Prior Proper Planning for a Pitch is Perfect

By Emma Richter

You press the button, either up or down and two doors open.

Anybody can be in the elevator when the “ding” chimes: a potential customer, employer, celebrity, co-worker–anyone. 

When you are put on the spot and have to answer the question, “So, what do you do” or “what do you sell?” you want to be ready with an answer that will wow!

Many people get “stage fright” when asked about themselves and their companies. They hem and haw. That’s not a sign of confidence.

That’s why having a corporate elevator pitch ready–yes, it’s called that for a reason!–is the epitome of prior proper planning. It’s called an elevator pitch because, ideally, it’s an introduction of yourself and your company that you can do during one short elevator ride. Quick. To the point.

Online, your website becomes your elevator pitch.

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In addition to digital marketing, there are many opportunities for networking–offline and outside an elevator. Regardless, making a great first impression means having an elevator pitch ready. It’s important to start perfecting the art of an elevator pitch now. Learn how you’re going to market yourself and your company in 60 seconds or less.

According to Forbes, “recent trends suggest that people, especially millennials, are becoming increasingly invested in the why behind a business–the greatest purpose your company exists to serve…”

That being said, make sure your verbal pitch (and website) tell the “why” behind your story! Just as you don’t waste your site’s “About Page” with history no one cares about, make sure your verbal pitch makes a lasting impression and will compel people to want to know more.

Tell prospective customers WHY they should buy from you.

In person, the first step to making connections is to create a bond or connection with your audience. Introduce yourself in the most polite and professional way. But, it is also important to stay genuine to who you are and what your company is about, while  avoiding the feeling or need to act “robotic” or stiff.

Many people hate traditional face to face networking because they feel awkward trying to just jump into a conversation–much less start one. In these cases, body language speaks volumes. People can pick up on awkwardness and forced connection, and it could be detrimental to how you come across.

The next step is having what you want to say prepared beforehand. It doesn’t have to be a script, in fact, it shouldn’t be memorized. That’s why you need to practice your personal and business pitches in advance.

Who Is Your Audience?

Truthfully, you will need a couple of pitches, because you wouldn’t be introducing yourself to a potential mate the same way you would a potential client or boss, right?

Once you know your audience, you need to put together a short introduction that offers the receiver the “essence” of who you are. And, really, who knows you better than you? When it comes to a personal intro, just sit with yourself and think about who you are and how you want people to view you.

Professionally speaking, if you think there is someone who may know you as well as you know yourself, consider asking them how they would describe you. You can use their words to craft your own professional introduction.

People want to do business with people, not random companies. Google drives traffic to websites (when your site is properly optimized) but when someone gets to your site, your content messaging needs to be informative and helpful to the person to get them to contact you and/or “buy now.” 

But in person, it’s a whole different story. You’re on! So, you need to be ready. As a starting point, you can start by writing down a couple of adjectives that describe you, as well as skills that you have obtained that reveal your expertise in your particular area and some personal characteristics. For example, honesty, loyalty, a sense of creativity and passion are necessary for both pitches.

Let’s face it, a CEO of a company won’t want to hear about your hobbies first, they’re going to want to hear about what you can bring to the position that nobody else can bring. But that CEO is a person too. If you see their office filled with photos of dogs and you love animals, it wouldn’t hurt to drop the fact that you like to volunteer at the local shelter or even that you have a dog at home.

It is also a good idea to bring up a story that has impacted you or shaped who you are. In that story, it can tell your audience who you are and all about your company’s raison d’etre.

In an elevator or not, the art of an elevator pitch is key to sharing yourself with others for a variety of reasons from winning a new client to getting a new job to meeting a new friend. Your pitch is the essence of your brand, Yes, YOUR brand. You have one. Don’t be afraid to talk about it with everyone you meet.

So, practice your talking points. Take a deep breath. Your star is on the rise so press the “up” button and start selling who you are to the world. First impressions do matter.

