Tag Archives: Content Marketing

Summer content marketing tips

If you’re like most people, the first things that come to mind when thinking about summer are vacation, beach and relaxation. It’s safe to say that content marketing doesn’t make the cut.

While summer may feel like the time to take a break, content marketing is just as important during the summer as it is during the rest of the year. Creating and generating content that leads back to your business will help raise brand awareness, increase your search engine rankings and ultimately get your brand in front of possible leads.

If you need some motivation, here are some content marketing tips for your summertime strategy.

Stay consistent

The best way to stay fresh on people’s minds is to continue posting content on a regular basis. It takes time for your target audience to recognize your brand, and consistency is key to increasing that recognition. Even if you’re planning on taking a summer vacation, you can easily create content and schedule it ahead of time with one of the many social media scheduling platforms out there.

Summer themed

You can use the season to your advantage by tying it into your content marketing strategy. Consider writing a blog post on the ‘Best business reads for the beach’ or adding some fun summer ideas that incorporate your product or service into your email newsletter. Staying on theme will make your brand relatable and pique more interest from your audience.

Partner up

Summer is a slow time for everyone. Consider partnering up with another brand with similar goals to create content that both audiences would benefit from. You could do an Instagram giveaway with each other’s products, or could even have them write a guest blog post for the company blog. It’s a win-win for both parties involved!

Guest appearances

Referrals from others are an easy way to get new business. Try to see if you can guest blog for a popular website, or even be a guest on a podcast. It helps your business’ credibility to have others promote you every once in awhile.

Recycle

If the summer ends up making you too busy to crank out new content every week, at least recycle old content to make sure your content marketing efforts don’t go stale. Repost old videos or reference past blog posts, but try to add in a summer twist so that it makes sense to the current reader.

About Sam Lauron:  Sam Lauron is a Communications Associate at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with digital marketing, social media, blogging and tech PR activities and helps run the newly launched Startup Over Coffee, a crowdsourced map of local startup resources. Manzer Communications provides digital PR and marketing services in Austin, Denver and Houston and for any national brands seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.

How to write a Listicle for your brand

How to write a listicle

Arm yourself with coffee, paper and pen!

Chances are good that if you visit any number of popular Internet news outlets like BuzzFeed, Thrillist, and The Huffington Post then you have seen a listicle about some topic or another.

A listicle, for those not in the know, is combination of article and list where a media outlet essentially curates a topic and presents its top picks (or pans) for a given moment in time.

A few examples:

  • Top hotels in New Orleans (Travel & Leisure)
  • Best tacos in Austin (Bon Appetit)
  • Best iPhone apps for productivity (tom’s GUIDE)

The benefits of listicles include buzz for your brand, clicks for your website and qualified leads for your business.

The beauty of listicles is that you can create your own for use on your blog or a guest post on another blog or as a sponsored listicle in an established media outlet – for a nice fee, mind you.

How to write a listicle:

Step 1: Subject.

Pick a topic to write about that relates to your business directly or indirectly. Avoid picking your top 10 products as that would make the listicle appear self serving and turn off readers interested in finding a ‘reasonably’ objective list. Also, decide on a particular angle for the list. Say you are an all-inclusive beach resort in Florida that caters to snow birds. You might try any one of these angles:

  • 10 beaches in Florida that cater to seniors
  • 7 secret ways to save on airfare to Florida
  • 8 best golf package deals for seniors

Step 2: Research.

To be taken seriously, research your topic thoroughly. Figure out what key details you want to share with readers. Say you want to create a list of Vermont bed & breakfasts with the best view of fall foliage, you will need to decide what factors will drive the ranking and why some made it into the list while others did not. For instance, I recently wrote a listicle for Culturemap about the top 10 coffee shops in Austin for professionals. I addressed such items as WiFi network, parking, popular drinks, power outlet availability, etc. In the end, I gave each of the coffee shops on the list a score out of five coffee cups.

Step 3: Layout.

How will you present your listicle? Will it be in paragraph form with a smartly written description of each contender? How about as a bullet list with terse explanations or numeric ratings of specific features? Or perhaps you will go with a blended approach in order to be free to describe something without sacrificing directness. No matter what you decide, you should prepare a summary layout of the finished listicle to use as a kind of template for later.

Step 4: Short, sweet and error free.

A necessary ingredient to successful listicles is brevity. Avoid rambling descriptions or stuffing the piece with too many details. You might consider letting colleagues and friends read the listicle and incorporate their feedback. Plus, let the piece sit for a couple of days and then go back over it with your editorial glasses to pick out any weak sentences or bad grammar.

Step 5: Visual.

To make a listicle pop you should use high quality images. The listicle idea above on golf packages for seniors in Florida should have pictures of manicured putting greens, breathtaking bunker shots and plenty of seniors enjoying a round of links. You can also use vines or GIFS (short looping still photos) to capture an animated version of your subjects – think best Mardi Gras parades or top Spring Break destinations.

Step 6: Byline.

You are providing a media outlet with fresh, free content so the least it can do is provide you with a short byline (author description mentioning your name and business.) with a chance to get a linkback (embedded URL of your website’s domain name). This is the golden nugget you are mining with a listicle – a chance for increased buzz for your name, your brand and business website.

Step 7: Publish.

After you write your listicle you want to see it published, right? Finding the most relevant media outlet will make that job a lot easier. Continuing our example about the Florida beach resort catering to seniors, the author would be wise to approach websites focused on Florida tourism and senior lifestyle. Hyper-local media outlets like to publish listicles about all kinds of topics from where to go for Mother’s Day brunch to the best summer camps for kids. If you can’t find an established media outlet to publish your listicle, approach industry blogs that may have smaller audiences but will still provide you with a strong linkback to your website.

Step 8: Promote.

A no-brainer, really. Promote the heck out of every listicle you publish. Use your own social media assets to spread the word several times over the week the piece is published, then spread mentions out over the next few weeks and months to keep it circulating. Ask friends and collaborators to share as well in order to maximize the reach on social networks. Consider pre-composing tweets to make it easier for friendly mentions. Thank any shares on the platform used in order to show your gratitude (and prime your friends for future shares).

Final thought: don’t take rejection the wrong way. It often takes many tries before you strike gold with a publication, especially in a national media outlet. Keep trying, learn from feedback, make connections with media professionals and eventually you will be rewarded.

About Dave Manzer:  Dave Manzer founded an Austin tech startup PR firm for startups and emerging-growth businesses in 2009. Dave Manzer specializes in highly integrated PR & marketing strategies that help companies in technology, healthcare, consumer and professional services reach their goals in brand awareness and revenue growth. To contact Dave about the PR over Coffee blog, feel free to tweet him at @davemanzer or email him at dave(@)davemanzer.com.

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