, , ,

Creative Content in Your Digital Marketing Strategy Works… Even If Your Niche Might Be A Little Boring

Examine your content in 2020. Digital marketing includes so many components, but the content you create or curate is what helps define your brand — whether it’s beauty products, food, or accounting.

I, like every other entrepreneur out there, want to know what will be most effective to draw eyeballs, generate leads and, well, put food in the babies’ mouths.  My babies are all teens and beyond, so consider food in mouths a never-freaking-ending and expensive endeavour (read:  hire me, pleeeeease!)

I’ll talk content marketing for 2020… but it’s gotta be creative content

Here’s the deal: content still reigns supreme.  And 2019 is going to see a whole lot more of it!  But, more than ever, it’s going to be creative content that gets those valuable eyeballs and those essential click-throughs to increase your chances of conversion.

What does that mean if you have a business that is less than creative?  What if your niche is actually pretty dry and boring?

Creative content has redefined and repositioned several pretty boring businesses that have become part of our general cultural lexicon.  Think Geico and the adorable Geico Gecko; the obnoxious but infectious Aflac duck; and, doubling down on boring niches, toilet paper employing the adorable Scotties kittens back in the day or the cuddly Charmin bears who seem to have no shame over-sharing about their wiping habits.

You may have a boring product but your marketing and content certainly don’t have to be.

The first rule of thumb for developing creative content:  go visual!

Instagram and Snapchat have raised the bar for what effective and engaging content means.  It’s all about the images, the video, the animation.

The centuries (???) old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” couldn’t possibly have more relevance than it does today.

Images, whether still or moving, catch our attention.  It is VITALLY important that you, and whomever you’ve hired to assist (ahem!), approach all of your digital marketing collateral from a visual perspective.

Repeat after me:  I pledge that no post, whether it be a blog, Facebook or twitter, shall be published without a corresponding, relevant image, animation or video.

Creative content for content marketing

Everyone loves a good story

What kind of stories can be told about your product, service or business?  Who are your clients?  What are your client’s concerns?  What problem are you solving?

We can get even a little more, let’s say, transcendent, about this:  what is a common theme that runs throughout your target audience that resonates, defines or connects?

There are brands selling boring products that have discovered the power of story-telling, going deep to tap into our sentimentality, our need to belong, and possibly even our insecurities to enjoy hugely increased profile and profits.

Without overtly selling you soap, Dove directed their attention, and yours, to beauty as a concept and what it means to us as women individually, and as a movement.  Dove implies that they stand for beauty in all it’s forms regardless of size, race, age; flying in the face of the ridiculous and harmful media-driven standards that drive us all to relative madness.  In this effort, Dove endeavours to stand apart, and above, taking a moral and ethical position on women’s beauty and empowerment… as opposed to simply selling us yet another boring bar of soap.

Always keep in mind, content marketing is more than simply a product pitch.  Rather than talking about a product, look to content marketing to drive value outside the products and services you offer.

You NEED a content strategy

In what is a veritable freaking sea of content, understand that winging it is going to cost you money and time.  Help stem the marketing hemorrhage and develop a coherent and focused direction to best communicate with your target audience.

From blogs to all the other channels of social media you already, or will begin to employ; determine not only what kind of content, what kind of messaging, but the voice in which you will create it, to maximize your marketing spending.

The unfortunate fact is, most businesses do not have a documented content marketing strategy.   Those organizations that do have one and that review it consistently, however, are more likely to be successful. Again, it’s not just about what you’re selling, what else can you be doing – or communicating – to build a relationship, trust and value?

There you have it:  a few quickies to set you off on your 2017 creative content marketing way!

Which brings me to… well, me.  If you’d like more information on how to best implement any of the above, or, better yet, have upended creative implement any of the above, talk to me!

I would love to hear about your boring product or service and help you use creative content and content marketing to sell the hell out of it!




, , , , , , ,

5 Fool-Proof Social Media Musts to Grow Your Small Business

Let’s face it… growing a successful small business can be nothing short of a f*cking grind!

