Smarter Marketing Blog

Are You Wasting Your Time and Money in the Content Strategy World?


It is almost a year since we ventured to write a post about content as part of a marketing strategy. It’s probably not surprising that it has been this long as the topic is extremely well documented upon. You could almost call it a shock of content – to borrow a word. (borrowed from here)

Anyway, we were reminded recently of how precious time can be wasted in a business environment. We were discussing a potential client’s digital marketing activity. They were proud of their efforts in that they activated an online presence through a website, social media and a blog. So far so good – you say.

We asked to see their strategy document, be it an overall marketing or a digital one. They replied that they hadn’t written one down. “No problem, ” we said and asked them to tell us what topics they shared with their audiences. They replied “really interesting information about our brand / products etc.”

We had a quick look at the aforementioned prospect’s online activity and noticed that a) there was no real SEO being undertaken, the blog read like an advertisement and they were cross distributing posts across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even their social media profiles were inconsistent and definitely not brand aligned.

Nor did they measure engagement rates but they did know their followers /page likes figures.  And therein lies the problem with brands on ‘digital’ nowadays. Sometimes their activity does not form part of an overall cohesive marketing strategy. Most of their online activity is a waste of their time.

“Is this not marketing”, they asked, to which we replied “yes, but not with any empathy for the customer’s experience of the brand.” In fairness, their intentions were good and all they lacked really was a vision; a strategy as to what they want their brand to be known within a specific audience.

Like many businesses who are caught up in the allure of the ‘shiny online baubles,’ this organisation doesn’t concentrate on building a congruent and relevant brand experience across the web.

Our discussion motivated us to pen this article in relation to the much-abused words content and strategy. We will spend the rest of this post outlining why we think it is important to have a content strategy and how to implement it in a way that doesn’t waste anybody’s time or money.

Having a strategic approach to content is a no-brainer

Our point is that more time should be spent developing a strategy, up-front, and not jumping straight into producing videos or hopping on social media channels etc. This should be a no-brainer for your organisation, really.

Not having a content strategy manager role in your business is also a good start. Our opinion is that everybody who works in your organisation should become a content strategist – because everything is content. Different people can bring it alive through user experience, blogging, ad copy, your website architecture, CTA buttons, packaging and social media etc.

If it is understood that all content should be focusing back to a core objective then every piece of content will say something (add value to) about your brand.

Be it educational, entertaining or informative – all content produced should have some link to a core marketing strategy. Of course great content doesn’t just happen, which is why we must plan tactics for search, social and offline marketing.

One word that we haven’t mentioned to this point is measurement. We don’t mean measurement of outputs – we mean how the content can be tested for relevance. Measuring relevance means, if your actions / content aren’t having the desired effect then it can be changed accordingly – saving time and money. An editorial calendar is fine as long as it can be changed when and if, needs be.

If you are a start-up business, an organisation with a cause or an SME, try and communicate some personality and character in your content. Good content is in abundance so with a little more effort, excellent content shouldn’t be far behind.

What does engaging (clickable) content look like?

We are all aware that we can pay for audience reach online through search engines and social media platforms. The real challenge, however, is after achieving a targeted reach – making your content clickable i.e. inspiring enough for people to click-through.

Here are 6 ways that an organisation can make their content more engaging:

  1. make your content relevant for the platform that you are on e.g. LinkedIn vs Instagram
  2. have an emotional element in your content to make it shareable
  3. ensure your style is conversational  – it is social media after all
  4. make it unique, valuable or at least compelling
  5. spend more time developing a great headline
  6. make sure it is well written i.e. structured well and free from grammatical errors

Whether owned or paid for, creating clickable content is key to spreading the word about how you can solve customer problems and inculcating your brand story.

How about outsourcing your content strategy?

We know that Google is eradicating old (bad) SEO tactics. We also now know that they are encouraging the use of content to prove search result relevancy. This is only right, in our opinion. But, what if you don’t have the staff, time or the experience to manage this element for your organisation?

