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Content Checklist for Writers

There are people who find writing a hard task. Some say there are too many rules on grammar or that they’re not confident about their pieces. The latter is a subjective matter; they would have to build their conviction first. The former, though, is the objectivity of the creative craft—the hardest part of it all, some will say. This is why writing is studied, why writing is an art, and why writing is not easy.

When it comes to the rules of writing, there are certain aspects you really have to study—grammar, punctuation, and spelling are by far the most obvious when it comes to reading a draft. A mistake in any of the three can be a great blow to your great copy and an object of scrutiny for the author (perhaps why people are afraid to write in the first place).

There are also the subtle points you need to fulfill. Like a few ones below. Familiarize yourself with all of them, and soon, you’ll be ready to write anything.

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Put An Effort When Writing

Like every form of art, writing needs effort. If you don’t take it seriously—and that fact will show on your drafts—then don’t expect readers to do the same.

Also, don’t be disappointed when your piece doesn’t live up to your expectations. Sure, you spent a significant amount of time and effort into it, but you can’t please everyone. If you’re trying to do that, then writing certainly isn’t the best craft. If you cater to too many interests, you’ll lose focus of why you’re writing and what you’re writing about.

Lastly, have fun during the process. As in the infographic, if you force yourself to write, then it’ll become more and more of a chore. Then, you’ll place yourself into a creative slump—a writer’s block—and there’s only a downward spiral from there. If you need inspiration, inspire yourself. Need food to write? Buy some and satiate your hunger. Feel you can’t write without music? Play some tunes. Be creative.

Need a writing prompt? Write about your interest… in a different way.

Resources:

Sambuchino, Chuck. “10 Tips for Writing.” Writer’s Digest. August 7, 2015. www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/10-tips-for-writing

Scocco, Daniel. “34 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Better Writer.” Daily Writing Tips. n.d. www.dailywritingtips.com/34-writing-tips-that-will-make-you-a-better-writer

Weinstein, Mindy. “One Colossal Content Checklist: 37 Tips For Writers.” Search Engine Journal. March 25, 2015. www.searchenginejournal.com/one-colossal-content-checklist-37-tips-writers/127122

Making It Big: Great Ideas and Good Plans Don’t Cost Much

Some of the grandest marketing successes are elaborate enterprises that looked like they required a lot of manpower and money. For example, as cited by AdAge contributor and Creativity editor, Ann-Christine Diaz, these experiential moves appear to have specific budgets with their productions.

We’ve attributed such innovation to large companies that could afford to bring their creative strategies to life.

However, you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good idea. Most of the time, the best ideas won’t cost you anything.

Here are three ways you can execute your plan under a budget:

1. Prioritize the CustomerChef thinking of a great recipe idea for customers

Don’t put your brand directly in your output. Focus on building content first. To get yourself noticed, go with a strategy that impacts your customers emotionally.

For this purpose, content marketing exists to cater to people’s different preferences. Companies now focus on creating relevant content for their target audience before endorsing themselves.

This is because they know clients want to see information related to their interests, be it cooking, car mechanics, or even electronics. Similarly, knowing what the audience wants, and relating your content to commonly shared values are the first steps to mapping out your plan of attack.

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Tug at basic human emotions and observe actions to draw your next inspiration.

For example, Coca-Cola, which has always been well-known for its impressive campaigns, launched Share-a-Coke in 2011, which continues up to the present. As its name suggests, Coca-Cola’s campaign banked on forming and strengthening human connections, which most people naturally relate to.

Similarly, tap into your audience’s preferences to relate to them better and convince them to invest their time and money on you.

2. Go ViralChef using Twitter to reach more customers

One of the most cost-effective ways to attract many customers without overstepping your budget is to go digital.

Today, social media plays a dominant part of everyone’s lives, allowing everyone to share content from all over the world with the simple click of a button. With something as connective as the Internet, it would be a loss not to take advantage of the opportunity to reach out to a greater number of people.

Viral marketing as cited on Web Marketing Today, by internet marketing pioneer Dr. Ralph Wilson, explains the nuances and principles behind the viral marketing trend, some include providing effortless transfer to others and utilizing existing communication networks to reach more people.

Once you have your great ideas in place, put them together as catchy content like a blog post, infographic, or better yet, a video.