Even if it’s founded on something you’re passionate about. Maybe especially so, as all of your time, energy – sweat, blood, tears! – and money goes into the development of this product or service that has excited and inspired you enough to jump into the abyss and build a business around it in the first place.

Enhancing Your Social Media Presence Can Be Easy – Really!!

The biggest part of the grind often comes with the promotion and marketing necessary to build a business.  It’s unusual when the business owner is not only great at what they do but that they’re also great at the marketing end of things. If only!

Specifically, it can be the additional challenge of growing what has become a mandatory social media presence that can confuse, frustrate, and overwhelm entrepreneurs on their way to success. Consequently, the important online marketing work often takes a back seat as all of the valuable resources (mental, physical, spiritual, and financial) are being spent, or are consistently under strain keeping the business afloat and moving forward.

But… it doesn’t have to! I’m here to reassure you that you CAN do this. Social media is relatively simple in its implementation, and with regular, consistent activity can help to grow your audience, increase engagement, and, ultimately, begin to translate to viable leads.

Say it with me: I CAN F*CKING DO THIS!! To help get started, simply schedule 15 minutes to half an hour each day to devote to developing your social media practice. The steps listed below are designed to take some of the grunt- and guess-work out of it!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

Baby steps – five easy social media fundamentals to get you going:

1. Identify Goals & Objectives

This first step is HUGE! You MUST identify what you want your social media presence to accomplish.  Do you want to increase following and likes (I recommend this as the first goal, regardless)? Drive traffic to your website or blog? Generate sales?

Make sure you know what you’re after – before you start posting. Know which platforms are best for your product or service and how they work as well as what audiences you can reach, where.

2. Understand the Needs of Your Audience

This is all about identifying pain point, really. The needs of your audience help you interact with them on a much more personal, intimate level. If you know what content is most relevant, what’s important to them, and what they want to read, it will go along way in illuminating what you need to provide them. Get your head around this and, with each post, you can give them what they want which, ideally, inspires them to explore further your product or service – visiting your various channels of social media as well as your website or blog.

3. Produce Valuable Content

This is your opportunity to translate your passion for what you do to the social media content you offer your following. People who visit your social media channels or website are often asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ and you want to be sure that you are providing information across channels that answers that question with content of value. Whether it’s a unique insight into your industry; a funny quote, image, or both; or any other content that isn’t merely a sales pitch.

Be sure to incorporate relevant visuals – photos, videos, infographics help catch the eye in a cluttered feed, drawing interest and engagement.

Providing rich content helps set you apart as an authority in your space, inspire the trust of your following, as well as showcase your business and website, which brings in more customers and more money.

4. Incorporate Fun: Games, Contests, Giveaways!

If there’s a sure-fire way to get conversations going and generate interest in your content, it’s to bring the fun!  Incorporate activities that beg responses to questions – trivia games, or “caption this” requests – to build engagement, generating likes, follows, shares, and traffic.

In line with the ‘What’s in it for me?’ agenda, give away something for free.  This isn’t a random something. In exchange for likes, shares, or email addresses to build your list, make sure your giveaway is something designed to draw your visitors further into your business, now as well as into the future. It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It can be a free sample of your product, a discount code, perhaps a short trial, or the e-book you’ve written.

Engaging in a fun way with your audience is a terrific way to earn and keep valuable followers who will stay engaged, looking forward to the content you provide.

5. Give Your Audience a Reason!

You want to approach every post you create from the perspective of giving your customers, existing and potential, a reason to like your page, follow your profiles and continue to receive your content. Demonstrate your commitment to them by posting interesting, valuable updates consistently and frequently providing them a reason, day after day, to stick with you.  Not only looking forward to what you have to say but because of the increasing interest in your business!

What to know more?? Click HERE to receive our easy and effective Intro Social Media Strategy specially designed for small businesses.