Unfortunately, what’s happened is that many content gurus have appeared on the scene – promising you the world and its mother. Let’s call this activity they offer – online marketing.  Many of these gurus don’t appreciate that providing different types of content for use online only forms part of your overall marketing strategy.

The danger is that other, possibly simpler and more relevant, forms of marketing might be neglected. Communicating online should not be a stand-alone marketing activity.

Also, it is not as easy as they say it is. Imagine trying to be an SEO and social media expert, a journalist, a project manager, a community builder and an analyst. On top of this, you must have a sound knowledge of the business and a pleasant disposition (this last one is not an option).

Here are some considerations for you if want to outsource but avoid the said gurus:

– they should have the skills to research and write, informative and valuable content

– they should know what to write when to write it, how to distribute it and analyse the results

– they should be able to explain how they will conduct on / off page SEO and show results

– they should be able to outline how they will get good value for any paid-for activity

– they should have examples of successes achieved with other clients

Tips on how to make your content strategy stand out and how to avoid mistakes

Every bit of research is telling us that the availability of content is ever-expanding. It’s a huge element of online marketing and has become a favoured lead generation tactic for many organisations. There are mistakes that can be avoided and to help your content stand out in a crowded marketplace, here are some Dos and Don’ts, we recommend:


– Write what you want to write about – get potential reader insights

– Pump out truckloads of content as a box-ticking exercise

– Forget that relevant content distribution is 50% of any success

– Write the piece, neglect to edit and publish under time constraints

– Miss the opportunity to engage further or convert a CTA

– Be inconsistent by not sticking to a schedule (whatever frequency that is)

– Be afraid to voice your opinion on heartfelt topics – originality is good

– Ignore design, layout and optimisation for search

– Forget analytics so as to be informed as to what’s working and what’s not


– Align your content strategy with your business plan

– Make your content relevant to a specific audience for a specific pain point

– Reinforce your brand’s positioning by incorporating your branding elements

– Use appropriate channels / formats for how your audience want to absorb your content

– Curate content as well as creating content and re-use offline where appropriate

– Make it user-friendly and findable

– Commit the resources, both human and financial, internally or externally

– Use owned, paid and earned media to achieve your business objectives

– Measure CTAs and conversions


The importance of a content strategy is becoming more evident which, in turn, is being driven by Google’s search algorithms. However, producing content is still de rigueur. This is fine if it is attracting the right target audience and getting them to take appropriate action as a result of them engaging with your content.

It is imperative though that your content strategy is integrated with your business objectives to ensure that it yields results. The one caveat we would have is that a successful content strategy is not something that is achievable in the short term, it can take a long time.

If you do decide to implement a content strategy, though, just remember to be yourself (define your brand), speak in a language people understand and make it shareable. Then you won’t be wasting your time in the content strategy world.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Why Authentic Customer Engagement is the Only Way


I was standing in a local shop queue recently to pay for my ‘takeout’ lunch. It was during lunchtime so it was busy. The server at the till did not appear to be in a good mood as he kept shouting, ‘who’s next?” at the queue. Fair enough you might say – he was trying to move the queue.

No, when I arrived at the till I was greeted with a sigh. I, the customer appeared to be an inconvenience for him. Obviously, I had no idea why he was in a foul mood but surely he’s being paid to smile? Walking back to my office, I wondered whether this guy’s customer engagement was a reflection of the shop owner’s attitude to customers.

Where am I going with this? Well, when I returned to the office, I began wondering how important good customer engagement is to a business. Also, in this day and age of ‘content shock’ whether our communication really engaged with customers in an authentic way?

Satisfied employees make for excellent engagement with customers.

It is an age-old truism that employees are not motivated by salaries / wages alone. If they have purpose, a chance to learn new skills and/or some element of flexibility in how they operate, they will be motivated in general but more so on good customer service delivery.

The challenge for the business owner is to make customer service delivery a purpose for all employees – not just the front-line people. If employees are encouraged to view improved customer service delivery as a new skill they should take training etc. on board more willingly. Also, allowing employees to say ‘yes’ and feel a sense of autonomy in doing so will reinforce the business owners commitment to ‘putting the customer first’.

