Friday Scribbles: 10 Tips That Will Improve Your Writing Right Now

As the week wraps up, we offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across, and tell you what we’ve been up to.

When reviewing text online, people only read an average of 18% of what’s on a page. That means the more words you put on the page, the fewer words people read. And that applies to hard copy too. So, it’s important to keep your writing short, sweet, and to the point.

Here are 10 writing tips that will help you do just that, condensed from a session I led this week at the annual meeting of the Virginia chapter of the APRA. You can use these tips for any type of writing, whether it’s an email, letter, white paper, blog, or even a social media post.

1. Set a goal.

If you don’t know what you want to say at the outset—if you haven’t outlined or at least brainstormed some bullet points—you’re going to ramble, and the clarity of your writing will suffer. More often than not, your writing will also end up being longer than necessary.

2. Put your main idea first.

Attention spans drop through the course of a page. To ensure you’ve made your point, put your main idea first. You aren’t writing a mystery novel or telling a joke. Therefore, you don’t want to save the punchline for the end.

3. Write short sentences.

The sweet spot for comprehension is between 20 and 25 words. Longer than that, and your reader is likely to get lost in your sentences. One way to shorten your sentences is to focus on using subject-verb-object order. Try to keep your subjects and verbs close together to minimize the work your reader has to do.

4. Use active voice.

Passive voice convolutes sentence structure. It also downplays the person taking the action. (You’ll occasionally want to do that, if you’re trying to hide what someone did or if you don’t know who did something, but otherwise, it’s not a great idea.) It also adds unnecessary words to your structure. If you can add “by zombies” after your verb, you have passive voice, and you should work to flip the sentence to an active structure.

5. Use strong words.

Imprecise wording breeds additional words. Instead of saying “the very small dog that was making incessant noise,” call him a “yipping chihuahua.” Paints a stronger picture, doesn’t it? Choose your verbs wisely too and use the simplest form possible. Don’t noun your verbs either: instead of “make a decision,” use “decide.”

6. Make it parallel.

Parallel structure—where items in a pair or series match each other grammatically—makes it easier for readers to comprehend what you’re saying. Ensure that you are using the same parts of speech in the same structure in your series, and you’ll be good to go. (For example, don’t mix an infinitive verb with the present tense, for example: make sure all of the verbs match in tense and usage.)

7. Keep it simple.

Big words don’t make you sound smart. And they also burden the reader, because they have to figure out what you’re trying to say. Get rid of the long words, jargon, and thesaurus, and use the simplest, clearest word you can.

8. Use fewer words.

We’ve learned bad habits over time. We’ve spent a lot of time fluffing up our writing, thanks to high school assignments that made us add adjectives, adverbs, intensifiers, and the like to meet word quotas. Excise the fluff: get rid of words like “very,” “actually,” “really,” and others that take up space without adding meaning. Toss the throat-clearing too: “it goes without saying” and “it’s important to note” just add useless clutter to your otherwise good ideas.

9. Use signposts.

Readers get tired when they’re scrolling through a full page of text. Use headings, subheadings, bullets, and white space (that means keeping your paragraphs short!) to give their eyes a break as well as to organize your thoughts.

10. Proofread.

Before you publish anything, even if it’s just sending an email to your colleague, spend a minute reviewing it. Spellcheck isn’t infallible. I proof every document I write at least three times: twice in hard copy and once online. Your eyes won’t catch everything on a screen, so hard copy fills that gap. Another trick for online proofreading is to paste your text into a different file, then blow it up in a large font that you don’t usually use. I usually change the color of the text too. That way, I fool my brain into thinking the words are new, so it focuses more on what’s on the screen.

Bonus tip: Don’t use the semicolon.

Let’s face facts: 95 percent of you don’t know how to use it. And, even if you are using it correctly, it probably means your sentence is too long. Just get rid of it.

Can’t get enough suggestions on how to improve your writing? Let us know what help you need.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new this week in the legal industry

What to read while waiting for the Game of Thrones finale

What Scribe has been up to

  • Brainstorming ideas for a law firm client newsletter
  • Writing about disruption in law firms
  • Explaining how Slack is taking eDiscovery by storm
  • Studying the potential impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act

Want to debate the merits of semicolons? Want us to help you write with or without them? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: What I Learned About Running a Content Marketing Business From My Mom

As the week wraps up, we offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across, and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Last January, I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s—in truth, I’d lost her years before, given the ugly path of that disease. And, as an only child who had lost her father 11 months before, I’ve been a bit lost myself in the interim.