, , , ,

The Power of Content: Shaping a Culture Around Your Business

When it comes to approaching social media and the other communications deployed to build a brand or business it’s important to understand the significance of content and how it can be instrumental in developing and shaping the culture around your business.

Have you ever thought about your business in terms of culture?  Have you thought about the experience you’re providing to prospective clientele when they encounter or engage with your business?

These terms, when it comes to building a business are not typically given much consideration.  Marketing tends towards active advertising, promotion and selling rather than building an experience.

How do you feel when you’re being sold to?

We eagerly develop pitches and work to employ recommended techniques all geared to the end-game of generating leads, and ideally, sales; but how have we engaged our mission, values and personality to ensure that our communications represent the full picture of our business and ourselves, as entrepreneurs?Connect rather than simply sell.

UX, or User Experience, is often referenced when we talk about the performance of websites and apps,  but rarely do we explore the concept when it comes to the promotion of products and/or services – the business, itself.

Developing and shaping the culture, the experience, digitally – providing for the UX – is essential for growing a brand and business that looks to build trust as well as a sense of authority in the space.  Where, because of the type and quality of information you consistently provide, prospective clients feel compelled to engage with your business.

Look at your digital presence.  Explore your website and other communications, as well as digital assets, and see what they’re providing in UX. Try to evaluate the experience visitors might be having with your brand and whether or not there’s a culture developing that they might connect to.

What are you offering your audience before you try to sell them?














, , , ,

Social Media & Content Marketing: Is it Good for Small Business?

Did you know that one in five relationships and one in six marriages was initiated online?  Over 67 percent of consumers utilize social media for customer service. The average person spends around an hour and 40 minutes browsing social media every day, and the number of internet shoppers in the US will reach 217 million, having spent about $4.846 TRILLION DOLLARS last year.

At this point in the Internet Age it’s evident everyone is pretty much on board with the power of social media in our lives, from dating to shopping to business development.

However, as a small business that caters to the online marketing needs of small and medium sized businesses and organizations I continue to encounter a big disconnect between small business owners and their concept of what social media means to their business.  Despite the fact that many of them are certainly part of the statistics mentioned above, they are still reticent about it embracing it as part of their over all marketing mix.

While I do successfully sell clients on the importance of Social Media and Content Marketing… it ain’t easy!

This isn’t to knock all the hard working folks in small business.  Not at all.

The fact is, in an effort to save precious marketing pennies, it’s not unusual for owners of small businesses to take a very hands on, DIY approach, to their online marketing.  Because we feel we have to.

To save money, we small business people will compromise what’s left of our limited hours in a day, taking great care in where we spend our small, if not meagre, marketing budget, but burning through our valuable time as though it were in limitless supply.

Theoretically, tackling online marketing can seem easy.  Most businesses have a Facebook page, after all.  but as a result of not having the expertise or adequate time, the activity is approached so casually as to be completely ineffective.  This haphazard approach, unfortunately, confirms their apprehension about the effectiveness of social media and they miss a great opportunity to expand the reach of their business, grow their following and properly develop an audience that can offer potential leads and prospective clients.

Here are a few vital reasons why social media should be taking greater priority, and, more often that not, be hired out to a professional.  Properly executed social media efforts should:

  1. Collect valuable customer insights:  Through daily active engagement and social listening, you can gather relevant customer data and use that information to make smarter business decisions.
  2. Increase brand awareness:  A presence on social media allows prospective and existing customers to easily find and connect with you.  It’s not unusual, even for brick & mortar businesses, to be frustrated by the fact their business, product or service is still yet relatively unknown to a great number of people in their town or city.  If yours is an online business, you can count on millions more having no idea you exist.
  3. Increase your website traffic:  Not only does social media help you direct people to your website, but the more social media shares you receive, the more positively your search ranking is impacted.  Social media allows you to leverage content to draw visitors from Facebook, twitter or any other channel to your website to learn more about your product or service.
  4. Establish your business as a thought leader in your space:  Social media allows you a free, frequent and far-reaching means to provide the information and resources important to setting you apart from your competition and becoming the ‘go to’ in your space.