Upload your content online. If the audience takes the bait, it will only take you a minimal promotion to turn it into a widespread Internet sensation for a couple of days.

3. Keep it GoingChef welcoming customers in his store

Viral marketing can only last for so long before it’s replaced by the next interesting thing.

Don’t let your name die out with the hype. Formulate a strategy to keep your brand up in the market for as long as you can. Take advantage of the publicity by introducing your product or service to your target market. Offering promos and sales discounts to potential customers will attract people to your brand.

Attending trade fairs can also get you noticed. This expands your network with peers in the industry as well as with clients. Having an established identity in the market can take time, especially if it’s a saturated one. It often takes more than one successful campaign to become a famous business.

That’s why after your first idea comes to fruition and you’ve gotten the most out of the publicity, you’ve got to go back to square one.

Think of a new idea, find another strategy to make it go viral, and maximize the attention you’re given.

Go Big or Go HomeChef using creativity to form great ideas

Creativity is a never-ending process. You need to constantly look for inspiration to benefit from it.

Before you even draft up your plan, consider your audience. If you’re on a very tight budget, using available resources instead of trying to match up to those used by major brands can reduce cost.

Tap into viral content online to reach out to more people, but don’t stop there. Strike while the iron is hot and show off your brand offerings.

Who knows – they might even invite you for a live sales pitch! For those presentation needs, our SlideGenius experts have your back. Contact us today for a free quote!

 

References

Diaz, Ann-Christine. “Here Are 15 of Marketing’s Most Memorable Experiential Moves.” Advertising Age Agency News. March 11, 2014. Accessed December 7, 2015. http://adage.com/article/agency-news/15-marketing-s-memorable-experiential-moves/291975
“Social Culture: The Digital Key to Connecting with Audiences.” Digital Information World. Accessed January 14, 2016. www.digitalinformationworld.com/2015/10/social-culture-digital-key-to-connecting-with-audiences.html
“What Is Content Marketing?” Content Marketing Institute. Accessed December 7, 2015. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing
Wilson, Ralph. “The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing.” Web Marketing Today. Accessed December 7, 2015. http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/viral-principles

3 Tips on How to Improve SEO Writing for Your Business

With our increasingly digitized lifestyles, technology plays an even bigger role in society.

For businesses, the playing field has moved online. The Internet’s influence on people can greatly improve or ruin a company’s reputation. Beyond traditional marketing tactics like network expansions, the Internet now serves as the main arena where entrepreneurs vie for customers’ attention.

One way to improve your digital marketing strategy is through SEO writing for your company’s website or blog. Sometimes, SEO writing can be tricky, especially if you have lots of competition online. Fortunately, we’ve compiled three tips to improve SEO for your business:

Strategic Keywords

You want to be the first thing people see in a search engine when they look up something related to your brand offer.

More website views mean more people are becoming interested in you.

If you follow up on this interest with frequent correspondence and an effective sales pitch, you can best convert leads into sales.

But how do you come out on top when there are other sites competing for the slot?

Dave Davies, Beanstalk SEO Services CEO, suggests in his article on Search Engine Watch a strategic use of keywords in your entries.

These keywords are the things your potential leads will be typing in the search bar.

They act as the middle ground between your company’s specific services and the customer’s more general concerns.

Be exact with a keyword that will lead a prospect to you, but don’t overdo it.

Instead of individual words, use phrases to qualify your keywords without making it look like blatant marketing.

There’s no fixed formula to coining the right keywords.

Give yourself options before settling into what feels most natural and effective.

Relevant Content

The most important thing in your blog post or website is the content.

You may have all the right keywords, but without solid content to back you up, your post will fall flat.

Keep your writing original and fresh.

Be mindful not to duplicate content. Jayson DeMers, founder of Seattle-based social media marketing firm, Audience Bloom, provides useful tools that help you gauge your article’s originality.

These sites include Copyscape and Copysentry, which analyze your content for you.

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If you want to keep yourself on a Google search’s first page, update often and avoid re-posting existing entries.

Besides, frequently updated material that keeps up with people’s changing interests attracts more attention.

You may be able to draw people in at first click, but the trick is to keep them reading. Consider your page’s bounce rate compared to how many online viewers actually interact with your site.

Limit the number of bounces you get by publishing material that’s worth reading to the end.