Repurposing Web Content? Avoid These Traps

This is the final article in Harmonia Media’s three- part series about repurposing web content. 

In the old days of marketing, we used to say consumers need to see and read or hear something eight or 10 times before they connect with the messaging. Maybe that’s still true or maybe the statistics have changed.

Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have meter seconds to catch someone’s eye before they’re off to the next thing.

This means companies looking to connect with prospective customers must be savvy. You’ve got one shot on goal and you have to make it count.

Except…. When you have more than one shot on goal. This is the definition of repurposing content: taking text you’ve used for one purpose and tweaking it to use it many times in different ways.

In the first and second articles in this three-part series on repurposing content, we discussed “How to Repurpose Content to Reinforce Targeted Messaging & Save Time” and “4 Great Ways to Repurpose Web Content.” This last part of the series focuses on what not to do when you are repurposing web content.

Don’t Forget to Review Data and Statistics 

Some statistics related to the content we create can change so quickly that it’s critical to check your work. Don’t forget to take the time to check any statistics you are repurposing to make sure the info is still accurate.

Updating constantly is unnecessary, but keeping your information current will help your audience view you as a reliable source for the most up-to date information.

Don’t Rehash Out of Date Keywords

Just because something was trending on social media two months ago doesn’t mean it’s still a thing.  You don’t want to appear behind the times by posting hashtags that “date” your content.

When you are repurposing content, it’s a good time to evaluate the key words associated with a particular article and update them. Also, change the hashtags on a repurposed social post.

You may need to consider eliminating any hashtags that are no longer performing the same as they were at the time of the original post.

Watch Out for Duplicate Copy Problems!

Repeating social content is fine and absolutely advised. It’s a great way to save time and extend your reach.

However, if you plan to repurpose an article or information from your website (or any other website) don’t risk getting dinged by Google for duplicate copy.

You can avoid this by:

  • rewriting the article using different words that retain the meaning (big instead of large, as an example)
  • changing the order of bullets
  • summarizing some information in the article into bullet points
  • rewriting the headline, opening paragraph and conclusion, etc.

Think about it like this, if you even momentarily think you are plagiarizing content that has already been published on the Internet (even if you wrote it to begin with), you need to do some heavy editing before reposting.

Harmonia Media can help you connect with customers and prospects with high quality content. We are happy to repurpose your old content so you can use it again. Contact us for a free phone or Zoom consultation.

4 Great Ways to Repurpose Web Content

This article is the second in a three-part series on making your content work double and triple duty when it comes to marketing your brand online. Read Part 1, How to Repurpose Content to Reinforce Targeted Messaging & Save Time.

You’ve already spent hours creating content and there’s a variety of ways you can revive it to create something brand new. You’ll get more mileage out of a topic or article and you’ll be able to post on social media more often—without making yourself crazy looking for new ideas!

Change the Image 

This is the down and dirty method of repurposing content. Selecting a new image to go with a repurposed social media post takes moments and it immediately gives your old post a new shine.

Change the Format 

For longer form content, an article can be shifted into a shorter blog post, a blog post can become a new social post, and any information can be turned into an infographic!!

Video is IN!

Many companies opt to create video versions of content for YouTube. Pick the main points from your blog and create a script for your video. You can appear in the video reviewing the main points, or you can use stock photos or videos to bring your blog to life. Add a recorded voice-over explaining the points, and you’ve got yourself a YouTube video.

From there, you can link it to another post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to drive your audience to your YouTube channel.

Length Matters

People have the attention span of goldfish these days (not a lot!) So another way to repurpose content is to take a short blog post and turn it into a listicle. Or, take a longer article and cut it down.

Another option is to separate a long form article into a series of very short bulleted posts.

One more comment on length… if you want a bunch of long- form content but are short on ideas, choose one of your established pieces and break it down into articles that go in depth on a variety of points made in the old article.

When looking for extra social posts, create several posts pointing out individual points in the same one blog post and lead readers to your blog to read it!