To achieve these outcomes, it takes concentrated effort.  It’s strategic and done with explicit intention.  It’s more than a Facebook post of your product or service when you’re feeling obligated to do so.

If you can assign someone in-house with the relevant interest and expertise, good for you – do that!  If you really don’t have anyone, including yourself, that can make the necessary commitment, consider outsourcing to a professional who can fulfill the demands of social media and content marketing in a way that’s going to be meaningful to your business.

Of course, upended creative is happy to take this on for you!  Contact us below to learn more about effective content marketing strategy and implementation to help grow your business.

, , , ,

Your Content Marketing: It’s Really Quite Simple… Just Not Easy!

I spent a lovely snowy afternoon yesterday talking to the owner of a small business. She was curious how she might amp up and drive more traffic to her website as well as how to build more interest and engagement in her social media, specifically Facebook – tools integral to growing her business and expanding her influence and reach.  Essentially, her content marketing strategy.

She’s eager and willing and wanting to handle it herself — love that!  And I was more than happy to consult with her about her content marketing strategy and how to get the ball rolling more quickly, taking those all-important first steps to get into a routine of taking the reins of her own content marketing.

Content marketing is really quite simple but don’t get to thinking it’s going to be easy!

I was VERY clear with her, as I am with all my clients: the principles of content marketing are really quite simple… they’re just not easy.  It comes down to the consistent and frequent creation and publishing of fresh, valuable content – website and social media – to generate interest and increase engagement. Clients nod with understanding, albeit reluctantly.

Where sh%t gets real is when I start outlining what they have to do, the various actions that inevitably have to happen to see real results.  Explaining even the initial phases of strategy which will require a commitment to consistent action in the form of writing, taking pictures and video, posting, and publishing several times per week… the eyes glaze over, fingers reflexively clench around the pen in hand, an exasperated, beleaguered facepalm.

The fun is talking about target market, the great product or service, all the great information to share.

But, let’s face it… the doing is a whole other can of worms.  My consultations with clients looking to explore how to expand their reach, increase their engagement as well as traffic and, ultimately, see sales and business improve leave them feeling like they CAN do it.  But, unless action is taken in short order following the meeting, the challenge, and challenges, mount.  Excuses abound.

And, of course they do.  Managing a business and taking full responsibility for the active marketing of that business, even a small business, is a butt-load of work.  Overwhelm is inevitable with most small business people, and if they’re not naturally inclined to write and create content, taking that on in addition to the daily workload of running their business is a tough row to hoe.  Unfortunately, it falls off the list of to-do’s and is abandoned altogether.

How do you eat an elephant?  Ummmmm… you don’t!

Forget about the big picture! We don’t want or need to consider the hugeness of the task at hand  Let’s take the anticipated results, the increased sales, the business growth out of this initial equation.

We actually want to go back to the drawing board.  What excites you about your business?  What information do you have that not only will prove valuable to share but will also set you apart from the competition as an authority in your field or marketplace?  What can you share – for free! – that will keep people wanting to know more.

Simply share that!  Share your enthusiasm for what you do; the product or service you provide; the supplementary information that can help build interest and buzz about your business.

6 simple steps to jump-start your content marketing

Here’s the simple outline I gave my client, a physiotherapist offering a range of services from orthopedic and sports medicine to acupuncture to alternative healing therapies, committed to wellness and education:

  • Consider your range of services including the variety of workshops and courses you have in the works.
  • Take notes about each.  Jot simply in point form and make them detailed. Explore how each point might be developed as an independent topic for either blog or Facebook.
  • Monthly: develop a blog post.  The workshops and courses she conducts are perfect for more in-depth, informational posts on the website; same goes for potential impediments such as flat feet or knocked knees that could benefit from a more fleshed-out approach.  Share these posts on social media. Often!  Blog posts can be repurposed over and over with fresh headlines on Facebook.  Great for driving traffic!
  • Twice weekly: Facebook posts with short tips, tricks, advice that include photos and even video as she tends to create these always as a matter of course for work.
  • Don’t be afraid to repurpose blog posts to divvy up for a new and fresh take for your social media. Same goes for your static web pages – that content can be promoted over and over again.
  • JUST DO IT!!!

