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content marketing

The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

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The Power of EBooks in a Strong Content Marketing Strategy

The ability to get ebooks online has changed the book selling industry. Gone are the days when authors had to send book proposals to publishing houses hoping that they'll get lucrative deals. Ebook selling platforms such as Amazon, the iBooks store, and Lulu allow anyone to make money online using self-published ebooks.  This has opened an enormous window of opportunity for enhancing your content marketing strategy. Three reasons for the power of ebooks in content marketing are outlined in this article.

 EBooks Establish You as an Expert

You have knowledge to share. An ebook provides the perfect platform for you to share this knowledge. Customers want to be confident that you know what you're doing. They also want to learn from you. Sharing your unique perspectives on topics in your niche helps you to do that. A well-written ebook provides a way to express these ideas in a longer and more engaging way than articles.

Ebooks are Lead Generation Magnets

Ebooks that are sold on online platforms aren't the only types of ebooks available. PDF books are also quite common. Many companies use pdf books as a ways to distribute free content. These ebooks tend to be much shorter than self-published ebooks, but they have the right information to lure readers in. They are good ways to share useful information while promoting your brand.

Ebooks Can be Competitively Priced

Print books cost much more than ebooks. Amazon recommends, however, that both a print and ebook version of your content be available so that readers can have a choice.  Readers who want to save money and have the convenience of all of their books in one place will purchase the ebook version. The best ebook prices for beginning authors range tend to be either $0.99 or $2.99.

EBooks Increase Your Following

Ebooks work best when you have an established following to promote them to.   These followers will be more willing to buy and share your content. More buys and shares will ultimately result in more people purchasing the ebook and following your brand.

 

Ebooks are an important addition to your content marketing strategy. An expert content creator can write ebooks that position you as an expert and make you more visible online. CEM Writing Services offers ebook writing plans. You can contact Christine by clickling here to discuss a customized plan that will meet your needs.

 

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5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence

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5 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a must-have for any content marketing strategy. It's the tool you use to connect with and engage your audience in meaningful ways. Several social media experts have written books and articles that make building a strong social media presence seem simple. The reality, however, is that it's far from simple especially if you're not offering a service a product that's in high demand. This article has been written based on my own experiences and some useful tips I've garnered from articles I've read. Trust me, it's not an easy road, but you can gain numerous rewards if you play your cards right.  The point is not to neglect social media as an essential component of your digital content marketing.

Boost Your Posts

You have to spend a little to gain a little. Facebook offers a feature for business pages that allows you to boost a post so that you can reach a wider audience. Boosting a post will help you get more page likes and could potentially lead to new customers. You need more people to like your page and visit your website. Depending on the few Facebook friends you invited to like your page is a recipe for disaster. They're only there because they like you and probably have no real interest in your business. People who like your page after viewing a boosted post have a genuine interest in your business and could eventually become paying customers. 

Boosted posts that last for a week are often the best. The idea is that the longer the boost, the more people you'll be able to reach and the more interactions you'll be able to acquire. I understand that budget constraints can result in you limiting that boosted post to 2 days. However, I don't suggest boosting a post for less than 2 days; you won't get a good return on your investment. 

The type of post you boost is also an important consideration. Videos have the highest click through rate on all social media platforms. In fact, Animoto states that "4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it." However,  you can't just post any old video and call it a day. Your video has to be meaningful, relate to your brand, and elicit a positive response from viewers. If you choose to use an article, include a vibrant featured image and attention-grabbing title. The image is the first thing Facebook users will see. If it doesn't grab them, they won't react to your post. Finally, the content of the post has to resonate with the audience and be relevant to your brand. 

Use a Variety of Content

Some of the best social media pages utilize a variety of content. They mix articles with videos and stunning images, thus making the pages more interesting to the viewer. This mixture also ensures that there is something to suit any user's preference. Someone should be able to scroll through your page and find at least one post of interest. 

Use Live Videos

Since Facebook launched the 'Go Live" videos in 2016 it seems like there has been a live video revolution. More social media sites are beginning to add live videos as one of their features. That says a lot about the power of live videos. They allow businesses to interact with you in real-time. It adds excitement to the experience and enables them to get immediate responses to their questions and comments.

