summer and implementing some of the ideas we’ve been discussing.  Whether it’s getting ready for the fall conference season, targeting new sales prospects or even cleaning up your in-house database, the summer is a great time to work “on” your business.  But we’ve got a few more to go…

One of the most popular tactics in marketing today – and it’s popular because it works – is ‘content marketing.’  That is, sharing information and ideas to help your clients and prospective clients.  And in helping, it builds credibility for your firm and positions you as a subject matter expert.

This content most often takes the shape of blog posts, articles, white papers, case studies, ebooks, podcasts and videos.  Throw in the occasional webinar and that about covers it.

One of the biggest challenges with content marketing is deciding what to write about… what the ‘content’ in ‘content marketing’ is going to be.  Which leads us to…

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May 29, 2013

3 Unique Ways to Generate Content for a Competitive Advantage

Last weekconference-image1, I wrote about how to unblock writer’s block (by focusing on what your clients and prospects want to read about).

But if that’s the perspective you need… what sources do you use to come up with content?  Where does the information come from that you then write about?  For me, sometimes I’m just struck by everyday occurrences that trigger ideas, sometimes I draw on recent experiences with clients or vendors and other times, I just know what I know and I write about it.

However, if you’re looking for some new places to go to find some things to write about, let me give you three that work really well:

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May 21, 2013

How to break down writer’s block and accelerate your content marketing.

MR-writers-block-guyEvery (yes, every) Saturday morning since we opened the doors to Harpeth Marketing, I have gone to a local coffee shop (in fact, I’m here now as I write this) to work on things not necessarily related to taking care of clients.  One of those tasks is writing… for my blog, my monthly article for Quirk’s or developing an eBook.

But this week… I hit the wall.  After 60+ weeks of crankin’ it out… I didn’t know what to write about.  I went to my editorial calendar… but I hadn’t looked this far forward so no topics were listed.  What am I going to write about… what do I want to write about?

And then it hit me… that is not the question to be asking.  Then question is (and should always be)… what do my clients (and prospective clients) want to read about?  What’s important to them?  What do they care about?

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