But I can look back fondly at some of the lessons she shared and how they’ve shaped my career and my work. One, in particular, stands out—and it’s not advice she gave so much as the way she lived: mediocrity just doesn’t cut it. Here are just a couple of small examples:

  • My mom was a life insurance broker, working with lots of agencies to help them sell their products. Every month, her company put out a report ranking agents for their results. If she wasn’t at the top, she redoubled her work ethic so she would be back there the next month. It was a rare month when she didn’t achieve her goal. She did all of this through a meteoric rise through the glass ceiling, having been promoted from an administrative assistant all the way to a brokerage representative—and all with just a high school degree.
  • In her spare time, mom took up golf. She took group lessons for a long time, progressed to more intensive individual lessons, and then started playing every weekend (much to my chagrin, as I was dragged along to bear witness in the golf cart). At her peak, before her illness, she was playing at least three times a week and consistently hitting in the 80s and winning local tournaments. She even hit a hole in one. My mom was tireless in her pursuit of excellence on the course. (I wish she were here to help me with my short game, now that I actually enjoy playing.)

Those lessons have stayed with me, and I learned them well—in every aspect of my life.

Today, I’m proud of what our little agency has done, but I’m definitely not satisfied. We’re growing year over year, but we have additional room for growth. We’re constantly striving to deliver the most engaging, thought-provoking content in our industry. We’re hiring new writers to join us in our mission to deliver that content to some of the best brands in the legal, professional services, and B2B markets. We’re strategizing about how to move our own brand forward and continue to elevate our skill set.

As my mom would probably agree, every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. I’m trying to embody her example every day. I don’t always live up to it, but it’s a worthy goal. I encourage you to do the same.

I miss and love you, Mom.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new this week in the legal industry

Things to read before you clock out for the weekend

So, what has Scribe been up to?

Are you ready to take your content from mediocre to mesmerizing? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: Can Content Marketing Surprise and Delight Legal and B2B Readers?

As the week wraps up, we offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across, and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Go to Google. Type in “Thanos.” Click the image of the gauntlet on the right side of your screen, and see what happens.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Avengers: Endgame is opening this weekend. If you haven’t been following the story, here it is in a nutshell: the good guys will again be battling against the evil Thanos, who has collected the six Infinity Stones on his gauntlet. Using the stones’ combined power, he was able to eliminate half the galaxy’s population with a mere snap of his fingers. And it’s not unlike what Thanos does to your Google search results.

What the heck does a gauntlet Easter egg have to do with content marketing? Plenty. But for the purpose of this post, it has to do with using content to surprise and delight your customers and prospects.

But, you say, surprise and delight may work for people searching for a movie based on a comic book, but it won’t work for people who are looking for B2B services—and especially not stodgy old lawyers.

Well, not all of the millions of people who will see the movie opening weekend are millennials or comic book aficionados. Some of them are business leaders and lawyers who are making buying decisions. And, believe it or not, some of those folks leave the office once in a while and have fulfilling lives outside their work. And they even appreciate creativity and enjoy having a good laugh too!

Besides, after reading thousands of words of legalese in briefs or contracts, or even in marketing materials that are a series of updates on the same cases and statutes written in the same dry way, what type of content would stand out from the crowd? A lengthy tome on the latest dense regulation from a government agency or a blog that interprets that regulation according to how its development parallels the story arc of the Avengers movies? (We’re itching to write that one—let us know if you’re in.)

Give some thought to how you might surprise and delight your readers. It’s probably not going to be giving everyone who reads your blog a car.

But maybe it’s something as simple as inserting a witty line or an unexpected, yet funny, meme in the middle of your next blog post. Start small. See how it feels and evaluate your feedback and results. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And delighted.

Want to talk about ways to surprise and delight your readers? Just snap your fingers.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new this week in the legal industry

Something to ponder as you search for those hidden but forgotten Easter eggs before they start to rot

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

Want to take your content marketing from mini Groot into Hulk-like proportions? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: Content Marketing Lessons From March Madness

As the week wraps up, we offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across, and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to be among the more than 72,000 fans who went to Minneapolis for the NCAA Final Four. Many left disgruntled. But not me—I bleed orange and blue and was thrilled to witness one of the greatest redemption stories in sports history.