Live videos work best when they are previously publicized. Let your followers know when you plan to host a live video chat. Send frequent reminders and ensure that you research the time that most of your followers are using Facebook. It makes no sense to host a live video without an audience. 

The beauty of Facebook live videos is that the video is stored on your page after it has ended. The same isn't true for Instagram and Twitter live videos. Storing the video allows people to view it even after it has ended. If you were able to have an interesting discussion, it is highly likely that the people who watch the video after it has ended will share it. More viewers increases the likelihood of more followers for your page. More followers ultimately results in more customers.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are Twitter's secret weapon. I have been amazed by how other Twitter users are able to find my Twitter profile because of the hashtags I use. Before posting on Twitter, ensure that you research the most popular hashtags related to that post. Use them strategically so that you don't exceed the 140 character limit. The best posts incorporate either images, videos or gifs. So, don't leave those out!

Use SnapChat as a Teaser

The popularity of SnapChat baffles me. I haven't been able to comprehend why posting videos that fade is so fascinating. Nevertheless, SnapChat has its place in the digital marketing landscape. These short videos are excellent promotional tools for building hype around an upcoming event or new product. You can use it to post short teaser videos to build interest. The key is to keep your audience hooked so that they won't want to miss out on whatever you have coming up.

 

Having a strong social media presence is essential for digital marketing. If you boost key posts on your Facebook business page, use a variety of content, use hashtags on Twitter, and use SnapChat as a teaser you'll be able to win more followers and hopefully get more sales. Getting a large social media following can take several months or several years. You just have to stick to it and keep using a mixture of strategies to get the right result. 

 

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Christine is a content marketer who is passionate about building the online presence of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. You can view more of her work by clicking here. Interested in hiring her services? Complete the contact form found here.

 

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5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice

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5 Killer Ways to Find Your Inner Voice

Writing is a beautiful melody. Words flow from your mind unto the page like silk flowing through the palms of your hands. Giving them the right tempo, the right beat, helps you build a community of followers who want to hear want you have to say.  Content marketers love expressing these melodies. However, there are times when our inner voice is barely audible and we struggle to put the words together. Don't despair. All hope isn't lost because with these 5 tips you can make a quick comeback and start providing your audience with the content they've grown to love. 

Close You Eyes and Listen

Sometimes we allow life to entangle us. The worries, the stress, the demands...everything just becomes too much. Thinking about it all will dampen your spirit, drain your energy, and quieten that melodious voice. The moment you realize that your thoughts are consuming you, take a minute to just close your eyes and listen. Listen to the birds chirping, the wind gently wafting through the leaves, the dogs barking, and the stillness of the space your in. Listen to the beauty of life in the midst of the chaos. The more you choose to listen and just choose to tune everything out, the more inspired you'll feel.

Just Write

Fear is our greatest weakness. Sometimes we hold back and tone down what we really want to say. We're more concerned with what the critics will say than truly letting our voices be heard. Don't hold back. Express your genuine ideas and perspectives. Let no one and nothing hold you back. Audiences appreciate authenticity and can smell a fake from a mile away. Be true to who you are.

Think About What You Love

There is always that one thing that we truly enjoy doing. We enjoy doing it so much that we don't even realize the passage of time. It's like we're trapped in our own comforting bubbles. Picture that activity you enjoy. Allow yourself to embrace the peaceful feeling it brings. Write about it. When you write about what you truly love, the words will automatically flow.  

Experts Speak the Loudest

Immersing yourself in what you love can be an exhilarating experience. Part of the immersion process, however, requires continuous learning, growth and improvement.  Develop a genuine thirst for knowledge and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Your experiences and knowledge will provide you with more than enough content for expressing your insights. 

Think Like an Artist

I have profound respect for people in the creative space. They are able to produce works of art, songs, and music that the rest of the world is able to enjoy. Tapping into that creative energy is their talent. Think about all of the possible ways that you can tap into your creative energy. Where or from whom do you get your inspiration? What environment do you need to create in order to produce your best work? Think about it and make it happen.