So here’s my tuppence worth – if your employees aren’t pleasant when communicating with customers and are rude or unhelpful, it doesn’t matter what formal strategy you have in place – customers will switch loyalties

In the rush to obtain leads / sales are we losing focus on what good engagement is or looks like? Content marketing is one route that a lot of businesses now undertake with a view to better engagement with customers.

Can content marketing can drive customer engagement?

Let’s look at some ways that content marketing can work for a business.

  • It can position the business as a thought leader by the sharing of relevant information for free.
  • It can encourage a customer to engage your business by them spending more time on your website.
  • By providing the customer with content that helps their business will help make them feel more appreciative / closer to you.
  • It can provide solutions for customers in advance of them contacting you – which can actually save you money / time on incoming phone calls as well as informing them of your offerings before talking.

Using content marketing for engagement works best when all the tools, channels, and platforms used, form part of an over-arching story. That story must be unique and authentic and it must be told in a high-quality manner.

Customer engagement strategies for businesses.

We are all aware that people’s attention span is reducing. (although it could be argued that this is not a bad thing). The second business fact that we are constantly reminded of is that a growing percentage of a business’s site traffic arrives via mobile devices. As a result, the challenge is to keep customer engagement real while retaining a business focus.

One of the ways of starting this process is to view social media as a tool rather than just an engagement platform. As a tool it can be used to share information, talk to industry influencers, identify questions and for listening to customer feedback. Free trials are another way of building relationships through social media.

Needless to say, a business owner must nurture all customers but one essential piece of information that is a must-know is who their ‘top’ customers are. By knowing this, businesses can provide a more personal touch for them.

Ashish Kalra mentioned in this post that 68% of customers will leave your business if they don’t believe that you care about them. Surely, it is a no brainer to care for your top customers by delivering real value.

Another strategy for good customer engagement is to create customised content for them. If you know what their requirements are then you can be part of the solution. Taking this one step further would be to develop a conference for customers, influencers, and prospects with a particular theme. What better way to provide value and to engage with top customers over a few hours in a mutually suitable environment.

When customers become emotionally charged, through education / helping them grow – they engage more with the provider of that education. Content is definitely the platform but the type of content appreciated is changing.

There is a lot of similar content out there and it seems that only content which is different, authentic and relevant is cutting through the noise. That differentiation, more and more, appears to involve interactive content. Examples would be polls, galleries, quizzes, tests, calculators, contests and automated audit tools.

Interactive content is a great way to engage a user up front and usually provides real time value. So, what are some ways of improving your customer engagement activity?

Tips for improving your customer engagement activity.interactive content

Make the customer happy.

– listen to them and then talk

– make sure they benefit every time they engage with you

– respect their age, culture, language or background

If the engagement is online – offer a takeaway before they leave

– a pop-up thank you message

– a free download / cheat-sheet

– a link to further relevant information

Surprise them whenever you can

– use personalised emails or create customised webinars

– offer a free consultation (for a limited period)

– share industry information that they might not be aware exists

Be social with them

– choose a social media platform that suits you & them

– say thank you when others have shared your business content

– share your customer’s posts online

– implement a Q & A session on your social networks

Deal with negative feedback

– Never avoid responding and do so ASAP

– If you can, check out the profile of the annoyed person online

– Listen carefully and don’t rush to defend – start with an apology

Always be conscious of your brand reputation

– Don’t always be selling – help people when you can

– Set up online alerts to monitor perceptions (if any)

– Be a storyteller with the customer as the hero

Join online and offline groups relevant to your industry

– join an online group on social media

– join a local association that includes your customer demographics

– create your own group or community


No matter how you look at it – good people engagement is the key to potential conversion of them into customers. No matter what your pricing policy is or how brilliant your offers are – your efforts will be wasted if the customer’s experience isn’t human, pleasant and authentic.

What I hope you got from this post is that customer engagement is not a destination but a journey. Just because you will never get 100% customer satisfaction doesn’t mean that owners and employees shouldn’t strive for it.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K




Is Business Blogging Now Wasting Your Time?