Consistent Branding

To make your site link-worthy, its content should bear your brand.

Once a viewer goes through your site, they’ll want to know who you are.

Establishing a personal connection with the client is as important outside a pitch as it is during your presentation.

People are more willing to invest in something familiar to them.

Use your posts as a springboard to bring your services to the viewer’s attention.

Introduce your business and foster a link between you and your virtual audience to gain their trust.

However, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a limited set of topics that revolve around your services.

Expand to related areas that will broaden your scope while keeping your identity.

It also helps to include links to your references within the text.

This associates you with authority sources, or other credible sites.

Conclusion

Writing with SEO can improve your overall digital marketing strategy.

Choosing strategic keywords and creating unique content showcases your brand and improves your online marketability.

Simply being on top of a search list doesn’t guarantee lead conversion.

But bringing in enough interested people to your page raises your chances.

After the initial contact with your prospect, don’t forget to follow up.

If you play all the right cards, they might even invite you to deliver your sales pitch in person.

References

Bounce Rate.Google Analytics. Accessed November 2, 2015. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en

Davies, Dave. “How to Find Profitable Keywords For Your Website.” Search Engine Watch. March 29, 2012. Accessed November 2, 2015. http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2164520/profitable-keywords-website

Demers, Jayson. “7 Advanced Ways to Improve Your Site’s SEO.” Entrepreneur. September 30, 2014. Accessed November 2, 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/237819

Demers, Jayson. “How to Make Sure You’re Not Publishing Duplicate Content.” Audience Bloom. August 14, 2013. Accessed November 2, 2015. www.audiencebloom.com/2013/08/how-to-make-sure-youre-not-publishing-duplicate-content/

Featured Image: “SEO” by NOGRAN s.r.o. on Flickr.com

Content Creation / Curation: Find the Sweet Spot [Guest Infographic]

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you ever met someone who only ever talks about their own interests, qualities and successes without showing any concern whatsoever for your input?

It’s not always the most engaging conversation for both parties, and by the end of it you’ll likely think of them as a self-centered and arrogant individual whom you would do anything in your power to avoid.

The same idea applies to businesses that use overly self-promotional advertisements, or create content that points all fingers back in their direction.

You don’t want to be stuck with absolutely no chance of being seen either.

The trick is to find a balance between how much of your content should be curated, and how much should actually be original content.

First, let’s get a better understanding of the difference between content creation and content curation.

Content Creation

According to Curata, content creation refers to “… the original creator of the content, either the author, illustrator, researcher or whomever is the original source.”

Content creation is necessary for influencers and marketers to position themselves as thought leaders within a particular area of marketing.

However, content creation can be extremely time-consuming, and crafting content that stands out requires a lot of research.

Content Curation

Content curation is similar to content aggregation (i.e. collecting a bunch of articles or references on a particular subject), except that this content is handpicked by the author.

This is a great way to take existing ideas and either provide an opinion on them or simply provide your audience with a selection of refined resources that you recommend.

So how do you find the sweet spot of content curation and creation?

Convince and Convert did some great research on how well an article performs based on where your outbound links lead to, and how frequently you should lead to your own work.

The following infographic by Venngage visually summarizes just how you can find the content curation and creation sweet spot.

content curation infographic
content curation

This infographic was made with the Infographic maker Venngage.

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11 Online Marketing Tools to Help Reinforce Your Strategy

With the technology available today, it’s not hard to reach out to potential clients and customers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran or a newbie. There are plenty of opportunities to engage and build meaningful relationships with your prospects online. If you couple hard work with the bevy of online marketing tools available, you’re sure to reach the top of your game.

Want to make sure your strategy is working for you? Try these online marketing tools to help optimize your efforts.

Connecting with prospects

HootSuite

online marketing tools - hootsuiteHootSuite allows you to access all of your profiles in one dashboard, saving you from the pain of having to log in and out of multiple sites all the time. You can also make cross posts and schedule them to go out during a specific date and time.

MailChimp

mc_googleSend content directly to your prospects’ inbox with an email subscription tool. MailChimp has over a dozen features to guide you from start to finish. You can use templates for your content, manage contacts, and deliver your newsletters at the most optimal time.