Given the gist of this post, clearly number 6 is the biggest challenge to seeing this strategy take shape and allow her to more fully develop her goals and actions moving forward.

At the end of the day, what seems a simple enough plan just may not be do-able, for any number of really good reasons.  And THAT’S OK!

Fortunately, that’s where upended creative can come in!  Maybe your step #6 means hiring someone else who has the skills and experience to explore and implement your strategy to help you achieve your goals.  So be it… CONTACT US! We’re more than happy to help!

Meantime, in the spirit of taking action and how, like it or not, is essential to achieving just about everything we do in a day, big or small, take a look at this helpful little gem to help get the juices flowing!

Speaking of… time to get these homeschool kids of mine up and at ’em!  Simple, yes.  Easy?  Are you out of your mind?!?!


, , ,

How’s Your Elevator Pitch? 9 Tips to Make It More Effective

You have an unexpected opportunity to sell your big idea or new business venture to a potential new client or investor.  The research shows that you’ll have NO MORE than 30 seconds to deliver your best pitch.  Are you ready?!

If you own a business or are developing a product or service looking for clients or possibly investors, you should have an effective elevator pitch in your hip-pocket, ready to deliver at a moment’s notice.

Your business or idea is great.  An elevator pitch identifies and delivers all that greatness in as little time as possible.

Too often we get excited and caught up in the details of our business, and want to share the all of the intricacies about why it’s so amazing when we have the opportunity.  Consequently, your elevator pitch can lean more towards a lengthy preamble evolving into an even longer monologue of endless details describing not only your company but each of your products and services.

The result:  a bored, uncomfortable and, ultimately, disinclined listener eagerly anticipating his, or her, escape.

Tips to developing an effective elevator pitch

Here are some easy tips to help you deliver the pitch that grabs attention rather than loses it:

Keep it short – say as little as possible.  This is a fast-moving social media culture we’re living and working in.  As stated earlier, your time will be limited, plan for as little as 30 seconds.  The points to follow will help you refine exactly what you’ll say in such a limited amount of time.

Identify, define and REMEMBER your vision.  Get in touch with why you started your business and what’s exciting about it… to you! You don’t want to sound like a sales pitch, you want your listener to connect with what’s exciting about your product or service.  If you aren’t connected to the vision behind your business you can’t expect your listener to connect with what your selling.

Know intimately your value proposition.  Know exactly, intimately and in precise detail, what makes your business, product, service, unique and of value.  This is what you’re selling.  Understand it. Own it.

Authenticity wins.  Don’t waste valuable time trying to impress with industry jargon.  Get straight to the point with real language to share what you’re doing, why it’s exciting for you and what’s in it for them.

Who is your ideal subject:  Investor?  Client?  Employer?  Make yourself familiar. One size DOES NOT fit all.  Take a long think, and imagine who it is you want to be pitching to. Who are they?  What do they care about? What do they need – what is their problem (‘pain point’) – and how can you provide for, or solve, it?

An understanding of whom you want to target and what drives them will provide you with the insight you need to help draft your 30 second pitch. If you can identify your subject: the ideal investor, client, employer; you can refine your pitch so it feels the perfect fit for that special listener.

Your pitch is simply the the start of what will be an actual conversation. Is your listener nodding attentively.  Is she interested asking questions. Connection!  Now’s the opportunity to delve further into the details.

Ask a great question.  Don’t forget a simple and fairly universal human fact: what we all love to talk about most is ourselves. So, it can’t be all about you.   Get them talking about something that is meaningful, important, significant and compelling to them.  If you can get your subject talking about himself in a meaningful way, establishing a connection with you, you’re increasing your chances for real memorability. Also, they might just be that much more receptive to your offer to continue the conversation and, eventually, to your offer to take the next step in the journey of becoming your next ideal client or giving you money.