 

Don't silence your inner voice. Let it shine through by closing your mind to the noise of life, freely expressing your thoughts, writing about what you love, becoming an expert in your niche, and thinking like an artist. The number of doors of opportunity that will open as a result will surprise you. 

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5 Types of Content Your Articles Must-Have in 2017

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5 Types of Content Your Articles Must-Have in 2017

Content marketing has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 5 years. As social media evolves, the desire to engage with truly meaningful content increases. Consumers are no longer accepting articles solely consisting of blocks of text. A strong content marketer identifies this fact and includes the following forms of media to give their content new life.

Infographics

Infographics are the perfect compromise for the visual and reading/writing learners. They organize content into easily digestible segments. Consider the infographic below that highlights the benefits of content marketing.   

Why Content Marketing Infographic.png

The images add new life to the content. They also help arrange the content into smaller segments. It, therefore, doesn't require a lot of reading. Research also shows that infographics are "liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any type of content." If you want to create a truly great infographic for your content, hire this freelancer

Custom Photography

The value of images in content is greatly apparent. More websites are offering stock photography that is highly accessible. These generic images are becoming commonplace. Readers appreciate images that are original and relate directly to the content. In fact, 41.5% of digital marketers identify original graphics and infographics as the most engaging forms of visual content.

Videos

Infographics and custom photography are stunning, but nothing beats a relevant and well-developed video. Researchers state that "4 times as many customers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it." People don't want to sift through large blocks of text. Give them something to click and watch and they'll be more willing to engage.

Interactive Content

 Polls, surveys, tests and quizzes are examples of interactive content. Apester,  Zaption, Webyclip, and Mapline all provide creative ways to include interaction in your content. 

Meaningful Content

The tricks and features you include in your articles are no excuse for poor content. People still look at the words you write. They want to know that the content captioned in the article's title meets expectations. Don't disappoint.

Readers require much more from content marketers than ever before. All the content you write should contain one or more of the features mentioned in this article if you want to stay ahead of the game. 

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Christine is a content marketing professional committed to creating stellar content. Visit her website at cemwritingservices.com to learn more. Read her latest ebook by clicking here. 

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Creating Content that Sings

    Digital content is often viewed as a static portion of a business’ marketing strategy. An article or blog post is created and it just sits there. Begging for likes and shares…begging to be noticed. Content is far more than a bunch of words that are churned out to fulfill the need to write consistently. Content is dynamic. It speaks to a need that a reader doesn’t even realize he or she has.  Creating content that speaks to potential customers in this way is what makes a winning content marketing strategy. Content marketing serves two purposes: attracting AND converting customers.  The content you write must, therefore, be REAL.     R- Relevant     Content has to be relevant to the consumer. Think carefully about your target audience. What are their interests? What matters to them? Finding the answers to those questions is the beginning. Using these answers to craft content is what truly matters.     A strategy that can be used to create relevant content is capitalizing on trending stories. Hurricane Matthew, for instance, is presently a hot topic. The Hurricane has sparked discussions about the corruption surrounding major donor agencies that have yet to provide Haiti with much needed assistance.  Writing an article that speaks to this would be relevant in this time period.     E- Engaging     What you write is equally as important as how you write.  Your writing should flow like a melody. It should sing to the reader and compel the reader to take some type of action. Inject bits of humor can liven up content and make it more engaging.  Using a mixture of long and short sentences is also a good strategy.  Think about your reader and write in a way that would appeal to him or her.     A-Applicable     Some of the best content inspires the reader to take some form of action. A reader who engages with your content should be able to find aspects that can be applied to his or her life or business. Applicable content gets more likes and shares. It’s what the reader desires without even knowing it.      L-Linked     Readers should be able to see the link between your content and your business. Your content should be authentic. You shouldn’t oversell, but the content that you write shouldn’t be completely unrelated to your niche. Writing unrelated content can create confusion in the mind of the reader and move you away from your target audience.          Content marketing is powerful. It places businesses on the map and keeps them relevant to their customers. Learning how to utilize its power can help your business tremendously. Always remember to write REAL content and you’re bound to succeed. You can find more tips in this article from the Digital Branding Institute.    _____________________________________________________________________________   Christine is an aspiring #content marketing professional who is passionate about creating stellar content. You can find out more about her and her business at cemwritingservices.com.

