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Is Your Content Marketing Program Helping or Hurting Your Brand?


content marketing program
Most businesses are aware of the importance of consistently writing and distributing articles as part of a comprehensive content marketing program. But in the race to beat their competitors to customers, a lot of companies fall short by publishing articles that are simply subpar.

While it may seem like a great idea to get your brand out there at all costs, distributing poor quality content is a sure-fire way to quickly lose the trust of your prospects and customers. And if they don’t trust you or have confidence in your expertise, why would they want to spend money with you?

If you have to choose between writing two mediocre articles a week or two fantastic articles a month, less is definitely more. Lots of bad content will destroy your brand faster than a little bit of good content will strengthen it. High-quality content:

  • Engages customers in a positive way that shows you’re interested and involved in the education process
  • Builds your reputation as an industry expert and thought-leader
  • Gives customers confidence in the value of your products and/or services
  • Makes your brand memorable when customers enter the buying phase

Never underestimate the ability of great (and poor) content to influence your customers’ buying decisions. If you only have five hours per week to concentrate on marketing, spend every minute creating quality articles full of valuable content for your prospects and customers. They will reward (or punish) you with their business.

Don’t have the time or resources to write, optimize, and distribute premium articles yourself? Put your company’s marketing on autopilot with a content marketing program that helps build your brand and reputation. Visit www.ContentMarketingProgram.com or call 310.792.8888 for more information and to setup your free consultation.

12 Article Ideas to Simplify Your Content Marketing Program

content marketing programMany businesses aren’t necessarily worried about the ability to create content. They have anxiety when it comes to knowing or deciding what to write about. They have the knowledge, but they don’t know how to go about writing articles to share that knowledge. The hard part is coming up with the initial idea.

In this blog post we’re going to take a closer look at the ways in which businesses can overcome this obstacle by providing 12 ideas or types of articles to jumpstart their content marketing program.

1. Articles that provide information on buying

How-to-buy information addresses the biggest challenges that keep prospects from buying, which is fear of making a mistake. By showing prospects how to make an informed buying decision, businesses build their confidence and increase the chance of making the sale.

Examples of how-to-buy articles would be:

  • 11 Things to Look For When Shopping for Car Insurance
  • Follow These 5 Steps to Ensure You Hire a Professional Mover

How-to-buy articles also offer an easy way for businesses to educate their target audience about the quality they offer and differentiate them from the competition.

2. Articles that tell people what questions to ask

Buyers often default to price as a standard of comparison because they don’t know what else to look for or how to evaluate value and quality. Creating articles around “questions to ask” shows a business’s interest in helping customers make the right decisions.

Potential topics could include:

  • 10 Questions to Ask When Getting a Home Loan
  • 8 Questions to Ask a Divorce Attorney

The more they listen to customers, the easier it will be to craft articles from their target audience’s point of view.

3. Articles that discuss mistakes to avoid 

Businesses can also take a good look at their prospects and current customers. What separates success from failure? What are the biggest mistakes they see being made over and over again? They can write articles around identifying the most frequent mistakes their customers can make, and the ways to avoid them.

Examples of “mistakes” articles would be:

  • 6 Common Mistakes Made by New Business Owners
  • Top 10 Landscaping Mistakes

Once a company identifies the main theme and lists the mistakes, it’s usually pretty easy to write “mistakes” articles providing recommendations that demonstrate expertise and show an interest to help prospects and customers make the right decisions.

4. Articles about trends

A business can identify the latest developments in its industry, such as changes in regulations, demographics, or technology that its target audience is currently dealing with, and also how these trends are creating threats or opportunities prospects and clients must address.

Examples of articles on trends would be:

  • 5 Ways the New Healthcare Changes Will Impact Your Business
  • 8 Ways the New Energy Efficiency Regulations Affect Appliance Manufacturers

These types of articles help keep customers informed about industry issues and how they can anticipate changes and make the adjustments they need to remain successful. The best part of writing articles on trends is that their target audience will begin to think of them as an informed insider.

5. Articles about symptoms
“Symptoms” articles address the warning signs or signals customers and prospects should watch out for to avoid falling victim to a business challenge, or missing out on a key opportunity. Describing indicators that customers or prospects might not be aware of, and offering steps they can take to either minimize negative consequences or take maximum advantage of positive situations, can help raise a business’ profile as a trusted adviser that cares about its clients’ success.

content marketing programExamples of “symptoms” articles:

  • 5 Signs You’re Missing Out on New Business
  • 6 Signs It’s Time to Buy a New Laptop

6. Articles about strategies 

“Strategies” articles describe recommended courses of action for achieving goals and handling specific situations. Content that focuses on strategies can be used to reduce customers’ and prospects’ fear of the unknown while giving the business an opportunity to promote their expertise and the range of solutions it offers.