Depending on the company, you might find this tip gets immediately catapulted to the top of the list. Read your room!

Denied?  Don’t get caught up in the rejection. The entire process from concept to draft to delivery, offers you the opportunity to better identify your vision, your ideal listener and better hone your spiel.  If it doesn’t connect, so be it.

Lastly, practice! It’s natural for a new pitch to feel awkward at first so the key is to practice it until it feels natural and meaningful to you. Then breathe and smile. Your elevator pitch will come across much better when you’re relaxed.


, ,

Mess and Creativity Go Hand in Hand!

 Is messiness a sign of creativity?

I certainly like to think so as I, yet again, transfer piles to other piles, essentially taking from Peter to lose Paul behind yet another stack of obvious essentials: tax forms, bills, favourite notebook(s), container(s) of pens and innumerable mechanical pencils (I do everything in pencil – commitment issues?!), old contracts, new contracts, more bills and a smattering of children’s artwork kept on my desk as a persistent reminder it needs framed.

I know we’ve reached critical mass when, without the energy to clear a space to work, I have to use my Wacom pen tablet or my laptop on my actual lap.

The issue of my workspace and it’s disorderliness (read: chaos!) is a source of perpetual frustration.  I know it should be tidy.  I see images of “efficient workspaces” and sigh.

I know that for me to be at my most productive, the space in which I work should be one that facilitates that end.  I’m a creative professional, and, in order for my creativity to flow at its most abundant, my stacks, piles and general shit-opia really need to be brought into some order.

Or should it? There seems to be a growing body of evidence that points to just the opposite.

Does clutter impede creativity or can mess and creativity co-exist – complement, even?

Apparently, on the day Einstein breathed his last genius breath, Time photographer Ralph Morse made his way to Einstein’s Institute of Advanced Studies office and captured a single, famous, photograph of the legacy of the world’s greatest mind.

Mess and creativity: Einstein's desk only hours after his death.

See, there… a veritable avalanche of paper, books and piles.  Not an inch of Einstein’s desk is free of paper. Books, manuscripts, magazines, and envelopes scattered and piled. The shelves similarly so. One shelf may hold journals neatly arranged, but otherwise piles and piles of papers.

It’s a mess, and, from all accounts, he liked it that way. When asked about his messy desk, Einstein remarked, now famously and exhaustively memed, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”

Coveting the tidy desk

Peruse Pinterest for a few minutes and you’ll find enough examples of tidy, productive workspaces to fully confirm you’re the disaster you’ve long suspected.

Tidy desks, clear of clutter and bedecked with only the most appropriate and organization-friendly of designer accessories appear to be highly coveted.

But, according to the experts, this tidiness may, in fact, be counterintuitive to the way creatives are actually most, well… creative.

Tidy desks be damned!  The combination of recent studies and evidence from the world’s foremost creatives show that just the right amount of mess on your desk can help you achieve greater creativity, defy convention, and even be more productive.

A 2013 University of Minnesota study published in the journal Psychological Science found that, while tidy desks may promote healthy eating and generosity, messy desks offer their own unique benefits. Participants in rooms where the desks were paper-strewn and the office was generally cluttered were found to be more creative.

The connection between mess and creativity

Delving into this seeming dichotomy, Kathleen Vohs (a researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management) and her colleagues conducted a series of experiments in both tidy and unruly spaces with 188 adults given tasks to choose from.

For example, researchers asked 48 participants to come up with novel uses for a pingpong ball. Half the participants worked in a messy room and half in a neat room. The participants thought up the same number of ideas, but a panel of independent raters rated the messy-room participants’ ideas as significantly more creative.