I was scrolling through previous O’C&K blog posts and came across one we wrote in 2013. It was titled An online presence is just smart businesshere. The content didn’t include blogging per se, but I thought that despite it being three years old it was still relevant.

This made me think about the relevancy of business blogging today and pushed me to write this blog. One thing is clear, though – it is even more vital nowadays that you manage your online presence in a pro-active manner.

Part of this pro-activeness would be aligning your blog activity with specific business goals such as awareness, credibility and even lead generation. A note of caution however – your blog will be a waste of time if it is not laser focused on and distributed to, a specific audience.

More and more we are hearing about content shock and the sheer tsunami of information available online. In this post, we are not going to approach this topic but will talk about why we think businesses should still blog. As usual, we will also provide some tips on how you might get better at it.

Just one caveat for this post – we are talking about business blogging and not personal blogging. Most personal blogs are a hobby or are a way of making money (from ads).

A business blog is simply another marketing tool for your business. Not unlike using social media channels, a blog can support your business activity by driving traffic to your website and help you to be part of a conversation.

Another point of difference is that a personal blog will reflect personal experiences (usually). A business blog will talk about topics that relate to your business. For instance, all O’C&K blogs fall under one of 5 sections – outline on the right-hand side of this page.

Each topic complements how we help organisations with their business objectives through Smarter Marketing. As a consequence, our Smarter Marketing Blog provides real tips and timesavers directly to our target audiences.

Why bother with business blogging at all?

As alluded to above, every time you post a fresh blog post you create a new opportunity for somebody to visit your website, to read it and subsequently share it with a new audience. You are also improving the chances of your website ranking on search engines for that particular blog topic. A third advantage is that blog posts provide your business with fresh content to share on your other digital channels.

Depending on your own time, or whether it is outsourced, business blogging can be a relatively low-cost way to get your website found by business prospects. What you do with them on your site is a completely different story and probably a topic for a separate blog post.

As important as the quality and relevance of your content is, what is equally important is – knowing your audience. Usually, the topic for any of our blogs, reflect a particular issue that we are helping a client with. This, we find anyway, keeps the tips provided – real.  One way we approach each post is by answering the following questions:

  • Who will we be talking to
  • What do we want them to know
  • How do we want them to feel
  • What would we like them to do after reading the post

However, we believe that this last question is evolving. In the current inter-connected world, the power has shifted to the consumer. The thing is you cannot ‘get’ them to do anything – but if you help them somehow they might decide to share the positive experience.

For instance – we will be sharing some pointers with you in the next paragraph. If you think they would be relevant to say a colleague or friend, would you share this post with them?

How can your business blog turn a scanner into a reader?

You might have spent hours / days / weeks researching, writing, editing and distributing your prize blog and then what? Nothing – no shares, no likes, no sharing, no site visits.

Yes, this happens but it is not always about your writing skills (or lack of). Think about it – most of us don’t read articles anymore – we scan them. The trick, therefore, is to make your blog post scannable.

Nine tips and timesavers for making your blog post more scannable:

  1. If you have a general topic you want to write about – break it into a few different, shorter posts
  2. Explain up-front what the blog is going to be about
  3. Try and stick to about two sentences per paragraph and even some with only one
  4. Use subheadings (min-headlines) frequently – they are the stepping stones from Headline to Conclusion
  5. If you mention a number in the introduction paragraph – use numbered bullet points
  6. Insert tweetable quotes throughout the content – they are a visual break and a CTA all in one
  7. Internal links make your site stickier and external links provide proof of research
  8. Don’t be afraid to be yourself – use italics and bolding – just don’t overdo it
  9. When finished re-read the formatted elements of your blog and see if they help the post flow

Where does business blogging fit into a marketing strategy?

We’ve already mentioned that your content must be interesting and relevant to your audience. It also has to be well positioned or it will not be found in the first place. So rather than just trying to attract any type of reader your blogging should form part of a bigger content marketing strategy.