For example:

  • 5 Steps to Improve Your SEO
  • 9 Ways to Reduce This Year’s Business Taxes

7. Articles that provide definitions 

In these articles a company defines and clarifies the meaning of the words most frequently used in their industry. To get started, they can identify the terms and buzzwords customers and prospects must know, or use articles to demystify commonly misused or misunderstood words in their field.

Examples of articles that provide definitions:

  • 8 Terms to Know Before Applying For a Bank Loan
  • 10 Accounting Terms You Need to Know

8. Articles that provide resources 

Another way a business can project an image of knowledge, credibility, and helpfulness is to identify and recommend the best books, tools, or most useful websites in their field. These types of articles reflect a company’s understanding of the industry landscape and the most relevant offerings in their industry. It also gives them an opportunity to demonstrate that their business is qualified to make recommendations.

Potential articles could be:

  • 5 Best Keyword Research Tools
  • Top 7 Books All Writers Must Read

9. Articles that discuss qualifications 

Businesses can also consider the skills their target audience must have to achieve its goals. Qualifications can take many forms, such as attitudes, budget resources, experiences, knowledge, tools, or training.

Some examples on the qualifications idea:

  • 5 Skills You Must Have to Remodel Your Office
  • 6 Things You Must Know If You’re Going to Lead a Sales Team

10. Articles about enhancements 

content marketing programBecause they don’t know all of the possible options, many prospects and customers may not have purchased a total solution to their problems. If the company didn’t fully describe all of the available options, or because the customers’ needs have changed, they may not be getting the full benefits from their original purchases.

In these types of articles, businesses provide valuable information by describing ways customers can obtain more satisfaction, such as:

  • 9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Investments
  • 3 Ways to Protect Your Company From Litigation 

11. Articles about best practices 

Best practices differ from strategies and other types of articles because they provide more opportunities to include stories and specific examples. Best practices communicate selectivity and a focus on achievement and efficiency, such as:

  • 5 Ways Entrepreneurs Achieve a Work/Life Balance
  • 8 Keys to Sustained Business Growth

12. Articles concerned with metrics 

Metrics businesses share to help their target audience evaluate and improve their current efforts with quantifiable data. By showing what’s working, and what’s not working, metrics highlight areas in which prospects and customers can improve with the help of the products and services a business offers.

Potential article topics would be:

  • 5 Customer Satisfaction Metrics to Track
  • 7 Ways You Know Your Email Marketing Is Working

All of these types of articles have several things in common:

  • They are evergreen topics, so the subject matter will always be relevant.
  • They cover familiar ground: Each topic is based on information your business already knows.
  • They’re relevant: Each type of article addresses important issues for your target audience.
  • They’re list-based: Each topic includes a number, which makes it easy for you to identify the main ideas in your article and organize them into the right order. We all like lists so these types of articles are usually well received.
  • Format: Instead of coming across as advertising, each article topic shares your expertise in an editorial format.

Ready to Start Your Content Marketing Program?

content marketing programDeveloping and executing an effective content marketing program is all about providing valuable information for your clients and prospects. By building your reputation as an expert, you’re establishing yourself as a trusted resource. Even if a prospect won’t buy now, he can subscribe to your blog and come back regularly for more tips to help his business and, when he is ready to buy, he’ll likely buy from you.

To stay organized and on-track, you will want to create an editorial calendar to plan all of this out in advance. An editorial calendar is a topic for another day, but basically you will want to schedule and assign all of your specific articles to be written and published on a certain date.

Why did we pick 12 ideas? Now you have article topics for your blog for an entire year. So, if you do four articles on each of these types of articles you will have written and published one article per week for the entire year.

Sure, this will take quite a bit of time and effort, but the results will definitely be worth it. If you’re able to consistently create quality content that your target audience wants, that content will have a huge impact on your lead generation and pay off many times over.

Want help implementing a content marketing strategy for your company? From developing the editorial calendar to writing all of your articles to distributing your articles online, Novo Writing’s content marketing program does everything for you so you can focus on your core business.

Visit www.ContentMarketingProgram.com for more information and call 310.792.8888 to setup your free consultation.

The 3 Critical Phases of a Content Marketing Program

content marketing programDeveloping an effective content marketing program is a critical aspect of any marketing strategy. As you write, optimize, and publish articles as part of this program, you will progress through the following three-phases.