Vohs describes her findings in the New York Times, concluding that messiness and creativity are at least very strongly correlated, and that “while cleaning up certainly has its benefits, clean spaces might be too conventional to let inspiration flow.”  Contrary to popular opinion, a bit of a mess is more likely to inspire us to think outside the box, tap into our creativity to come up with new, more unconventional ideas.

Mess and creativity: Steve Jobs cluttered home Office

You may be more organized than you think

Interestingly enough, it’s more than likely that some order exists in what some may see as utterly chaotic.  To Einstein everything was where it needed to be, and he had his own system for organization.

Mark Twain is another great example of clutter-fied genius.  Much like Einstein, Twain worked among stacks and piles, paper and books littering his creative workspace.

For a guy who transformed our worlds, streamlining and decluttering our workspaces, Steve Jobs was, ironically, a man who worked in a mess. Steve Jobs’ desk was one with plenty of stacks – papers, journals, books and tech-y bits – the shelves of his home office heaving under the strain of unruly, disordered stacks of books.

Is it really clutter at all?

Let’s consider how we define clutter, and how we define if ours is really the disastrous mess we think it is.  Brooks Palmer believes that our concept of clutter is all wrong. Creator of ClutterBusting.com and author of Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back, Palmer says that clutter isn’t necessarily piles and items that appear disorderly.

Instead, clutter is made up of items we keep that are actually not serving us — the papers you think you’ll need, that book you’re never going to read, the papers you think you need to hang onto because you have to, etc. Consider if the things that surround you are providing something positive.  If it is and if you do need it, it’s really not clutter.

The thing is, creativity by its nature is simply messy business. Consider a child with finger paints:  paint everywhere… hands, ears, paper, hair, table, floor!  And what is the result of this undeniable mess?  A beautiful, unique, completely individual creation!

And we are so very pleased!





The royalty that is content creation

Content Is King - the power of content writing

Content is king, so they – the royal they, as in that all-consuming entity known as the innernets – continue to crow. or, queen, as is my preference.  And it’s true. content creation dominates the messaging of the Information Age.

Google is king, content his jester

With Google changing their algorithm throughout the day, everyday, the search engine behemoth gets the final word on the search-worthiness of your website.  Staying ahead of SEO hackers is the name of their game, while weeding out the posers and bait mongers from we, who work hard to create organic, authentic content,  is what they’re striving to achieve.

So you’d better consider what your website is saying, or if you’re saying anything at all.  If you want anyone in the ever-increasing vastness of the internet reaches to find you, that is.

Like any perishable, there is a sell-by date

Search engines despise static.  If the content of your website hasn’t changed since the first tech boom, chances are pretty good you exist in the internet variation of a Siberian gulag.  Like a hippy at Trader Joe’s, search engines, Google in particular, are constantly trolling for the freshest, most organic content.

Is your content conversational?  Does it read comfortably and as though written by a real person, with a real interest in the subject matter?  Believe it or not, with each passing season the Google bots get better at interpreting authenticity.

Links, check. keywords, check.  show me the traffic!

There was a time you could buy a domain, put up a holding site, load it up with keywords and links and let the eyeballs, and in some cases, the money, come rolling in.  Not so anymore. you might come across the occasional holding site, but it ain’t the traffic/cash cow it used to be.

Content creation: keep it quality, stupid!

As I mentioned above, search engines are identifying the difference between quality and fakery.  But it’s not just the bots. the consumer is on to the fakes, too.  Quality is just as important to we who consume the content as to the bots that vet it.

In this era of internet and mobility, we don’t want to have to pick through the rocks to get to the gem.

We are no longer captive, passively awaiting the networks to provide us our next juicy t.v morsel, or the morning paper to keep us up to date.  We discern. We vet. Today, everyone in the communication business has to play in the content business as well – from traditional media to retailers to marketers.  Every consumer sector.

We consume through a series of content feeds from a plethora of brands, channels, platforms and devices, fast taking over the functions of traditional media organization in:

Programming: we greenlight content and replay old favorites;

Scheduling: we decide when and where to watch, and for how long.