Take the guesswork out of content creation and posting on social media. Contact Harmonia Media for a consultation about how we can help drive more traffic (paying customers!) to your website.

And, if you missed it, read part 1 of the series here.

How to Repurpose Content to Reinforce Targeted Messaging & Save Time

This article is the first in a three-part series on making your content work double and triple duty when it comes to marketing your brand online. 

One of the biggest challenges content creators face is having a consistent flow of engaging content. This is especially true when it comes to posting on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You want fresh info to share but the idea bucket is dangerously low and time isn’t on your side.

What’s Old is New Again

What do you do? Smart content developers take what’s old—yet still great and relevant—and repurpose it.

Take a look at your blog and the last year’s worth of social posts. Everything you need, whether you’re in a time crunch or have hit a writer’s block, is in front of your eyes in the form of content that’s been written, posted and is ready for a refresh.

On social media, you can—and should—actually repeat posts over a period of time. First, not everyone saw it the first time (and maybe not the second or third either) and, even if they did see it before, repetition is key to marketing. Secondly, it’s quite likely your followers aren’t cataloging your posts. What is old to you will appear brand new to others.

Repurposing your best content will save you time and energy. Updating content that performed well in the past will help you take advantage of powerful information and continue to showcase your messages.

The bottom line is that giving your previous content a make-over will save you time and get more mileage out of work you’ve already done.

Invite Harmonia Media in to help you drive more traffic to your website with great content!

Great Content and Increased Sales are Always on Trend

Each year, when we turn the calendar forward, companies get busy churning out “Trends” lists. The message is: this is what’s hot now and what will be even hotter this year. You better get on the trend train or be left behind at the station.

Sometimes, these “trend” lists can feel like they are coming from the proverbial “they,” as in “They are all eating chocolate cake, you should be indulging as well.”

Are you keeping up with the Joneses online?

In digital marketing terms, it’s true that there are always new ways to connect with prospects. But the foundation of clear, informative communication on all your digital platforms never goes out of style. Indeed, one thing that is always on trend: using great content to connect with customers to drive sales up!

When it comes to updating your website, social media platforms and email marketing assets, we think it’s not worth getting overwhelmed with the trends. “What’s Hot” and “What’s Not” change as quickly as Google changes its algorithms.

Instead, Harmonia Media suggests that you focus on human connection. We are communicating on screens and via apps more than ever before. What you say and how you say it, especially online when the recipient might not quite follow or fully understand your intentions, has got to be Priority No. 1.

When it comes to marketing your company, communication, clear and concise, is not a trend. Or, if it is, it’s certainly been on the top of the trendy list since the beginning of time. Whether you are speaking face to face (or over a screen), by phone, by text, on Facebook or LinkedIn or any other platform, conveying a message that is:

A. Understandable to your listener

B. Informative and worth their time

C. Capable of causing the reader to take your desired action

Digital communication is still good old conversation–but in smaller bite-sized chunks that resonate quickly. It should almost go without saying that “quickly,” is quite key. Online, you have seconds to grab attention or be abandoned (or worse, trashed)! If you are being totally ignored, that’s also a content issue.

This is especially true on your website, your main digital hub. Assuming your SEO practices are driving traffic to your website, it’s the job of compelling content to keep potential customers there and poking around until they find what they want and buy it!

Consider the brick and mortar comparison: A person walks into your store and begins to look around. You say nothing. You are standing right there and are completely capable of welcoming them in, asking how you can assist and even leading them directly to what you most want to sell (or to what they just asked about.) But you allow them to walk around and browse. No communication.

Perhaps you get lucky and they find something that interests them. More likely, however, they walk out without having ever touched their wallet. They had no incentive to stay. They might have even been put off by your lack of desire to attempt to communicate.

In this scenario, you lost a sale because you failed to engage with a prospect who was standing in front of you! Just think about how easy it is to lose online prospects when you don’t go out of your way to roll out the red carpet, so to speak, invite customers to browse on your website or engage in conversation on social media.