1. Research

You will need to consider a few areas of research that need to be conducted before you can even think about writing:

  • Perform keyword research to discover the keywords your target audience is searching to find the type of products and services you offer. Since this can be a rather involved process, we’ll dedicate a separate article to the intricacies of keyword research. As a basic example, if you run a homecare agency you might find that your primary keyword phrase should be “Omaha homecare services” instead of “Omaha homecare company.”
  • Do industry research to see what prospects and customers are talking about, what they’re interested in, what similar businesses are publishing, and industry trends. You can accomplish this in many different ways, including doing a basic Google search on the type of service you provide, joining and participating in one or more of your industry’s LinkedIn groups, and subscribing to influential industry blogs.
  • Of course, you will also want to thoroughly investigate the specific topic for each article so you can be sure you know it inside and out.

2. Content

The content phase is the second part of the process. You want to create an editorial calendar to make sure the topics for your articles are aligned with your goals, key events, selling seasons, and products/services. An editorial calendar also ensures that you stay on schedule every week to consistently produce high-quality articles. Generally speaking, you want to write 500-600 word articles that are optimized for a primary keyword phrase.

content marketing program3. Distribution

The distribution phase is a critical part of the process, and it’s the area where most businesses fail to effectively leverage their content. They don’t take the extra step to kick-start the republishing process so the reach of their great content can increase exponentially.

After you publish an article on your blog and it is indexed by the search engines—which ensures you get credit for being the original publisher of the content—you want to strategically push it out to other key distribution channels. If you do it right, you may be pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of traffic, rankings, leads, and positive customer engagement you can achieve.

It’s also always a good idea to repurpose your articles as email newsletters to send to your mailing list. You can stay in touch with prospects and customers without having to spend extra time and money creating additional content.

What’s Your Plan?

Keep these three phases in mind as you write, optimize, and publish valuable content on your company’s blog. Remember that the content you distribute will live forever online, so it’s crucial that you only publish high-quality articles. It can be the difference between building or damaging your brand and reputation.

If you need assistance with your content marketing strategy—or you are interested in learning more about working with an expert to handle your entire content marketing program for you—call Novo Writing at 310.792.8888 or visit www.ContentMarketingProgram.com.

Content Marketing Program FAQs


content marketing program
Novo Writing’s content marketing program was developed to provide businesses with a total content marketing solution. Here are a few common questions we receive about the program:

What are some of the benefits of the content marketing program?

In addition to saving you time and money and doing all of the work for you, our content marketing program:

  • Builds your brand and reputation as an industry expert
  • Increases your company’s visibility in search results
  • Drives more qualified prospects to your website
  • Demonstrates thought-leadership on topics of interest to your target audience
  • Educates prospects about the value of the products/services you offer
  • Shortens the sales cycle by improving customer trust
  • Organically increases the amount and quality of leads

What’s the process?

We follow a standard process to maintain consistency and ensure we continue to help you achieve your content marketing goals every month. Here’s an overview of our process for every article:

  • Research your industry, keywords, and specific article topic
  • Write and optimize the article
  • Make any necessary revisions and obtain article approval from you
  • Post the article on your blog
  • After the article has been indexed, republish the article on other high-quality websites and social media

Why does the content marketing program include four articles per month?

Consistency is key if you want your content marketing to be successful. We’ve found that writing, optimizing, and publishing one article per week achieves the best results. This provides your target audience with valuable content each and every week to demonstrate your expertise as a trusted industry resource.

content marketing programWhy pay for content marketing?

Whether you know it or not, if you’re creating content for your business you’re already paying for it. After all, what is your time worth? The soft costs related to the amount of time it takes you to do content marketing internally almost always outweigh the money you’ll save by letting an expert handle everything for you. You save time, money, and resources to free you up to focus on your core business.

Why do you post my articles on other websites?

Generally speaking, when you post articles on sites other than your blog you’re starting the republishing process to improve authority, traffic, and backlinks. To do this effectively, it’s important to pay attention to the type and quality of these other channels. You don’t want to waste time posting articles on useless websites, but you may be surprised by the visibility you can get when they’re published on the right sites.

Will I be penalized for duplicate content when you post my articles on other websites?

No. At least, not the way we do it. Once Google indexes the article on your own blog first—which gives you credit for the original content—it’s time to post it on other websites. After all, over time the article is going to be picked-up and republished whether you like it or not. Our content marketing program kick-starts the republishing process so you can begin exponentially improving the reach of your content.

What’s my role in the process?

One of the great things about our content marketing program is that it can essentially run on autopilot. You can be as involved as much or as little as you’d like. There are typically two steps in the process where your involvement is needed: 1) Approving article topics for the editorial calendar (we can pitch topics for your approval or you can tell us what you want to focus on), and 2) Approving the articles we write (you have the option to make revisions or simply tell us to run with it). Most clients find that the articles we write require very few (if any) edits, so this is typically a quick process.