Interestingly, this weekend was about more than the trophy and confetti. Over the course of the tournament as a whole, I picked up some content marketing lessons that any business can add to its playbook.

Tell a story.

My team’s story is pretty hard to beat—and it’s also hard to escape. Wherever you turn, journalists are still pounding the drum about Virginia’s loss last year to UMBC. But Tony Bennett and his squad used all the criticism—external and internal—to fuel their run to the championship this year. It’s the ultimate story of redemption and a compelling, emotional story that resonates with people. (That is, except for the salty Auburn fans who sat next to me at both games and came to the final clad in homemade Texas Tech t-shirts. It was a foul, people, and there were multiple uncalled fouls on Auburn before the double dribble. Let it go.)

Your organization’s story may not be so dramatic, but you still have a story worth telling. You just have to find the nugget that resonates with and is accessible to your audience.

Identify your audience.

To know what will resonate with your audience, you have to know who they are.

While the die-hard fans with me in U.S. Bank Stadium probably knew their basketball, the millions more watching or streaming from home likely didn’t—but they were invested nonetheless. They may have been watching because of their bracket, because their school was playing, or just because they were bored on a Monday night. Whatever the reason, the NCAA and its commercial sponsors worked hard on various channels to engage these folks and get them to tune in.

You can take this lesson on a less grandiose scale and apply it to your business. Who is visiting your website and reading your content? Which prospects do you want to attract? What are their attributes? Build buyer personas using these attributes, narrowing in on their needs, wants, and pain points, and then build your content strategy with those personas in mind.

Does all of this sound overwhelming? Need help figuring out the story behind your story or the ideal audience you should be targeting? Let us help.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new in the legal industry

Something to ruminate about aside from your broken March Madness bracket

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Sweating bullets as the Virginia Cavaliers played in the NCAA tournament
  • Writing about the role of IT in eDiscovery
  • Drafting an article on how law firms can optimize the client intake process
  • Interviewing staff at a law firm for fresh bios as part of a website relaunch
  • Researching how technology can help with multidistrict litigation

Ready to draw up some new content marketing plays for your business? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: How Can Marketing and Legal Teams Accomplish Their Business Development Goals?

Oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. Apple and Microsoft. Lawyers and marketing…?

While the first three pairs definitely don’t mix, we keep hearing horror stories about how marketing teams and legal teams aren’t working well together either.

We often find that, despite their common goals, there’s a chasm between legal marketing teams and the firm lawyers they support or the product sales groups they’re promoting. There may be a disconnect—or no communication at all—between lawyers and the marketing staff that’s ready and willing to help them build their book of business.

Why is that the case? We have plenty of ideas, but we’d like to hear what you think.

That’s why we’ve put together a short survey on the topic. We want to hear from both sides: marketing folks as well as the legal teams they serve, and people affiliated with both law firms and legal service providers. We would love to hear from you and your colleagues, so please share the link. The more information we get, the better our results will be.

We’ve designed the survey to take less than 10 of your (billable) minutes to complete. We’ll keep your information confidential, but we’ll aggregate the data into a paper we’ll release later this year.

Want to know more? I’ll also be speaking on the topic of how marketing teams can bridge the gap with lawyers at the upcoming meeting of the Washington chapter of the Legal Marketing Association. I’d love to see you there.

  • When: March 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: Troutman Sanders LLP, 401 9th Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004.

Please register and join me there. I look forward to hearing about your experiences and seeing you later this month.

In the meantime, feel free to drop us a line or to give us a shout to talk about your biggest marketing challenges.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new this week in the legal industry

Some reads to celebrate International Women’s Day

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Coaching two brand-new mock trial high school teams to victory at the state competition
  • Researching computer-assisted review protocols
  • Analyzing the use of analytics in law department operations (very meta of us)
  • Evaluating how law firms can run more like businesses
  • Editing a white paper on nonprofit certification

Need help building a bridge between your legal and marketing functions? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: The Power of Content Marketing in Presidential Persuasion

Though we celebrated Presidents’ Day on Monday, George Washington’s actual birthday is today, February 22 (1732). Noted for many things—some trivial, like chopping down his father’s prize cherry tree, and some not, like orchestrating the colonial victory over the British at Yorktown, Virginia—what you may not have known is that our first president was also among the nation’s first content marketers.