It’s easy to make these mistakes online if you aren’t fully focused on creating a customer experience that draws the buyer in and brings their attention to the services and products you are selling in a way that makes them have to click and buy!

When you do a search for a particular product, aren’t you most excited about search results that draw you in–answer your question or lead you to a place where you can get what you need? Of course you are!

When you make sure to stay in conversation with your potential customer, from the moment they find you until long after they have purchased your product (think email nurturing!) they will not only remember you but they will also refer you to others. The opposite, by the way, occurs when someone gets to your website and gets frustrated with the experience. (It’s very similar to being ignored in a shop.)

Need some help with content?  If you want to make sure your content provides a great customer experience, we can help. Reach out to Harmonia Media for a free consultation about your digital marketing strategy.

Content Planning: Using an Editorial Calendar

One question that plagues every social media manager is “What should we post next?” An editorial calendar is a tool you can add to your social media toolbox that will save you and your team time and frustration.

Just as it sounds, an editorial calendar is a lineup–by week, month, quarter, year, whichever you prefer–of topics you want to cover with posts on your social media platforms. There are some things you can add to the calendar without even thinking about them; holidays, for example, are pre-set. If you know your company always has a summer party July 4th weekend and a holiday party mid December, you can pencil those in, too.

Then, it takes a bit more effort. It’s important to consider your company’s goals for the upcoming period of time. Are you launching a new product or service? Is the main goal hiring more employees? Do you like to tie current news to your posts?

An editorial calendar is an important part of the content strategy process. By determining which topics you want to post about in advance (think quarterly or a six-month calendar), you can coordinate the content strategies for all your platforms. You can post blogs, for example, that match up with the topics you are posting about.

Need Help with Content Strategy or Your Editorial Calendar?

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An editorial calendar is pre-planned, so you know what the focus of your content should be for a month, a quarter and even a year. Many companies set up an annual editorial calendar and fill it in with the known dates worthy of a post. Holidays are a great example. You know you will want to always wish people a “happy” whatever.

Your calendar should also include the best times for your content to be published. This step requires some knowledge about your target audience, too. For example, if your business wants to attract young working professionals, your content might not do well when it is published at 8:30 a.m. People are commuting at this time or already in their first meeting of the day. This audience may respond better to a post during lunch hours because they are available to check their social media.

It’s not unusual to start off with general categories on your editorial calendar and add in specifics as you come up with them. For example, you can decide you are posting three times a week to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Make note of which days of the week you will be posting on each platform.

Don’t get overwhelmed! You can plan topics as far out as you wish; or plan for the week or month ahead. The idea is to use the calendar to make your life easier. It’s a road map to help you keep on track.

Having a calendar doesn’t mean sitting down and writing everything in advance. No one has time to create 20-30 posts at a sitting. But, with a calendar to guide you, you won’t usually have to create content on the fly.

It’s a good idea to remember that having a calendar doesn’t mean “never” having to bang out some content at the last minute. Things change and you may have a comment or new focus at some point in the future. Be flexible!

However, since keeping your social media platforms current requires you to be organized, an editorial or content calendar can help you by detailing what and when you will post–and when you will be posting it. Furthermore, when you and your team sit down to brainstorm topics for the calendar your creative energy will trigger each other to continually come up with better ideas.

More Reasons to Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar – And to Stick with It!

1. Editorial calendars can help you with consistency. Social media posting should be a regularly scheduled thing. You want to be constantly touching your readers to stay in the conversation and keep your company top of mind for clients and prospects.

2. Editorial calendars help you keep the conversation flowing. Posting consistently will increase engagement with your audience, provide you with feedback and give you valuable insight into your audience preferences. You can apply these insights to future content and create a valuable asset to your business.

3. Editorial calendars help you save time! Keeping a calendar will save you from scrambling at the last minute to get a post published. Once you have your strategy, you can establish the type of content that will help you meet your goals on all platforms and your blog.