 

Creating and sharing content

Infogr.am

Infogram-0Internet users love visual content, so make sure your online marketing efforts are focused on that. Use Infogr.am to create your own infographics and charts. Start from scratch or use a template to illustrate your ideas.

Prezi

800px-Prezi_logo_transparent_2012.svgPrezi is a great PowerPoint alternative. You can easily add text and images to any template you choose. What sets it apart is the zooming animation for non-linear transitions. Best of all, it’s a cloud-based program. You can create and edit presentations as you have an Internet connection.

SlideShare

Slideshare-logoWe’ve talked a lot about SlideShare in the past. It’s one of the most famous presentation-sharing sites on the web. Aside from presentation decks, you can also upload infographics and documents on the site. This is perfect for sharing informative content and vital information.

YouTube

YouTube-avatar-generic (1)You might think that YouTube is just a place for fun and entertainment, but it’s actually a great place to share presentations and other video content. YouTube is especially strategic for content marketing efforts because it’s the source of 19% of web traffic.

 

Tracking information and doing research

Google Analytics

online tools - google analyticsIf you want to see if your online marketing efforts are working, Google Analytics is a great place to start. This tool monitors your website’s traffic and where it all comes from. The data collected is illustrated using a graph for easy interpretation.

Google Trends

Google_TrendsWhen communicating with prospects, it’s important to share information that’s relevant and up-to-date. Google Trends allows you to see which topics are trending. You can also use it to check the search volume for a certain keyword to improve your SEO efforts.

BuzzSumo

online tools - buzzsumoDo you want to know how many times your content has been shared on different social media platforms? You can use BuzzSumo to check your own domain, or search for top content under a specific topic. You can also find out who the most influential authors are.

 

Organizing ideas and managing projects

Evernote

icon_340Evernote is a great tool for keeping track of things you need to do. Use it to take down notes, make lists, and organize ideas for your marketing campaign. You can also use it to store and collect anything that inspires you—from articles you find online to an ad you see on the sidewalk.

Mavenlink

Mavenlink_logoA lot of online marketing efforts involve collaboration. Use a tool that will help you keep everyone on the right track. Mavenlink has plenty of features for that. You can assign tasks, share and receive files, and even keep track of deadlines. Most importantly, it has a detailed budget management system to keep track project expenses.

 

Increase your impact to engage prospects and gain more leads. Use these online marketing tools to make sure your strategy remain on point.

 

You can also read some of our previous blog entries about online marketing and presentations:

 

Featured Image: Mark Hunter via Flickr

Highlight Your Personal Brand with Eye-Catching Visual Resumes

Visual resumes can help boost your online presence. The Internet is a powerful tool for marketers, and dozens of potential clients can be sourced through social media engagement. However, you could be missing out on plenty of opportunities because of boring text and cliched graphics. According to statistics from VFM Leonardo below, there has been a huge shift in the way people utilize and engage over social networks.

visual-centric social networls
(Source)

Through this infographic, you can easily see that users prefer visual-centric content. In order to keep up, you need to come up with more creative ways to introduce your personal brand to prospects. This is where visual resumes come in. In this day and age, a good first impression is created by those who aren’t afraid to think outside the box. By creating a visual resume, you can reach out to potential clients in a medium that they’re more inclined to browse and engage with.

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What are visual resumes?

A visual resume is a creative spin on the traditional resumes you’d usually submit when applying for a job. However, while traditional versions are typically rigid and text-centric, visual resumes focus on making use of design elements to tell a story.

Using a slide show, you basically introduce yourself to potential clients and tell them why you’re the best person for the job. The most important thing to remember about visual resumes is that you have to make use of powerful imagery. Think of it as your personal pitch deck. Instead of pitching a product or service, you’re pitching your personal brand.

More on personal branding

how to define your personal brand
(Source)

Before you start creating your visual resume, make sure that your personal brand is clearly defined. It’s important that it’s consistent with all the different online platforms you use. Otherwise, you might end up sending mixed messages that confuse potential clients. To avoid this scenario, you should make sure that your story is clear and definite.

According to Zoe Sentirmai of BRANDIAM, a brand is a result of “a set of associations and perceptions in people’s minds, based on the content they come across that relates to you.” She also notes that these associations can be both intentional or out of your control. In order to keep your image positive and helpful to your business, you need to define how you want others to see you.