Have more questions about our content marketing program? Visit www.ContentMarketingProgram.com for more information, and call 310.792.8888 or email info@novowriting.com to setup your free consultation. 

How Much Does Content Marketing Cost Your Business?

content marketing programImplementing a content marketing strategy is critical for any business that wants to compete. While the strategy may be different from company to company, they all have one thing in common: they cost money.

Many businesses only think in terms of hard costs when it comes to content marketing. Unfortunately, these easy-to-calculate numbers only tell a small part of the story. They often overlook the soft costs, which can end up costing them far more in the long run. When they add everything up, the amount of time and resources it takes to do it right can be shocking.

Let’s look at an example. Say the owner of an insurance company wants to create, implement, and manage his own content marketing program. To do so, he must:

  • Research content marketing best practices
  • Discover industry trends and develop a plan for monthly article topics
  • Perform keyword research
  • Write high-quality articles with valuable information for his target audience
  • Optimize the articles with his keywords
  • Post the articles on the company’s blog
  • Push the articles out to social media channels to expand their reach
  • Do all of the above consistently (at least one article per week) if he expects his content marketing strategy to produce the desired results

Is his time best spent with these activities or should he instead be focusing on his “day job”—speaking with clients and prospects to provide an insurance plan that best meets their needs? This is, of course, a rhetorical question. He should obviously be focusing on his core business.

content marketing programMost businesses find both their productivity and performance decrease when they try to do too many things themselves—especially when it comes to activities that don’t involve their expertise. This is true when considering the cost of managing their content marketing strategy themselves versus investing in a content marketing solution provider.

The time they save by outsourcing their content marketing far outweighs the cost of the investment. They can take this critical part of their business off their plate and focus on servicing the customers that come their way as a result of the content marketing efforts performed on their behalf.

So, what do you think? How do you weigh cost vs. investment when it comes to your content marketing strategy?

See what a content marketing program can do for your business by setting up a free consultation with Novo Writing. Call 310.792.8888 or email info@novowriting.comfor more information and to get a quote.

5 Ingredients That Make Your Blog More Delicious

blog writingThousands of new blog posts are published by businesses in your industry each and every day. If you want to make sure your blog stands out and keeps visitors coming back, you need to give them something they can sink their teeth into.

Treat your blog like a bakery and each blog post like a scrumptious chocolate cupcake. It should:

  • Look appetizing (have an irresistible title)
  • Be easy to swallow (have information that is easy to read and digest)
  • Taste great (have superb content) 

In other words, your blog must be delicious. Here are 5 blog ingredients that will delight your readers:  

  • Write great content. I know, I know—it sounds obvious. But starting the list with this one is more of a plea than a suggestion. How many blogs have you read—or tried to read—that didn’t provide valuable information and whose ideas weren’t effectively communicated (to put it nicely)? It’s simple: If you aren’t a strong writer, hire a professional to cook your blog to perfection. After all, you risk damaging your reputation and brand when you publish poorly written content.
  • Draw in your readers. The title is the first thing people see when your article appears in search results. It’s what catches their eye when they browse content on your website and blog. There are many ways to structure articles and make your titles compelling. You just need to hook your readers with a promise and then deliver on that promise. For example, most of us like “top tips” articles because we know we’re going to learn something right away. It makes our mouths water. Give your titles some pizzazz and give us what we want!
  • Be brief, but not too brief. Generally speaking, 450-500 words is the sweet spot for a blog post. Google wants to see at least 350 words to show that you’ve created a substantial piece of content. On the other hand, blog posts over 600 words can seem overwhelming to some readers.
  • Make your articles easy to read. Many of us are scanners. With so much information online, we often don’t take the time to read an entire blog post from start to finish. Break up your article using subtitles, bullets/numbered lists, and short paragraphs that are easy to read, scan, and digest.
  • Use images wisely. Include at least one image per blog post but not more than three. You want to give your readers some eye candy but not bombard them with it. Take the time to select images that complement the content and connect with your target audience.

blog writingIf you use these five ingredients, you’re sure to write and publish blog posts that showcase your industry expertise, build your brand, and engage your target market. Keep your blog content delicious so you’ll keep your prospects and customers coming back for more.

And please pass the cupcake.

Want help from a professional to write, optimize, and distribute more delicious content? We’ve got you covered. Learn more about implementing a content marketing program by visiting www.ContentMarketingProgram.com or calling 310.792.8888.