Don’t let creating content stress you out. Manage your content as well as your time by using an editorial calendar. Or you can take a completely stress-free approach. Talk to Harmonia Media about managing your social media content. We will help deliver fresh and engaging content to your audience so you have more time to focus on your business.

High Quality Content Supports Sales Teams

If you dig up an old college business book, you would likely find plenty of information about “sales and marketing” teams–how they work hand-in-hand to advance company sales goals.

More recently, however, and certainly since the dawn of the Digital Age, the two groups have been a bit more segregated. One seems responsible for meeting bottom line goals and the other has the job of “getting the word out” and making sure branding sticks.

Need help with branding? You’re not alone! Many companies rely on the “hope” strategy (as in, let’s hope people find us online.) Hope doesn’t work.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and great content are the digital strategy you need to get your brand out there

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While both sales and marketing teams do have many different methods of reaching goals, marketing–specifically content marketing – has the job of, let’s say, “leading the horse to water.” (It’s the sales team’s job to make them drink.)

That being said, high-quality digital content, important for both Google and User Experience (UX), has to veer into the sales lane quite a bit when it comes to actually convincing a website visitor to take action. That’s why all those “buy now,” “click here,” “download this” buttons are examples of what digital marketers refer to as “calls to action.”

Simply put, great content intrigues and offers information and insight into more than just the product but how the product solves the customer’s problem. Content also does more than simply inform; it has to connect with the prospective customer so they want to buy from this particular website, now…as opposed to continuing their research and possibly making the decision to buy on the competition’s website.

So, content helps get the customer to the transaction, sales closes the deal, but there’s one more part of the puzzle that is extremely important. And, funny enough, it circles back to great content once again. (They don’t say “Content is King” for nothing!)

Customer service and strong customer nurturing are both critical to keeping customers happy. According to Superoffice.com, “customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product. Instead, they stay loyal with companies due to the experience they receive. If you cannot keep up with their increasing demands, your customers will leave you.”

But, how does a company keep customers “happy” when everything is transactional? Long gone are the days of “face to face” sales for the most part–certainly as it relates to online shopping.

This is where the three pathways converge. The content marketing team and customer service can support the sales team, digitally and by phone/chat, respectively.

In the next segment of this multi-part blog series, we will focus on how nurturing emails keep your company and product top of mind for customers. Look out for it next week!

In the meantime, Harmonia Media is looking for companies, like yours, that want to improve their user experience online and nurture their prospects and customers so they not only remain loyal but they brag about you to their friends and family.

If you are willing to jump on a quick consultation call–FREE of Charge–to see if there are ways we can help you grow your business online, click here and fill out our convenient online contact form. 

Long Content? Short Content? Just Make It Great Content!

Anyone with a website knows great content is one of the most important keys to keeping Google happy and to engaging better with potential customers. Simply put, people search for information. If your website has the answer they need, you are golden. They’ll stay, read and hopefully call or click.

However, if they can’t find their answers on your site, they will be gone in a click! And if your content isn’t good enough to move the Google search needle, what’s the point?

This is true about content in your web pages,  your blog posts, your digital media platforms and your emails.

And, that high quality needs to be consistent! Don’t post a great piece one week and phone it in the next. There is very little loyalty when it comes to web customers. They are fickle and impatient.

Here’s the problem… it’s quite likely that you are not a content writer. Words may not come so easily and you don’t have the time to hone your writing chops. You probably have a job to do and need to rely on someone — a content writer? — to create high-quality work.

At Harmonia Media, we can help you with that.

But I digress…

Not all content needs to be book-length. In fact,  plenty of people don’t have time to read long-form blogs and articles. They want info now, and now and NOW. USA Today style, at a glance.

The problem with that is that quick content bursts won’t necessarily satisfy Google.

“Long-form content is crucial for improving search engine rankings and building credibility,” according to Shane Barker.