Your personality, core values, abilities, and goals are all part of what makes your brand. Sentirmai suggests you ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I stand for?
  • What makes me awesome?
  • Who do I want to help?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • What do I call success?

With these questions answered, you’re one step closer to defining your personal brand and creating visual resumes that will help engage your target market.

Stories and Visuals

Story is the foundation of any presentation. Once you have your personal brand story defined, you can begin working on visual resumes that will engage and impress potential clients. Before you open PowerPoint, create a quick outline of your content. Here’s a sample from a SlideShare presentation by Intelligent.ly:

personal branding outline

How to Make a Visual Resume

Tip 1: The first slide is everything

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Internet users prefer to engage with content that are visually appealing. The first slide is important because it will serve as the thumbnail once you upload your slides to presentation-sharing websites like SlideShare. If your first slide is neither interesting nor creative, expect that potential clients will pass over it as they browse.

If you’re totally clueless about how to make your first slide engaging, you can check out some of our PowerPoint design tips. You can also read up on the presentation design trends we observed this year for inspiration.

Tip 2: Don’t ignore your other branded materials

Again, it’s important that your online presence remains consistent—not only for your content, but also for the aesthetics you use. Make sure that the color schemes and fonts you use in your visual resume are consistent with all the other materials you have online. Take note of the visual elements of your website and social media profiles, and keep your visual resume coherent with them.

Tip 3: Don’t just list down your experience

Visual resumes are an opportunity to show prospects that you can think outside the box. This isn’t the time to follow formats and rules. Don’t just list down your experience and be done with it. Use your visual resume as an opportunity to tell your story. Just make sure this story is relevant to your business. There’s a fine line between creating a connection with your audience and over-sharing. Don’t cross it!

Tip 4: Be specific with your call to action

In visual resumes, the ending is as crucial as the beginning. Don’t let yours end by simmering down to oblivion. Leave your prospect with something they can remember. Give them a specific call to action. Without it, your visual resume might end up looking like superficial fluff. Stunning and visually engaging, but with no real meat to it.

Let your audience know that you want them to reach out and start a conversation with you. Provide them with ways to contact you, like links to your social media profiles.

You can also provide them with free resources if you offer that in your website. To learn more about creating powerful Call-to-Action slides, click here and read one of our previous blog entries.

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Featured Image: Nina Matthews via Flickr

PowerPoint Design Ideas: Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling is gaining more and more traction in social media platforms. Users these days are more inclined towards infographics, photos, and videos than purely text-based content, especially during the advent of social media and fast information.

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Brands are wise to take advantage of this trend in their marketing strategies. And you would be too, if you learn to apply visual storytelling in your PowerPoint design.

The importance of visual storytelling

Humans are highly visual creatures. We’re naturally attracted to beautiful colors and interesting patterns. In fact, our brain is able to process images 60,000 times faster than information presented in text. It’s also easier for us to retain visual information. According to Dr. John Medina, after three days, we’re able to recall 65% of information if it was presented with images or illustrations.

So if you’re presenting information that’s bulky with data, the audience will thank you if you can integrate comprehensible illustrations. Take the usual charts and graphs a step further by weaving stories through imagery.

Integrating visuals to enhance core message

There’s more to visual storytelling than sticking random pictures to your slides. Your statistics won’t make much sense if the visuals you add only serve an aesthetic purpose. Visual storytelling is about using different media that contribute to the message you’re presenting.

As an example, here’s a small part of an interactive infographic by Collaborative Fund, Hyperakt and Start Up American Partnership:

Visual storytelling - car sharing infographic

The infographic, which you can view in full here, showcases the positive effects of car sharing to the environment. It offers a lot of statistics that are perfectly illustrated to create more impact. It’s hard to imagine the difference a vague number makes but through this illustration, you can perfectly see how much carbon dioxide emissions have diminished.

Here’s another example, this time, from a Facebook post by Intel:

Visual storytelling by Intel-Facebook
Screen cap by Social Media Examiner

Intel showcases their brand identity while adding a bit of humor at the same time. For your PowerPoint design, make sure you choose pictures with interesting narratives. There’s always a rare gem in the sea of cheesy stock photos. Especially if you know where to look.

Your text-based, bullet point-ridden PowerPoint design isn’t helping anyone. It’s not engaging your audience, and it’s not helping you get your message across. Instead, you should consider taking inspiration from visual storytelling. Showcase and illustrate your key points with visual elements, and your PowerPoint design will have more impact.