Washington was a prolific author and a master of persuasion. To date, more than 135,000 of his papers have been collected for publication. He deeply believed in using the power of the pen to incite a following.

And politicians, just like our buddy George, generally are among the busiest of marketers, though we may not view their tactics that way. (Admittedly, some may be better at marketing, and writing, than others.) Nonetheless, to campaign effectively, they must go through all the proper steps of creating a marketing strategy, from setting goals to defining buyer personas to crafting, refining, and sharing their messaging.

And that messaging has to (or should) be consistent across channels, whether it’s posted on social media, aired on television or radio, delivered in speeches, printed in op-eds or posters, or shared anywhere else.

Done well, their content meets the same two goals as any other effective content: education and persuasion. Done poorly, it turns people off and makes people disregard their point of view.

As President Washington said, “Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” Good content can create happiness—and thus loyalty—among your prospects and customers too.

Let’s talk about how your content can help your products and services get more votes.

(More) tips to improve your content marketing

What’s new this week in the legal industry

Questions the world really needs answered

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Assessing how to run a law firm like a business
  • Devising a survey on law firm marketing tactics
  • Writing about law firm and corporate law procurement best practices
  • Preparing OSHA training materials on personal protective equipment regulations
  • Drafting an article on why law firms should store their data in the cloud

Ready to kick off your next content marketing campaign? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: How Much Do You Heart Content Marketing?

At the risk of being too controversial, I’ll share my viewpoint on a hot-button issue: I don’t like conversation hearts.

I don’t care if they’re the ones made by Necco, Brach’s, or anyone else (though I find the lasering of text onto the Brach’s version deplorable compared to Necco’s stamping). Either way, they’re too chalky for my liking. (Give me the eye-poppingly tart Sweetarts Hearts every day and twice on Sunday.)

So I’m not all that upset about the conversation heart shortage that ensued in the wake of the Necco factory closing last year. (For those devotees among you, worry not: the Sweethearts brand has been bought and will likely resurface next year.)

In debating which candy (let’s be honest, candies) to buy this year, it struck me that there is a clear Valentine’s Day candy hierarchy and that those levels aren’t all that dissimilar from Scribe’s version of the content maturity model.

Tier 0: Ferrero Rocher

What’s not to like about Ferrero Rocher? It’s hazelnut and chocolate, so I suppose it has that going for it, but you can buy it at 7-11. It’s an afterthought. It’s the I-forgot-today’s-a-holiday-so-let-me-grab-my-sweetie-something-before-she-kicks-me-out gift. The marketing equivalent is a helter-skelter approach to content that lacks documentation. It’s ad hoc. It’s the I-forgot-to-draft-a-blog-this-week-so-let-me-slap-together-something-for-the-website-before-my-boss-yells-at-me approach.

Tier 1: Fruit-filled chocolate candies

Mixing fruit and chocolate: it’s just so wrong on many levels. It’s the equivalent of having content with some quality yet no coherency or purpose. It meanders. It’s not clear how it connects to other content on your website. It’s not clear how it connects to customer needs. It’s just not clear.

Tier 2: Nerds

The content here might be more organized, but it’s pretty generic. It’s like Valentine’s Nerds. Do any Nerds flavors taste different from any other flavor? Likewise, could any other company post your content without having to change anything but the branding? If so, you’re not using content as a vehicle to share your unique value proposition or your key differentiators. 

Tier 3: M&Ms

M&Ms are dependable. You always know what you’re getting: delicious chocolate simplicity that won’t make a mess in your hands. At the M&M stage, content is being produced regularly. It’s organized and repeatable. It may not be the most creative approach to the subject matter, but people like it well enough, even if they don’t go out of their way to share it. Quality-assurance processes are in place to ensure that the content meets your goals and that it’s edited for grammar and coherence.

Tier 4: Jelly Belly Sour Smoochi Lips

Pucker up: this candy is large and in charge. It’s sour and has lots of power. By the time content reaches the Smoochi Lips level of maturity, it’s adhering to an internal content strategy. It’s churned out regularly, following a clear workflow and content calendar. It’s scalable, creative, and entertaining. It gets tons of likes and shares. It’s not yet the Cadillac of content, but it gets the job done, and it does the job well. 

