Category Archives: Content Development

Why Every Digital Marketing Company Needs a Content Strategist

While many companies know the importance of supplying interesting content as well as the importance of creating a well-thought-out strategy, the title “Content Strategist” is still not seen as often as you may think. While this role plays a key part in the success of any Digital Marketing company, the duties of this position are still unclear to many. At Alter Endeavors, we are privileged to work with an amazingly skilled Content Strategist, Teylor Schiefelbein, who is an integral part of our team, and we’ve asked her to share with you exactly what that role entails here at AE.

First off, what does Alter Endeavors do?

Alter Endeavors is a Digital Marketing Agency, which can mean a lot of things nowadays. For us, it means that we communicate your passion and brand to the world through any means (that fit within best practices) necessary. We specialize in social media integration, digital marketing strategies, and website design and development so that they work cohesively with your offline efforts. Each member of our team is diligently working towards the same goal: reintroducing the human element to digital marketing.

What do you do as a Content Strategist?

In order to reintroduce the human element to digital marketing, I first have to understand the person behind the brand. My first task as a Content Strategist when meeting a client is to listen. Before I can speak on your behalf and accurately represent your brand online, I have to have in-depth knowledge of your business and its product or service. It’s imperative that I understand your business goals, the audience that you’re trying to reach, and what makes your business unique. This knowledge is paramount in developing an authentic and consistent voice to use across all digital marketing efforts. Whether I’m crafting a message for a social media platform, a Facebook ad or website content — it will represent you and your brand in a human and relatable way.

Why is having a Content Strategist Important?

We know that effective communication is essential for healthy relationships, and the same applies to the business-to-consumer relationship. Effective communication is not a one-way channel; it is an open pathway that requires interaction from the sender and receiver, the business and the consumer. While having a website that contains accurate and updated information about your business is incredibly important, the conversation does not stop there. Consumers have an overwhelming number of options in the marketplace and not only do they demand accessible information — they demand to know why they should purchase from your business. As a Content Strategist, it is my job to form a relationship with your audience and convey how your particular brand is unique. I create and reinforce relationships with online users by sharing valuable industry information, community happenings and engaging content. 

At Alter Endeavors, we strive to have open, clear communication with all of our clients. We hope this was just that, an informative and interesting way to learn exactly what it is our Content Strategist does. Now, hopefully, there is only one question left: Where can I find a great Content Strategist to promote my brand? Look no further!

How to Create Content That Draws Traffic

create content

Drawing people to even the most well-designed websites can be challenging. Creating content that draws traffic to your site is important, but even more crucial is making sure your SEO-approved content makes sense and keeps their attention. In this blog, I’ll go over the importance of UX-friendly content meant to prompt reaction, and give you an outline to create content that works in your favor.

Well-cultivated UX

The content on your site should be created with user experience in mind. You’re probably already on the SEO bandwagon with the rest of the internet, but if not, be sure to optimize your site for search engines for the best chance at drawing people from Google or Bing. Find your site’s most and least visited pages through Google Analytics, to identify weak areas and improve your content accordingly.  Most importantly, make sure the placement of content on every page of your site is visually navigable, with an easy-to-understand format and clear visuals where necessary. Every bit of your content is there for a reason—nothing is there without reason.

Create Content That Elicits a Response

Good content should elicit a response from the people who interact with your site. First, it’s important to identify the response you’re looking fordo you want people to contact your business for services, or take an online assessment that will give you information on site visitor demographics? Knowing your end goal will help you focus your content—the more focused, the better your responses. Finally, be sure to give explicit calls-to-action to get people moving, directing them to the right page or giving them access to a simple contact form. Bottom line: if you ask people who go to your site to do something, make sure they know what they’re being asked to do, why they should do it, and how.

The Anatomy of Good Content

Now that you know the importance of well-structured content, we’ll take a closer look at the most important components:

1. A strong headline.

Having a strong headline to bring the reader in is the first thing that will grab their attention. Remember, not too general—stay focused. Make it a simple, direct statement that your next section expands upon.
“Bring Austin’s #1 Churros to Your Celebrity Event”

2. Create content that is engaging & thought-provoking.

Answer the question created by your headline. Be prepared to back up any claims you’ve made. Use visuals and graphics where applicable.
“In 2016, Churro Monthly named us the #1 Churro Spot in the Austin area. This March, we launched our catering business at the SXSW premiere of the Lord of the Rings Ultimate Director’s Cut.”
[Pictured: Elijah Wood eating a churro like his life depends on it.]

3. A clear call-to-action.

As I mentioned earlier, CTAs tell site visitor exactly what to do, and where, with the information you’ve just given to them.

“Contact us to cater your next birthday, party, or movie premiere.”

[contact form]

(P.S. This content was created for example purposes only. There is no Churro Monthly, nor is there a LotR Ultimate Director’s Cut. Elijah Wood does, however, love churros.)

It’s an art form to create content for your site that meets all of the above criteria, but it’s not impossible. Be sure to make navigable content through research, practice, and reworking for the best user experience. Give visitors to your site direction with focused content that keeps their interest. Once you’ve nailed your perfect method, you’ll be able to fill your site with searchable, interesting content that gets the right benefits for your brand or business.

How to Write Content that Builds Trust in Your Brand

how to write content that builds trust

Hey guys, Nick here. Do you wonder how to write content that builds trust?  This will kick off our series about what we call the Trust Puzzle, a challenge every brand faces when building a presence online. Content is a subset of the Trust Puzzle. Types of content include text, images/graphics and video. Why do we care about good content? Why does it matter? The simple answer—content drives conversion. This article focuses on writing content for the static pages of your site.