A content marketing strategy will ensure that you address such elements as

  • Goals, schedules and an editorial calendar
  • A supply of keywords / phrases / topics that are relevant, useful and shareable
  • Improved content so as to avoiding the selling-your-wares trap
  • Improved SEO and SEM
  • Planning for metrics such as email opens, mentions, reviews, queries and leads


From an audience point of view, every blogger is clamouring for attention and it is getting more difficult for the reader to sift through the noise to find what matters to them. Blogging does make sense for your business but can be a waste of time if you don’t address the noise problem. It is entirely up to you what you do to help your customers filter the noise.

I mean – why should anybody care about your blog (or your business) unless it helps them in some way.

Your blog is a way of putting yourself in a position to contribute in an area that your audience is already focused. For instance, social media allows you enter conversations that are already taking place. You need to talk about their issues, in their tone of voice and then just listen and learn.

Talking to yourself isn’t much fun nor is it profitable for business.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

16 Reasons To Be Cheerful – Part 1- Marketing Builds Customer Relationships


When non-marketers refer to marketing, it is understandable that they equate it just to advertising. Most of the time this is because they feel that the sole objective of marketing is sales. In fact, this misconception is probably more a marketing industry problem, due lack of clarity in our own communication, more than anything else. What we don’t clarify enough is that marketing is a management process to build customer relationships and advertising is just a part of that.

Good management is critical to all aspects of a business, and it is just as important that marketing is included and managed in a smart way if opportunities for, and threats to relationships are to be identified. Business growth results from increased customer relationships – fact.

Every business, of whatever size, needs a marketing strategy to build customer relationships; otherwise, their business will not grow.

Time and time again, when we meet with potential clients for the first time there are some obvious signs that they may not be focused on building relationships with their customers.

Here are some examples: 1) No planned marketing activity online and even if there is a website created – it might not have been reviewed for mobile friendliness, SEO, conversion optimisation etc. 2) Not being on social networks where their customers engage with each other, 3) No specified marketing budget or if so, still investing it all in conventional advertising, 4) Sales figures dropping due to lack of brand awareness or ineffective / outdated promotions.

A less obvious sign is that the brand identity is not unique anymore or has become stale. I say less obvious because it probably requires some research to determine brand perceptions. My final example is signs of a lack of real customer relationships, evidenced by one-off buyers, no repeat sales, high bounce rates online etc.

In the current volatile business environment where the customer really is the king, the most worrying sign alluded to above, would be the lack of engagement with customers. As consumers – nowadays we all expect personalisation, customisation and excellent service so the business that is not providing these is going to lose out in the long run.

The Difference between Strategy and Execution.

If you are a business owner reading this, you are probably aware that you can have all the strategy in the world, but unless it is executed, it will just gather the proverbial dust-on-the-shelf. What is required is a commitment to turning your marketing vision into a reality. If you are a one-man business then this commitment is your responsibility. If you are a small to medium enterprise (SME) owner – then it is still your responsibility. As an owner, you are the one with the vision and a strong sense of self.

Here are six thoughts that might help you focus on the execution of your strategy:

  • Stay true to delivering your brand promise / value proposition every day and every way.
  • Focus on your capabilities. Don’t try to be the ‘best in class’ at everything.
  • Leverage the strength of teamwork. Get your working colleagues to strive for the same goals.
  • Save money by smarter investing. Cutting costs might lead to a mean and not lean operation.
  • Don’t wait for things to happen. Embrace change constantly.
  • Remember who you are. Don’t just focus on beating the competitors.

Moving from strategy to execution by just doing it means a focus on marketing tactics. You could argue that big businesses have big marketing budgets and, therefore, better advantage. Well, if the big guys use their budgets in a smart way, yes they absolutely may have an advantage. As the saying goes, though, – In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king – meaning there is nothing wrong with being a big fish in a small pond (sorry about the clichés, but you know what I mean).

SMEs can be more agile when it comes to relationship building.

One of the advantages of being an SME is the ability to make changes to strategies and their execution, on the run. Decisions can be made by a smaller team without the bureaucracy (and politics) of corporations / large institutions. It is imperative, though, that owners focus on what’s important for growing their business and how marketing can help in that regard.