Longer articles – 2,000 to 5,000 words – help to position you as a thought leader. They help your website rank better on Google because they are well-conceived and well-written and they are more shareable.

Finally, if you produce and post high quality. info-rich, long-form content, people will come back for your next article. This means people will spend more time on your website, poking around and engaging with you.

That being said, long articles are exponentially more difficult to produce. Time, knowledge and resources can be present a real challenge.

Alas, again, concise and pithy are certain goals to strive for when you have to farm out your content writing and time constraints pose a problem.

Therefore, the key is to have a content strategy and calendar and stick to these documents. Consistency with great content is very important.

1. Go with shorter, easier to produce content on topics relevant to your audience and stick to a schedule people can count on.

OR

2. Hire a great company to make you shine when it comes to online content! Contact Harmonia Media for a consultation about your content, SEO or any other digital marketing needs today.

Repurposing Content: What’s Old is New Again

Effective web content isn’t easy to create. It takes a skilled writer, an understanding of the target audience and a talent for storytelling to compel reader, or customer, action.

One great way to get the most of your content is to repurpose it. Here are 10 great ways to get more mileage out of the content you already own.
  • Take old blog articles and turn them into How-To guides
  • Use web or blog content as a basis for a podcast
  • Focus on some research you’ve collected or written about and personalize it by creating a case study
  • Share small bits of content on Twitter and other social media platforms.
  • Rewrite old blog posts and update with new facts and details
  • Create an infographic out of an article on a research study or other company content
  • Create an eBook
  • Spin your current content and send to other web outlets for possible publication
  • Take your website FAQ and create “Did you know?” blurbs for social media or expand the topics into blog posts
  • Turn customer testimonials into long-form content
You don’t have to create brand new content from scratch all the time. There are many ways to turn various types of content into new and exciting ways to deliver information and drive traffic.

The Most Important NON-TECH Reason to Update Your Web Content

What’s the point of having great content on your website? There are actually at least three reasons to make sure your content marketing is extraordinary. (Two of them are Google-related; one is less tech-y.)

These are the same reasons why, no matter how good your current web content may have read the last time you did an update, it’s not good enough today.

Reasons 1 & 2: Google loves new, high-quality content and it rewards sites that offer it by frequently indexing those sites.

The more often search engines index your site, the more likely your chances of winning a higher ranking in search results.

The second reason is behind-the-scenes. Whenever you post new content, whether a new page, blog post or article, or you just refresh the words on your site so what’s old sounds new again, you have the chance to add more SEO-loving keywords.

Now, in no way are we saying you should be loading up on keywords for keyword sake. (That’s called keyword stuffing and it’s a no-no. Readers hate that!)

Strategic content updates wherein you add some important words, on the other hand, are very helpful.

So, when given the chance, I toss “digital marketing strategy” into a blog post– for good measure.

Relevant keywords come in very handy when your site is being indexed and for ranking purposes. The more high-quality content with regular keywords you add, the higher your ranking.

Translation: more would-be customers can find you online easier.

So, let’s get to it. What’s the most important, non-techy reason to update your content online?

Well, what’s the point of your website? It is to engage, inform and compel customers to stay, read, click and, hopefully, connect (and buy?)  Right? Exactly.

So, answer these questions:

– Has your company made any changes, improvements or enhancements?

– Have you added any new offerings?

– Upgraded your pricing?

– Do you have literally anything new to share with would-be customers?

If your answers are “no, no, no and no,” you may not need to refresh your web content.

However, I would love to know, are you making any money?

Companies, and their accompanying websites, are living, breathing entities. If you’re not growing, you’re stagnating. In today’s marketplace, stagnation is a death knoll.

Continually updating your web content provides customers with new existing information, more calls-to-action and more reasons to give your brand a chance.

Information, online, sells. In other words,  want to increase sales? Refresh your information, or content, online.

Need help? Meet Harmonia Media. When it comes to adding content or refreshing what you already have, we are a great place to start.

Contact us today for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

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