 

Digital content is often viewed as a static portion of a business’ marketing strategy. An article or blog post is created and it just sits there. Begging for likes and shares…begging to be noticed. Content is far more than a bunch of words that are churned out to fulfill the need to write consistently. Content is dynamic. It speaks to a need that a reader doesn’t even realize he or she has.  Creating content that speaks to potential customers in this way is what makes a winning content marketing strategy. Content marketing serves two purposes: attracting AND converting customers.  The content you write must, therefore, be REAL.

R- Relevant

Content has to be relevant to the consumer. Think carefully about your target audience. What are their interests? What matters to them? Finding the answers to those questions is the beginning. Using these answers to craft content is what truly matters.

A strategy that can be used to create relevant content is capitalizing on trending stories. Hurricane Matthew, for instance, is presently a hot topic. The Hurricane has sparked discussions about the corruption surrounding major donor agencies that have yet to provide Haiti with much needed assistance.  Writing an article that speaks to this would be relevant in this time period.

E- Engaging

What you write is equally as important as how you write.  Your writing should flow like a melody. It should sing to the reader and compel the reader to take some type of action. Inject bits of humor can liven up content and make it more engaging.  Using a mixture of long and short sentences is also a good strategy.  Think about your reader and write in a way that would appeal to him or her.

A-Applicable

Some of the best content inspires the reader to take some form of action. A reader who engages with your content should be able to find aspects that can be applied to his or her life or business. Applicable content gets more likes and shares. It’s what the reader desires without even knowing it.

L-Linked

Readers should be able to see the link between your content and your business. Your content should be authentic. You shouldn’t oversell, but the content that you write shouldn’t be completely unrelated to your niche. Writing unrelated content can create confusion in the mind of the reader and move you away from your target audience.

 

Content marketing is powerful. It places businesses on the map and keeps them relevant to their customers. Learning how to utilize its power can help your business tremendously. Always remember to write REAL content and you’re bound to succeed. You can find more tips in this article from the Digital Branding Institute. 

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Christine is an aspiring #content marketing professional who is passionate about creating stellar content. You can find out more about her and her business at cemwritingservices.com.

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5 Tips for Using Social Media to Build Your Brand

Social media is your gateway to the world.  There are no barriers. The power that lies in being able to build your brand on social media is almost frightening.  Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media, is a prime example of an individual who has been able to leverage social media to build his brand. There are several examples of top social media influencers who have found a way to captivate audiences. Tapping into the potential of social media isn’t a skill reserved for the elite. Instead, anyone with the drive and stick-to-itiveness can establish a strong social media presence for their brand. The following tips offer a launch pad for creating a killer social media marketing strategy.

Choose the Right Social Media Platform for Your Brand

Social media isn’t really a one size fits all marketing medium. Each social media platform offers unique benefits for a variety of businesses and individuals.  Pinterest and Instagram are ideal for companies that are visually focused. If you have pictures to share, those are the best places to be. Twitter appeals to people who like to get to the point. With only 140 characters available, marketers have to be very creative with wording and hashtags. Yes, visuals are also important on Twitter. However, the right wording and hashtags are crucial.

Facebook is often the go-to for anyone considering social media marketing. Facebook, with 1.71 billion active monthly users, has the largest share of the social media space.  The beauty of Facebook is the variety of marketing strategies it offers.  You can create a page exclusively for your business and post videos, pictures, and well worded posts that appeal to your target audience. A good social media strategy combines social media platforms that will work best for the brand.

Remember the Customer

It’s easy to get caught up in what you want to say and present. However, you have to carefully consider what your target audience really wants to hear. Your content and images should speak to what your audience wants to hear. When these elements work in tandem, people will be clamoring to follow you and learn more about your brand. Determining what your customers want to hear, however, isn’t a simple process. Consider observing the content that your competitors produce. What makes the content unique? What makes customers want to interact with the content and support the business? Apply what you observe to your content marketing strategy.