Loosely based on the warning signs outlined above, here are 5 relationship-building tactics that SMEs can use:

  1. Increase web traffic by providing relevant content to your audience, e.g. blogging.
  2. Ensure that your business can be found by people through an online search (and encourage reviews).
  3. Engage with your audience on an authentic and human level. Have a social media programme.
  4. Build your database with an email marketing campaign. Provide information etc. through a newsletter
  5. Build a team culture. Reward hard work and dedication – loyalty will follow.

Tips and Timesavers for building customer relationships

Most marketing guides will stress the importance of building customer relationships. Unfortunately though, businesses still focus on short-term gains rather than long-term relationships. Why? – Because generating short-term cashflow is paramount to keeping the day-to-day operations functioning. However, without a marketing strategy to gain customers, the business won’t last.

Here are five tips that may help business owners grow long-term relationships.

  1. Engage with customers on a regular basis. Use email, but make sure it is relevant and not a sales pitch (people won’t mind communication if they believe that you are interested in them)
  2. Identify with your customers. Find out what challenges they have in their lives (keep updated through local media, network at relevant events, and listen on social media)
  3. Try to make a difference to a customer’s life. How can your product / service help them solve a problem that they have (make information accessible)
  4. Understand that relationship building is a marathon and not a sprint
  5. Continue the engagement long after the purchase (this will show authenticity)


In the current connected world, information on brands is in everybody’s pocket. Therefore purchasing decisions are becoming more fact-based and in a sense, less brand identity based. Customers will still value strong brands, but more and more that value will be based on a relationship. That relationship will be determined by their engagement with (who / why) and their experience of (what / where /when) a brand.

As Peter Drucker said, well before the advent of the information age, “the sole purpose of a business is to create a customer.”

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email, when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K

Are You Guilty of Wasting Readers’ Time With Bad Content?

Bad Content-image-O'C&K

Are you a marketing manager and an expert on writing blogs? If so, you probably never waste a reader’s time, which is fantastic. We in O’C&K believe that we don’t deliver bad content but still, we’re going to be honest with you about why we’re not experts. After that, we will share our thoughts on better blogging.

Why we might not be considered blogging experts is the fact that we don’t always stick to an editorial calendar and we don’t publish every day or even once a week! Furthermore, when we do publish, we don’t distribute it through every channel available on the internet. And, shock-horror, our rationale, in writing a blog, is not to solely generate leads.

On the positive side, though, we don’t produce low-quality posts as often as possible, just so we can tick a job-done box. And what’s more, we never sell our outsourcing services in the body of a blog post, (but do have a call to action at the end, if readers would like to chat to us).

For us, producing quick fire content for the sake of it, can lead to bad content. This approach would probably do our business more harm than good in the long run, anyway. Bad content = bad marketing.

Good content takes time and effort and let’s face it – it is not (time) cheap either. Plus, we all know what Google thinks (and does) with bad content.

When Aidan and myself agreed to commence this blog we agreed on three things a) we would host it on our own site, b) the content would be helpful (good) rather than conveying a marketing message (bad) and c) we would only write about marketing topics that we have expertise in or experience with.

Of course, hosting it on our own site may drive additional traffic with the potential for lead generation and we won’t turn that down. In the main, however, the content of our blog, and its intention, is to reflect our brand value of being relevant to our customers and businesses in general.

We firmly believe in the mantra that helping people with something that matters to them will provide business reciprocity, in due course.

Bad content just wastes a reader’s time.

Let’s face it most customers don’t really need another blog post. What they do need is a source of relevant ideas that will help them get better at something. If you can use your expertise to help them, that’s great. If not – don’t waste people’s precious time with irrelevant content.

We thought about all the blogs we read and the ones that annoy us the most i.e. wasted our time. Here are some of the common themes that we’ve noticed and which you might want to avoid:

  • The posts are extremely complicated, self-indulgent and too frequent
  • The posts are not easy to understand and appear to be written for SEO purposes
  • The author doesn’t appear to know who they are writing for and get lost mid-stream anyway
  • There is no fresh perspective and no personality to convince us to return for more

(check out which is a great tool for cleaning up email subscriptions)

Have you experienced any of these? Well, if you want to continue reading here, we’ll provide 6 suggestions on what we think will help you avoid wasting a reader’s time (and your own).