If you need help, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Our professional PowerPoint designers will be happy to take your ideas and turn them into reality.

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Featured Image: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr

3 Questions Your Online Presentations Need to Answer

There are plenty of reasons you should include presentations in your content marketing strategy.

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Online presentations have the potential to become exactly the type of content users are gravitating towards today. If you re-purpose your slides properly, you can create a highly visual, dynamic, and engaging experience for a wider audience.

But there’s more to great online presentations than adding more visual elements and animations. Without a speaker to explain the finer points, your online presentations need to speak through the screen. Before you upload your deck to SlideShare, Brainshark, and other presentation sharing websites, make sure your online presentation can answer the following questions:

Are you addressing your target audience?

Online users spend about 10 to 20 seconds browsing through a web page. They practice the “screen and glean” method, skimming fast to make sure it has what they’re looking for. If they skip over your online presentation, it’s likely they’re not coming back to it again. You need to make an impression right then and there. How do you capture attention in a matter of seconds?

Make sure you’re clear on who you want to address. Fashion your headline and title slide in a way that lets your target audience know that you’re speaking to them. Avoid anything generic. Instead, lure viewers in with unique images and witty headlines.

There’s plenty of “Top Ten Tips” type of content out there, but few that are specifically meant for your clientele. According to startup guru Mark Evans, if you’re familiar with and have properly defined your target market, this part won’t be difficult at all.

Are you giving them what they’re looking for?

Getting users to view your online presentations is just the first step. You also have to maintain their interest until the very end. If your slides can’t answer their questions, they can easily click “X” and move on to another page. To make sure they don’t stray, you need to immediately establish that you have the answer they’re looking for.

Make sure the goal of your presentation is clearly defined before you delve into the main body. That way, your target audience knows that the presentation they’re viewing holds exactly what they’re looking for.

Are you clear on a Call to Action?

A Call to Action is important to any presentation, regardless of its medium of delivery. Your online presentations must have a proper CTA to let your target audience know what you want them to do next. By reaching the end of your presentation, you’ve successfully enticed and engaged their interest. Don’t let that impact go to waste without properly defining an action you want them to take.

Online presentations are an effective way to address your target audience. Make sure your slides can speak through the screen by following these tips.

You can also try turning your presentation deck into a scrolling web pitch to give it a more interactive dimension. Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

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Featured Image: Lali Masriera via Flickr

Business Storytelling: Turn Presentations into a Powerful Marketing Tool

Business storytelling has been helping brands add more impact to their online content, and it can do the same for your presentations.

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Your presentations have the potential to become one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal. During presentations, you’re directly talking to the people you want to reach out.

So don’t waste a good opportunity by boring potential clients with bad delivery. Engage them with a simple technique that’s ‘as old as time’. Tell them a great story.

What is business storytelling?

According to Mike Murray, business storytelling is basically about “brands sharing their messages in ways that engage audiences and drive them to a desired action.” It might sound similar to the definition of content marketing we gave previously, but Murray maintains that they are two separate, but related things.

“Business storytelling is a distinct content discipline that leverages well-crafted narratives in a diverse range of content types, while content marketing is much broader and speaks to the collective efforts that companies use to communicate with their audiences in informative and engaging ways.”

To frame it, content marketing refers to a collection of things you do to reach out and engage consumers and potential clients. One of the ways you can do that is through presentations that reveal the core identity of your brand and company.

What business story should you tell?

In her book, “Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins,” Annette Simmons identified six kinds of stories that can help facilitate business communications:

  • “Who am I” Stories
  • “Why am I here” Stories
  • Vision Stories
  • Values-in-Action Stories
  • Teaching Stories
  • “I know what you’re thinking” Stories

While Simmons uses these stories to help frame interactions that are more straightforward, her insights can also be helpful to marketing presentations. Particularly, it’s the first three that are important to business storytelling in your presentations. These are the type of stories that help reveal insights to build trust and establish rapport between you and your audience.

Obviously, you won’t be telling stories from your own personal experience. Instead, think of answers to “Who am I”, “Why am I here” and “What do I envision” in terms of your brand and company identity. Here are a few specific questions, courtesy of Content Marketing Institute, to help you narrow it down:

  • What’s your reason for being?
  • What’s your history?
  • Who are your main characters?
  • What’s your corporate mission?
  • How have you failed?