Utilize Facebook’s Live Video Feature

Live video is probably one of Facebook’s most ingenious ideas. It’s the perfect way to interact with your audience live. You can host live interviews and discussions, broadcast an event, or share some invaluable insight. The possibilities are endless.

Periscope is an app that works similarly to Facebook’s live video. It allows you to record a live video and use a social media platform like Twitter to interact with your audience. Utilize it in the same way as Facebook’s live video feature and you’ll be surprised by the results.

Tap into Influencer Marketing

There’s nothing wrong with consulting a social media influencer to help you promote your brand. They already have the following and their feedback is highly valued by their audience. So, their stamp of approval of your brand speaks volumes. Influencer marketing is essentially about word of mouth advertising. McKinsey states that, “Customers acquired via word-of-mouth have a 37% higher retention rate.” Influencer marketing is, therefore, a worthwhile investment.

Be Consistent

This is one of the most challenging aspects of social media marketing: consistency.  Your followers crave it. Stick to a schedule that you can work with and post content that is meaningful.  Always remember to keep what the customer wants to hear at the forefront of your mind. Utilize the power of images, hashtags, and well-crafted words.

 

Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Use these tips to utilize it effectively and you will see amazing results in your brand. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a social media manager. The point is that you shouldn’t neglect the value that a strong social media presence can add to your brand.

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4 Ways to Creatively Interact with Your Audience on Social Media

We've seen it all. At least that's what avid social media users think. Scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChap, Pinterest, and all of the other social media sites, results in us being inundated with content, images, and videos. Once in a while something piques our interest. We click, gloss over the content, and then move on with our lives. This procedure becomes almost routine.

Content marketers are faced with the stark reality of their content being drowned out in the sea of daily postings. Each day, the primary question on a content marketer's lips is, "How can I truly make my content memorable?" The answer isn't as simple as many bloggers make it seem. It's easy to say, "Be unique" or "Create meaningful content", but statements like these seem vacuous if no practical solutions are presented. 

The true secret to effective content marketing is interaction. Interacting with your customers and getting them to interact with your brand is what will help you create a winning content marketing strategy. So, how do you actually get them to interact with your content and brand? These 4 tips can help you answer this salient question.

Latch on to Viral Topics

The latest buzz provides ephemeral intrigue. Tapping into this short-lasting buzz can help you win new readers and maintain existing ones. Furthermore, creating meaningful content that relates to a viral topic and connects with your brand can help spark interest. Sparked interest often inspires readers to comment and even share your content. If you are able to offer a new, fresh perspective on a current issue or trend, your readers will want to interact with you.

Facilitate Intriguing Discussions

Offering a fresh perspective is key to boosting interaction with your audience. Can you think of a controversial perspective on a topic related to your niche? How can you initiate a discussion around this perspective with people within your niche? Twitter is a good platform to use to connect with others. LinkedIn also offers several groups that allow members to create discussions. Join groups that interest you. Participate in discussions posted by others and start discussions of your own.

Interact with your customers in the same way. Ask them questions on your social media pages and encourage them to respond. You could possibly post a picture, for instance, and ask your audience to share their perspectives on it. Think of things that are light and fun...things that will make people happy to engage and share.

Offer Giveaways

Freebies are an instant catch. Humans are innately selfish, whether we want to admit it or not. We don't really want to give without receiving something in return. Giveaways can be pegged to special promotions. Ask your customers, for instance, to share pictures of your brand on their social media pages in return for free merchandise or coupons. there are many creative strategies you can come up with. Think outside the box.

Don't Be Too Serious

Life is serious enough as it is. People don't want to be bogged down with rigidly structured content. Let loose. Express yourself freely. The more genuine and relatable you are, the more people will want to interact with you. Have fun with your writing and watch your engagement soar.

Interaction is important for any content marketing strategy. These 4 tips can help you create content that your audience will want to interact with. Employ them well and you'll see your audience grow.