  1. Determine what the purpose of your content is and who will be reading it
  2. Decide what you can bring to the table that will inspire a reader to think or act differently
  3. Know what content your customers / prospects already enjoy
  4. Research how your competitors use content as a strategy
  5. Agree how often you will publish content and how you will distribute it
  6. Assign responsibility as to who will create / curate, maintain and measure the results

Dispelling some myths about content marketing

If your blog isn’t structured to produce revenue, then it should, at least, play an integral part in raising awareness for your brand. There is no need to throw yourself beneath the feet of the content king, however. General guidelines will help but not a rigid plan, in our opinion.

For instance, we limit our posts to 4 general areas of marketing (brand, digital, engagement and offline), but not to specific topics. Thereafter, we distribute our blog posts, not only on specific online platforms, but also seek out speaking opportunities and networking events. At such events we direct people to our blog, should they want to find out more on a topic.

It is important, though, that each post is repurposed so as to engage different audiences e.g. we will share a shorter version of this post as just tips (below) on LinkedIn Pulse, Medium and Bizsugar.

If you have to convince your line manager about the benefits of blogging, you might have to dispel a few myths first. Here are some arguments that they might put forward:

  • Our type of customer / industry doesn’t expect or need to get content from us
  • We’re already spending time on social media, that’s how we’re sharing our message
  • We just don’t have the resources or the capabilities to produce sufficient content
  • We don’t have an interesting story to tell and anyway how would we know if it worked
  • This is just another marketing fad – we have better ways to spend our marketing budget

These misconceptions can be easily dispelled (maybe we’ll attend to this in another post) by marketing managers who understand inbound marketing. Perhaps you can also give examples of some tools that can explain the methodology e.g.

Post research:

Coschedule’s Headline Analyser                                 Hubspot’s blog topic generator

Buzzsumo’s most shared content                                Google’s keyword planner

Design / Images:

Canva’s design tool                                                         Pixabay

Fotojet’s pic editor                                                          Pickmonkey image editor


Buffer                                      Post Planner                             

These tools help to keep a focus on making the post relevant to your customer through automation and customisation. Of course, you should know who your customer really is, so that you can show genuine empathy with them. The idea is to build quality relationships by helping them with their pain points using your expertise.

By the way, an expert in online tools is a fellow Irishman Ian Cleary. Ian does a fantastic job sharing the most up-to-date, online tools available for your business. Check out his site at RazorSocial.

Tips and Timesavers

As mentioned, blogging is one way of allowing other people benefit from your experience. The more you share good content, the more people will pay attention to what you can do and the more they interact, the stronger your relationship will become.

Let’s look at six elements that we feel will help towards better blogging and towards not wasting anybody’s time:

  1. Write honest and genuine content. Don’t write with a hidden agenda because insincerity will be reflected in the quality of your content and very obvious to a reader
  2. Your passion will be shared. Readers will spot straight away if you’re going through the motions. You can only write with passion when you really care for and know your subject matter
  3. Strive for creativity. People love to read and absorb stories. Try and give your reader a different way to think about things / topics and write in a storytelling manner
  4. Have a consistent look and feel. Readers will get comfortable with your layout and style so changing it around each time you post will unsettle them
  5. Your blog is an extension of your brand. Be personable, approachable and conscientious
  6. Be generous. If you have something free to give away – just do it without hiding it behind a lead capture gate. People should finish your article feeling informed, educated or entertained.


Blogging with good content will form a major part of your online success. Stick to areas that you are an expert in and people will get to appreciate your advice when they require it. You owe it to yourself and your readers to produce the most effective content you can.

Before you know it you will increase your professional exposure, boost your reputation and guess what – you might even enjoy it too.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today” – Aidan & Jim.

 Would you like us to notify you, by email when we publish new content? If so, just let us know by clicking here. Of course, we can always meet face-to-face, just leave your details here and we might grab a coffee, cheers. Jim – O’C&K