Marketing and Social Media: we share, spreading the word for content we love and advocate for.

Distribution: like, pin and retweet, vlog, blog – we curate and share.

Advertising:  we work in tandem with brands via content collaborations and user-generated hashtags. our endorsements increasingly carry more weight than traditional celebs and outlets.

Critiquing:  we simultaneously consume and evaluate content, often in real time.

Quality talent = quality content

As yet, Google, or any other search engine for that matter, has yet to come up a technology that can make sure a brand’s myriad executions have a unified message.  There’s no app that ensures a piece of content will hit the right emotional tone or be expressed in the appropriate voice. Ultimately, businesses and brands need talented people to ensure that content is high quality—whether it’s a 15-second TV spot, a much longer YouTube video, or an 800-word blog or news article.

A talented content creator can provide the voice and messaging to extend your role as a tastemaker. Think of your content brand as a recommendation engine for specific sensibilities that transcend your platform or category, in the way that Etsy helps DIYers make and sell their products by introducing them to a community of like-minded people.

Let’s face it. the goal with both is to drive and generate traffic – get those eyeballs!

To this end, upended creative provides exceptional written and visual content that:

Is purpose-driven: we create content for good. We present your product or service in a voice and tone that is engaging, entertaining and embedded with social values that are deeply ingrained in your company culture and drives your business strategy.

Is mindful of your target market, audience and promoting community. Who are you speaking to? Are you looking to simply speak to your market or engage with your audience, creating community.  upended creative looks to do both.  You have messaging that needs disseminated throughout your channels – your website, blog & social media; but, you’re also looking to encourage communication that builds a following and an engaged relationship between your business and your market.

Grow your online presence… upend your website, upend your content.

contact us today about what incorporating fresh, quality content that is uniquely yours can mean for your business or brand.  make those Google bots happy.

upended creative.


Getting someone to do what you want

Two questions to getting someone to do what you want.

When people have their own reasons for doing things, they get done.  bottom line.

Whether it’s your colleague, employee, boss or teenager, unless you can glean from them what their motivations are, or what it is that sparks their reasons for doing something, all the nudging, bribing, threatening and pulling your hair out will only result in superficial, temporary change at best; frustration for everyone involved at worst.

Getting your way in a way that works for everyone

Perhaps you’re needing more input and involvement from a co-worker.  you need more participation from her, but she’s less than motivated to bring her best.  do you coerce her?  threaten her?  throw up your hands and just do the work on your own, pissed off that you’re stuck, yet again, carrying the load?

What is the trick to establishing buy-in?  particularly if it’s a difficult task or concept?

What you need is a strategy that actually inspires the other party, creating a motivation that is their own rather than something that’s being imposed upon them.  because, by and large, on some level we all resent being told what to do.

So, let’s not…

Instead, let’s consider the impact of two questions in getting someone on the same page and contributing what you need, regardless the situation.

Persuasion expert, Dan Pink, demonstrates that with simply two questions, when used together, are dramatically effective in persuading others.

mcdonalds revamps… cuz nobody’s ‘lovin’ it’!

bad numbers this first quarter for the fast food giant, it seems.

despite an uptick in the UK, Russia and, oddly enough, France of all places, the rest of the world is choosing differently for their burger and fries.

as to flagging sales in the US, they’re playing the ‘hard winter’ card, but the reality they seem now ready to face is that the mcnugget juggernaut just hasn’t been able to keep out ahead of social media and the indelible images of grey slabs of mcrib and pink sludge.  fruit cups and apple slices just haven’t cut the mustard, or is it the special sauce?

“in the last five years, the world has moved faster outside the business than inside,” chief executive Steve Easterbrook stated. he added. “we’re not on our game.

i like to think it is really about the people demanding truly healthier options, but perhaps it’s just as the company maintains, that they’re looking “at creating a leaner management structure”.

Whatever the cause of the downshift, it’s got mcdonalds execs back on their heels and it will be interesting to see what this new shake-up means to consumers.