Take the stress out of content marketing

Content marketing can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

The key is doing the necessary work before you write a single blog post. That work consists of four separate but equally important tasks:

Meet the 2013 Net Atlantic Scholarship Award Winners!

Haley Pelletier and Alexa Jordan, 2013 winners of the Net Atlantic Scholarship AwardsFor the fifth straight year, as part of its dedication to giving back to the local community, Net Atlantic held a college scholarship contest for high school students attending public or private schools in Salem, Peabody, Lynn, Lynnfield, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, and Swampscott.

Two, $2,000 scholarships were available for students graduating in 2013. Eligible candidates were required to maintain a GPA above 3.0 and plan to pursue a four-year college degree in Business, Marketing, Public Relations, Communications, Computer Science, or IT. To qualify, they were asked to submit an application, including an essay in which they could share their accomplishments, passions, and intelligence. This year, for the first time, candidates could apply for one of two specific awards: Academic and Leadership Achievement, or Science and Technology Achievement.

Without further ado, here are the winners of this year’s scholarship contest!

Winner of the Science and Technology Achievement Award

Haley Pelletier of St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, MA

Haley is our first-ever winner of the Science and Technology Achievement Award – and for good reason! Some of her achievements include:

  • Participation in several clubs, including Science League Captain and Math Team
  • Geometry tutor
  • Volunteers at Camp Sunshine in Maine (a camp for children with life-threatening diseases) and for the Binky Patrol Team – a non-profit organization that donates and delivers blankets to children in trauma

Haley told us in her essay that, in her sophomore year, she joined her high school’s Science Team, which competes in the North Shore Science League. She was nominated team captain in her junior and senior years, which gave her confidence and reassured her that she wanted to explore the field of science more deeply. The Science Team was a big influence on her college goals and aspirations. Her favorite competitions were the ones that required her to build something in advance of the event. Over the years, Haley has built everything from a golf ball sorter, catapult, tight rope walker, and unique playable instruments. She loves the thrill of competition, and the reward of building someting from start to finish.

Our favorite quote from Haley’s essay: “True learning is not in memorization, but understanding concepts and being able to apply them in specific situations.” Is it any surprise why we chose her for our winner?

This fall, Haley will be attending Olin College in Needham, MA, and is considering electrical or computer engineering as her main area of concentration.

Winner of the Academic and Leadership Achievement Award

Alexa Jordan of Danvers High School in Danvers, MA

Throughout her high school career, Alexa showed her leadership skills by participating in several clubs, including:

  • Coaching and volunteering with the Special Olympics
  • VP of both Student Council and National Honors Society
  • PR Manager for National English Honor Society, where she was responsible for marketing and recruiting future applicants

In addition, she participated in extracurricular activities such as the math team, field hockey team, competitive dancing, key club, and DECA business club, as well as volunteering with the Hospice and Alzheimer’s Associations and the Danvers Field Hockey YMCA Camp. And, as if all that weren’t enough, Alexa also worked at various jobs including It’s a Girl’s Place, Cakes for Occasions, and Pure Energy Entertainment.

Alexa used a Ferris wheel as a metaphor for life in her essay, in which she discussed how, as a seven year-old girl, she and her father were both terrified of heights, but he wanted to confront his fear by getting on the Ferris wheel, while all she wanted was to run away. This experience provided her with an insight that would last her whole life:  when standing in front the of the ferris wheel of life with a decision to make, sometimes you’ll choose to get on and sometimes you’ll chose not to. But in the end it is always your choice. We have no doubt that this understanding will help Alexa embrace the challenges to come as she begins college this fall.

Alexa will attend the University of South Carolina in September, where she’ll pursue a degree in sports and entertainment management and marketing.

We wish both Haley and Alexa the best of luck as they begin the next phase of their lives in a few months. We know they will achieve all their dreams and more.

 

Plan your content production in advance!

When starting out with content marketing, and blogging in particular, many people struggle with when and how often to post. And on top of that, there is always the question of what to write about.

If you wait until the last minute to write a blog post, you’ll most likely spend far too long staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike. And, if you’re like most people, you’ll be putting so much pressure on yourself to come up with something brilliant that you might as well pull up a chair for your writer’s block, because it’s guaranteed to show up.

Beyond the Inbox: Adding Content Marketing to the Mix

Maybe your email campaigns are no longer delivering the results you’ve come to expect. Or maybe you’ve been trying to grow your email list, but new subscribers have been few and far between.

So you’ve given it a lot of thought, and have decided to try something different. You’re ready to go beyond the inbox, and add content marketing to overall marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start? Here are five steps to get you going:

1. First and most importantly: Gain a deep understanding of your target audience. Some key questions to ask yourself:

  • How well do you  know your audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • Which blogs or other content are they already consuming?
  • What do they want?
  • What are their problems, and how can you help solve them?

2. Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can start brainstorming content ideas. Your content should be targeted to your audience, and their problems and interests, but beyond that, don’t limit yourself. Think big in regards to the kinds of topics and categories you might cover. And don’t forget to consider the various ways you can communicate your work as well: blog posts/articles, videos, webinars, infographics…

3. Set up an editorial calendar to organize your content production strategy. We recommend looking at all of your upcoming marketing initiatives, and planning your content marketing efforts around them, so that you’re communicating consistent and related messages across all channels. This reinforces your messaging and ensures that your target audience won’t be confused about who you are or what you do. Advance planning is key to successful content publication (more on that in a future post).

4. If you choose, you can ask for content contributors from throughout your organization. This helps distribute the workload and will provide your readers with different perspectives, which can be a real plus. Just make sure you give your volunteers some guidelines around content creation so they have something to go on when getting started. In addition, you may need to edit their work in order to keep  voice and style consistent.

5. Analyze the results of your efforts and commit to continuously revising and improving upon your strategy. If you don’t measure your results, you’ll have no idea whether your efforts are paying off. Take the time to determine which stats matter most to your business, and then use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc. to measure performance. It doesn’t have to be complicated, especially at first.

We hope these  tips have been helpful. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for additional tips below!

 

 

 

What’s so great about content marketing, anyway?

You’ve probably noticed by now that consumers are not responding as they once did to traditional marketing strategies and techniques.

They fast forward through commercials, ignore banner ads on websites, and are skeptical of – if not downright put off by – any overt attempt by a company to “win their business” or even get their attention.

So what’s a business to do? How are you supposed to attract new prospects and customers if you can’t market to people anymore (at least, not in the way you used to)?

Simple Ways to Build Your Email List – Part 2

With all the noise out there – from blogs to social media to email to ads and more – it’s more important than ever to integrate your inbound marketing efforts.

You need to provide a consistent message to your customers and prospects across all of your marketing channels, so they don’t get confused about who you are or what you do. In addition, your message can make a greater impact and have a wider reach if people see it in more than one place.

Maximize the results of your next email campaign

You don’t have to wing your email campaigns on your own, hire and train a staff of deployment specialists, or stay on top of ever-changing industry standards!

Imagine:

  • Having your campaigns executed by an industry leader with 18 years of experience
  • Being confident that no detail has been overlooked
  • Knowing your campaigns are going off without a hitch
  • Getting the maximum results from your efforts

5 Ways to Segment Your Email List

5 Ways to Segment Your Email List

You know segmenting your email list can bring you exponentially better results by improving deliverability and increasing click-through and conversion rates. And you know that more and more consumers expect to receive emails that are personalized and tailored to their interests. But maybe you’re not sure where to start, because there are so many ways to “slice and dice” subscriber information.

Fear not: We’re here to help!

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