Tier 5: Reese’s Hearts

Peanut butter and chocolate—there’s no better combination (unless you have a peanut allergy). It’s the meld of savory and sweet, of yin and yang. It’s much like the highest-quality content: it leaves you wanting more. This content is aligned with your organization’s business strategy, and different content vehicles are designed to reach customers on different trajectories along their journey. A team of subject-matter experts, marketers, writers, and others are collaborating, measuring the results of their efforts, and applying their learning to succeeding projects.

Curious about what stage your content is in (or just want to debate my candy hierarchy)? Contact us to talk about a content assessment for your organization.

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Do you want to read something random on your Friday afternoon?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Writing about analytics maturity for law firms and in-house counsel
  • Reading about the evolution of law department technology
  • Studying new owned media options for clients
  • Preparing a content calendar and strategy for a legal tech firm
  • Discovering the new ways that law firms can benefit from intranets

Looking for your perfect match for content marketing? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: Legaltech Recap

We’ve been off from scribbling for a couple of weeks, gearing up for and then recovering from the whirlwind that was Legaltech.

We had a fabulous time in New York, getting to visit with many of our clients, colleagues, and dare I say luminaries in the eDiscovery world. If you didn’t get a chance to go, here’s our take on what you missed.

We sat in on some fascinating sessions, including one led by Brad Blickstein on tech adoption. We also enjoyed the inspiring sessions from Consilio that touched on the rise of innovation (with brilliant insights from Amy Hinzmann, Wendy Butler Curtis, and Farrah Pepper) and improving diversity through technology. We were also thrilled to hear about some of the innovative education initiatives happening through the Law Without Walls program.

With so many highlights, it’s hard to choose one, but Zapproved’s Corporate Ediscovery Hero Awards Gala in the Edison Ballroom was a tough act to follow. We enjoyed talking with the honorees, especially Sonya Judkins and Cecil Lynn, and hearing from retired and current judges alike, including Judge Peck, Judge Scheindlin, Judge Grimm, and Judge Facciola. And—no surprise—almost-lawyer-turned-journalist Bob Woodward’s keynote did not disappoint. And the entire Zapproved team is just downright delightful to boot. What’s not to love?

But the most exciting part of the conference was prowling around the expo floor. We learned a ton about what’s coming up next from companies on the cutting edge of legal technology. We enjoyed some really cool demos—thank you, HighQ and OpenText, for taking the time to show us your fabulous tools and answer our questions. Also, if you haven’t checked out Hanzo yet, you should know that you’re missing out on the next big thing in data collection and preservation (not to mention some of the smartest and friendliest folks in the industry).

We can’t wait for next year—and for what exciting announcements are next. What a ride it will be!

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Need something to read while browsing for last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Helping a startup improve its SEO
  • Drafting a white paper on contract lifecycle management
  • Writing about trends in GDPR enforcement
  • Evaluating why PDFs are a bad approach to web archiving
  • Considering new diversity initiatives for the legal tech industry

Are you a legal tech company looking to up your content game? Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: How Marketers Can Beat the Blank Page

Every Friday, we’ll offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across (from the marketing and legal industries and otherwise), and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Writing isn’t easy. That’s why so many people either choose to forgo the benefits of content marketing or outsource it to a specialist.

Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier. Here are two strategies I use that you can also employ to become a more prolific content writer.

1. Create an idea flow.

Don’t wait until you’re staring at the screen to start thinking about your topic. It helps immeasurably to have planned topics in advance. It’s even better to have a coherent content strategy.

Of course, the problem is time. Few of us have enough time in our day that we can spend an hour or two strategically plotting out content.

The solution is to create a consistent flow of ideas. Sometimes lightning will strike, but more often, you’ll come up with ideas when you’re least expecting them. For me, ideas often spring up from client conversations or in the middle of other projects, and I can jot them on a notepad I keep on my desk. But, just as often, ideas pop into my head as I’m listening to a podcast in the car, thinking through client issues during a run, or at some other time when a keyboard or paper aren’t handy. In these cases, I record a voice memo to myself; otherwise, I’m sure to forget. In these ways, I build a running list of content ideas that I can draw from and prevent the well from running dry.