As your brand’s primary hub, your website has to speak authentically, eloquently and concisely. Long gone are the days when Google favored awkward, bulging, keyword–stuffed paragraphs of non-sensical vitriol written for the sole purpose of trying to “dominate the front page of Google…” Bleh, good riddance. This does NOT mean keywords are no longer a requirement when building out content for your website, quite the contrary; however, Google’s algorithms now allow for a much more authentic, realistic approach to written content.

What works? Regardless of what kind of content you are writing for your site, whether a services page, a mini biography or a blog article, there are tactics that will always help. Let’s break it down by the numbers:

  1. Get Past the Blank Canvas
    I call it blank canvas syndrome. I tell you to write the content for a page, a week goes by and you tell me, “I’ve got nothing to say!” Yeah you do, it’s just overwhelming to figure out where to begin. If you are anything like me, you tend to overthink both your writing capabilities and your standards. I’m a better editor than writer, something I hate admitting. So, I had to come up with strategies to actually get something written out that I could then edit. The next few points are some of those strategies.
  2. Let Your Sitemap Be Your Guide
    Determine the purpose of the page you are writing. Typically we never start with the home page when writing content for a website. Every subpage on a site has a purpose, lending itself to the overall goal(s) of the site (whatever your site’s conversion goals are) and the home page serves as the nexus for that overall goal. This is where keywords can come in handy. If you know the 2-3 relatable keywords to a page, they can help drive the written conversation you are about to have on that page.
  3. Does Your Writing Support Your Mission Statement?
    Write down your brand’s intent or mission statement. If your brand doesn’t have an intent or mission statement, spend your time figuring that out first. For Square Cow Movers, we came up with “Movers with Manners.” Let your brand’s statement become the lens through which all other content has to pass through. If you start writing something that does not support this statement, delete it and try again.
  4. Write for a bit
    If you are anything like you me, you would now start writing for a little while, then stop after about 30 minutes, look at the jumbled mess you just vomited out of your fingertips, and then start editing. I start teasing out the structure of what I want to convey on a page or a section from the heap I just created, creating headers and/or lists for each section. If you are not like me, you might start by planning out the sections you are going to make on a page before you write. Whatever works, just start writing. After that timer goes off, start organizing and editing. Keep paragraphs 2 – 5 sentences in length and break up sections with headers. It makes reading for the end user so, so much easier.
  5. Record Yourself (optional endeavor from point number 4)
    Maybe talking is more your thing than writing. You can talk about your services and solutions  and brand history, etc. If so, then compose a series of questions to ask yourself for each page that needs to be written. Get something you can record yourself with, hit the button and start talking. The transcribed text from that recording is the equivalent of the strategy laid out in the previous point.
  6. Talk Out Loud To Find Your Writing Voice
    Literally, I talk out loud sometimes when I write. In order to imitate another brand, I will come up with a different voice from my own when I speak. If it’s appropriate, sometimes I’ll allow my colloquialisms to come through, or those of my client. For example, the owner of ABC Blind & Drapery, Ken McWilliams, has a wonderful speaking voice. Ken sounds a little like cross between Johnny Cash and Jimmy Stewart in their later years. Still very much the heart and soul of ABC Blind, I speak in Ken’s voice whenever I write for his brand—a Texas gentleman with a kind heart and a passion for the historic brand he has helped cultivate for the past 40 years.
  7. Know Your Audience
    If you are writing in a language other than your native tongue, you may want to consider either hiring a native speaker to help you, or sending your writing to a native speaker who would bluntly tell you if it sounds genuine. Always consider the voice of your intended audience when writing marketing content. Unless I have some gimmick in mind, if I am writing for a New England or Canadian crowd, I will leave the words “y’all” and “folks” out of my vocabulary. If I need to relate to a national audience, I would downplay my southern twang, if not do away with it completely. I’m proud to be a native Texan, but I need to relate to my audience first before they will listen to me.
  8. No Fluff, No Bull If you sound like this, stop it: “Our service results will shock you! You will be amazed by how incredible our product will save your wallet! Learn how you can make billions by not working at all with our revolutionary whatever! Trust us, you will be amazed!”
    It’s okay to be fun or funny, but always be sincere. Telling someone what their reaction will be (ex: This will shock you!) is an immediate turn off. Also, avoid saying things like, “Surely you will find this helpful.” People can make their own decisions and surely you will agree with that.
  9. Learn Some Grammar Stuff There are lots of great tools online for grammar. Typically, I’ll write first before going back and editing, but oftentimes I’ll refer back to tools like:
  1. The Comma Queen – Great quick videos, easy to search
  2. EduFind – An English Grammar Guide
  3. The Elements of Style – An awesome book to help you write better

Time to start writing content for your website, and if you need help, contact us!

A lesson about blogs and content

Awhile back I was trying to be creative with a Square Cow Mover’s Blog. These guys have been an incredible client of mine over the past year and a half. They have been open to new ideas, patient with me as I try to figure things out and allow me to experiment with their brand.

Definitely recommend them as your moving company if you are in the Central Texas Area.

Anyways, I wrote a blog article some months back and incorprated some pop culture items. I mentioned the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I also said something about packing a suitcase or run the risk of going naked for a week. This proved to have an interesting effect on our SEO results for Square Cow. Continue reading