Humans have always been storytellers. It’s our way of connecting with each other. In whatever form, the core of all our communications is the primordial impulse to tell and hear stories. Why not use that to improve your presentations?

 

References

Murray, Mike. “Business Storytelling: Key Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. April 23, 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
The Six Kinds of Stories.” Annette Simmons. 2014. Accessed July 24, 2014.
Williams, Debbie. “Find the Heart of Your Brand Storytelling with These 6 Questions.” Content Marketing Institute. June 19, 2013. Accessed July 24, 2014.

 

Featured Image: UNE Photos via Flickr

Content Marketing Lesson: Presentations Create More Impact

Consumers these days are quick to avoid any form of marketing that disrupts their fast-paced lifestyles.

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You can always watch your favorite shows online uninterrupted by commercials. And all those pesky pop-up banners that you have to close while browsing for news? A thing of the past with ad filtering software.

So how do you reach out to consumers now that they can easily curate what they see?

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a technique where you create and distribute materials that are valuable and relevant to your target audience.

You don’t give them an outright sales pitch. Instead, you provide them with useful and meaningful materials. These could be in the form of blog posts, instructional videos, how-to articles, memes, infographics, and many other creative methods.

Content Marketing Creation Ideas Infographic
Infographic by Michele Smorgon (click for full view)

While content marketing has been around as early as 1885, it’s been gaining more and more traction recently—thanks to the advent of search engine optimization and social media.

Consumers can easily search the Internet for the content they want in mere seconds, and then share it with their friends through their social networking profiles.

Majority of consumers trust recommendations from friends and online strangers more than traditional forms of advertising.

Integrate Presentations in Your Strategy

Presentations can be a great addition to your content marketing strategy. Ever heard of the old saying, “a picture paints a thousand words”? Because of its highly visual nature, a presentation can have more impact than a blog post of about 750 words. The animations you use can also add to its entertainment value.

Sites like SlideShare and SlideBoom help you turn your presentations into shareable content. You also have the option to turn your slides into videos and upload them through Brainshark or YouTube.

Before you upload your PowerPoint files and hit “publish,” there are several other things you have to remember. Keep these things in mind when re-purposing your presentations for online content marketing:

1. Edit your presentation to speak for itself

When you’re giving a presentation to a live audience, you’re there to explain the general points raised in your PowerPoint slides. Minimal text won’t make much sense for Internet sharing, though.

SlideShare doesn’t allow for voice overs or animations but has a really strong following. If you decide to use it, provide a bit more context to your audience.

Expand the ideas presented in your slides by adding a bit more text than you usually would. And as always, balance it out with interesting PowerPoint design choices.

Presentations for content marketing - SlideShare
The title slide from a presentation on our SlideShare profile.

For YouTube or Brainshark, you can keep the text to a minimum and instead add a voiceover to your slides. You don’t even need to install some fancy new software to do it. PowerPoint allows you the ability to add voiceovers and then export your slides as a video.

(This is all assuming that you’re following our PowerPoint design lessons and not boring people to death with too many bullet points.)

2. Add interesting transitions and animations

You can also make your presentations seem more “alive” by adding transitions and animations. This is especially effective if you’re planning to turn your slides into a video.

Presentations for content marketing - PowerPoint animation

PowerPoint’s Animation tool allows you to create interesting effects and transition, plus have them rehearsed and recorded. You can learn more about this function in a tutorial we wrote a while back.

3. Keep your SEO strategy in mind

An SEO strategy is crucial to content marketing. Remember to integrate your SEO keywords in the descriptions and tags of your uploaded presentation.

Make sure your keywords are also reflected in your headline. Having a smart SEO strategy will give your content great rankings, which leads to more views and visitors. If you’re clueless about which keyword to use, read this in-depth tutorial by Moz.

4. Make your slides a full online experience

You can also consider turning your slides into a full online experience. We can help you turn your PowerPoint slides into scrolling web presentations. This way, people can navigate through your presentations at their own pace and jump back and forth to different parts.

They can basically enjoy the full functionality of a website, and also have the visual element of a presentation. You can embed videos and interactive elements like polls and contact forms.

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