You can even be more purposeful about content ideation. Ask your clients, colleagues, and industry connections what they want to learn more about. Check out the questions being asked in your industry. Quora can be a source of interesting discussions. You can also set up a Google Alert for topics that interest you.

Every interaction you have with other content and people (and the world, generally) presents an opportunity for a new idea. Seize it.

2. Block out writing time on your calendar.

If you’re like me, your to-do list all too often balloons rather than shrinks during the course of the day. Calls and meetings that you didn’t expect appear on your calendar. Emails demand responses and add tasks to your schedule. By the end of the day, you’re fatigued by information overload, and it’s too late—and you’re too exhausted—to crank out an article.

Try this technique: block out time on your calendar for writing. I like to schedule my writing time for the mornings, before I feel too much pressure from the mounting avalanche in my inbox. It’s also a lot easier than having the goal of writing hanging over your head all day, only for it to go unaccomplished and then feel the agony of defeat when I have to transfer it to the next day’s to-do list.

What other techniques do you use to meet your writing goals? Let us know in the comments!

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Need something to read or watch while you’re chowing down on the corn (National Popcorn Day is January 19)?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Considering a maturity model for financial risk assessment
  • Reviewing key recent cases in eDiscovery
  • Planning a survey of legal marketers
  • Drafting articles about ways to keep seniors social
  • Studying new social media discovery developments

We can help you put some (great) words on the page. Let’s talk.

Friday Scribbles: Is Your Content Strategy Reminiscent of the Bird Box Challenge?

Every Friday, we’ll offer some of our thoughts on content marketing, curate a few interesting articles we’ve come across (from the marketing and legal industries and otherwise), and tell you what we’ve been up to.

Have you seen Bird Box, the Netflix film based on a novel by Josh Malerman, yet?

If you haven’t, here’s an overly simple version of the plot: an unknown being convinces anyone who sees it to commit suicide. To survive, people must close all doors, cover all windows, and blindfold themselves before going outside.

The film spawned the #BirdBoxChallenge meme, which dared people to navigate their everyday lives blindfolded. Needless to say, most weren’t successful, prompting Netflix to issue a warning: “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE.”

But unlike the Darwin Award candidates intentionally giving the Bird Box Challenge a whirl, many marketing teams are unwittingly participating in the challenge every day.

Though it’s much less risky than walking into traffic blindfolded, too many businesses are flying blind when it comes to their content marketing strategy. They’re fishing for clients without a cohesive plan. They flail their lines about, hoping to land a citation-worthy bluefin tuna, only to find their hooks devoid of anything but the chum they started with.

Here are five signs that you need to rethink your content strategy:

  • Your content isn’t gaining traction over time. If your numbers (e.g., page views and shares) aren’t ticking up, something is wrong, and you need to need to capture and study your metrics.
  • Your content is raising more questions than it answers. If your content isn’t clear, then your customers aren’t receiving your message, and you’re spinning your wheels. One sign might be that your on-page time is low. (Check your Google Analytics data to determine how long your page views last.)
  • Your content isn’t climbing in the search rankings. While you shouldn’t expect overnight success, you should see an improvement if you have a sound keyword and linking strategy.
  • Your content isn’t helping you start conversations and build relationships. If your marketing team is spending time on content that doesn’t resonate with prospects, have you hit the right triggers? Is your marketing team collaborating with your sales force to figure out the best ways to highlight your offering and tempt prospects to enter your sales funnel?
  • You don’t know what success looks like. If you haven’t set goals for your marketing campaigns, then how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? Make sure to set specific, measurable goals as you craft your content strategy, whether that’s improving your traffic from search engines or converting customers.

Do any of these signs feel like they’re hitting a little too close to home? Need an outside perspective on whether you’re flying blind? Get in touch.

Looking for some (more) tips to improve your content marketing?

What’s new this week in the legal industry?

Need something to talk about while preparing for the next winter storm?

So, what has Scribe been up to this week?

  • Writing web copy for an engineering firm
  • Considering the chief developments in regulatory law in the past year
  • Learning about contract lifecycle management strategies for law firms and corporate legal and procurement teams
  • Brainstorming taglines for a B2B firm
  • Drafting articles on various ways senior citizens can be more social in their twilight years

Ready to take the blinders off and devise a more effective content strategy? Let’s talk.