 

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Infographics as Powerful Content Marketing Tools

People like content that doesn't look like a pain to read. With so much hustle and bustle required for daily living, there isn't much time to take in large blocks of text to get information.  According to HubSpot, research shows that "colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%." Additionally, "content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images." Infographics are the perfect merger between content and visuals. They provide numerous benefits that can mean the difference between a powerful and average content marketing strategy.

Infographics Present Content Succinctly

Look at the infographic below that describes the qualities of a successful graphic designer.

At a glance, you can clearly see the qualities being highlighted. Each quality also has only a sentence or two describing it. This makes the information easier to process and remember. Making your content memorable and easy to digest is crucial for engaging potential customers.

Infographics are Colorful

Color attracts. The graphic designer infographic shown above uses the right amount of color without overwhelming your eyes. The colors used also grab your attention and entice you to actually read what is under each image.

Infographics Use Memorable Images

The likelihood of a reader remembering words greatly diminishes as time progresses. Images, however, stay in a reader's mind longer. The graphic designer infographic has a relevant image for each of the qualities. It also uses short, simple headlines to complement each of the images. Anyone who looks at it is likely to remember all of the qualities of a successful graphic designer.

Infographics are powerful content marketing tools. They help you get your message across without using a large number of words. Their visual appeal also makes your content memorable. Check out this excellent infographic designer to create a stunning infographic for your next content marketing campaign.

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Five Ways to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

Powerful. Captivating. Intriguing. These are the qualities of content that is bound to generate sales.  A content writer who is able to write such content is deemed excellent. Achieving such a feat, however, requires great skill. It is a skill that can be learnt and perfected. Businesses look for content writers who can crate winning content marketing strategies. Novice content writers who follow these five tips can become the excellent content writers a company needs.

Understand Your Audience

People react to content in different ways. Content that you would write for a new mother, for instance would be different from the content you write for a mother raising a teenager. Before you begin to formulate ideas for your content, carefully map out the characteristic features of your target audience. What writing style appeals to them most? What are their interests? What do they most readily relate to? The answers to these questions will help you create lead generating content.

Appreciate the Value of Visual Aids

MDG Advertising states that “94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images”. Pictures tell stories succinctly. Many people have neither the time nor the patience to sift through blocks of words. An infographic is a perfect way to convey snippets of content using stunning images. This graphic designer creates spectacular infographics that will make your content shine. Shutterfly and Getty Images also offer amazing images at affordable prices. You can even use your own images. It’s worth investing in images that will catch readers’ eyes and make them want to learn more about your brand.

Embrace the Power of SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that is thrown around so much in the marketing arena. However, those who use it effectively are able to get their brands noticed online. SEO incorporates the strategic use of keywords throughout content. There are also many other factors to consider, such as the use of backlinks. A good content marketing strategy naturally utilizes the best keywords throughout a piece. You shouldn’t stuff your content with keywords since this will lead to an over optimization penalty. A keyword density of 1% to 3% is ideal.

Vary the Structure and “Feel” of Your Content

Long sentences. Short sentences.  Humor. Words that paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  Writing with a mixture of these elements builds intrigue.  Overly long sentences, dull language, and a lack of imagination have little or no impact on the reader. Practice using these strategies with content of your own. Content writers who are able to write in this way create some of the best content.

 

 

Utilize Social Media Wisely

A content marketing strategy is incomplete without a solid social media marketing strategy. Social media presents your brand to the world. It allows you to interact with customers and experts in your niche in creative ways. Promoting your content strategically on social media adds strength to your content marketing strategy. Research the optimal times to post content. These times vary depending on the platform used. Remember to incorporate stunning images. People won’t click on the link to your article if you don’t have an amazing image attached. Follow some of the social media gurus and learn from their posting trends.  You can become a master too.

 

Let your passion for writing guide you on your journey to become a content marketing specialist. Be the rose that stands out in the garden of flourishing roses. Follow the strategies highlighted in this article and remain true to who you are. A business searching for a good content writer will find you. 

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