Category Archives for "Content Marketing"

7 Tools We Use to Create the Best Content

Creating content is easy, but creating engaging content is a different story. There are tons of content tools out there to make it easier, but figuring out what tools will help you create compelling and engaging content is key! 

We've found tried and true tools we've come to love and adore and want to share them with you, too! Here are some of our very favorite tools we think you'll find helpful in creating the best content. 

  • Canva: Graphic design isn't for everyone, but Canva makes it so easy to create the best graphics. Choose a template and start customizing to your preference and voila! 
  • Unsplash: Don't have a photographer on hand? Unsplash is an online photo gallery with professional grade photos for free! Spruce up your written content with high-quality pictures. 
  • Pixlr: Do you take your own pictures? Use Pixlr, a free and similar version of Photoshop/Lightroom, to edit your photos.  
  • Photoshop: Photoshop is a paid Adobe program we use to edit our photos and create graphic designs.  
  • iMovie: Recording video content is easy, but editing content is a little different. iMovie is an easy way to edit your video in a matter of seconds. We use it to snip and clip short videos together in just a few minutes. 
  • CoSchedule: All great content needs a great scheduler. We schedule all of our content ahead of time to keep our content creation moving forward. CoSchedule is a great content scheduler that allows you to plan your graphics, blogs, and more ahead of time and also recycle your content on slow days. 
  • Google Alerts: Setting alerts for trending topics is an easy way to create a backup list of ideas and headlines for new content without having to do hours of research! Get your industry news, trending topics, and popular articles sent directly to your email inbox. 

These seven tools have changed our work processes in many ways, but the best part is that they have saved us A LOT of time! We spend less time creating content, but our content continues to give value back to our audience, too! 

What content tools do you use to make your content? We are always looking for new tools to use to make our content processes more efficient. Comment below and let us know! 

Content Tools Every Business Owner Should Use to Save Time (And Money!)

You spent all 2017 creating content, why should you have to spend even more time creating new content for the new year?
 
Every business owner, no matter how big or small, is looking to find ways to save time and money. 
 
Using tools to help repurpose or create content is the best way to avoid spending more hours behind your laptop, and gain more time for your day to day business.
 
We use these content tools to streamline our content creation and repurposing to get back to doing more important things that need our attention every day!

Content Tools

  1. Grammarly: Tired of grammar mistakes and extra commas? Use Grammarly to help create the perfect written content every time!
  2. Hubspot's Blog Title Generator: Want to reuse an article, but can't figure out the perfect title? Use this blog title generator to refresh your headlines. Then repost for more shares, likes, and comments.
  3. CoSchedule: Using a social media content scheduler is a great way to recycle old content. The social media scheduler we use is CoSchedule! This calendar allows you to “requeue” your old content to fill in the gaps on days you don't have a lot of content planned. It's as easy as turning it on and letting the software fill in according to your schedule!

Video & Photography Tools

  1. iMovie: Not sure how to use fancy video editing software? No problem. iMovie makes it easy to edit your videos for beginners without looking like a real novice.
  2. PIXLR: PIXLR is a great free software that is a simpler version of Photoshop. It gives you all the options you need to make your pictures perfect without having to buy another photography editing software.
  3. VSCO: VSCO is a great tool to use to edit your photos on your mobile device. They have plenty of free filters, and it's easy to download your photos straight to your social media accounts.

Graphics Tools

  1. Canva: This online graphic design tool gives you a chance to become a graphic designer. With its easy editing tools and pre-made templates, you can create amazing graphics with a few simple clicks!
  2. Unsplash: Want great quality stock photos without paying a fee? Unsplash brings great photographers to you for free! Search for all the photos you need. You'll find professional photographs waiting for you to download.
  3. Piktochart: Did you spend a lot of time researching for your business? Use the statistics you found from 2017 and create an infographics with ease. Don't worry about figuring out the layout! Piktochart has plenty of templates to choose from. Input your information and watch your infographic come together!
Reusing content isn't a sin! Be sure to use your content over and over until it's not relevant or your audience starts hiding your posts. 
 
Good content draws in engagement and gives value to your viewers. Focus on reusing the 2017 content that drove traffic and you'll be able to reuse content and spend less time creating new stuff for 2018!

40 Blog Post Ideas for Your Company Blog

Creating blog content is one of the best ways to reach your customer from the very first time they visit your site.  

But what happens when you run out of blog post ideas, or even worse out of time to write because you spent so much time thinking of what to write about? 

Uh oh. 

Well, good news! We're here to save the day with our 40 Blog Post Ideas that will keep your creative juices flowing, and better yet, make your content creation processes more efficient. 

Here's our list of 40 Blog Post Ideas to help you keep on, keeping on with your blog content. 

Helpful & Resourceful Blog Ideas

1. How To  

Create a blog all about how to do something. Include graphics, pictures, video, or audio to make your blog even better and get more engagement from your reader. 

2. List It All 

List posts rock! Not only are they easy, but they are one of the top blog post structures to use. Curate a list of your favorite books, free tools, or anything else that your industry or prospects will find helpful! 

3. Frequently Asked Questions 

Answer your most commonly asked questions in a blog to help your top-level prospects learn more about your business, product, or service.  

Feel free to answer questions that you see being asked through search engines, too! 

4. Should Ask Questions 

Don't forget to answer the questions that your customers should be asking, but maybe don't think to ask before they try or buy.  

5. Show Off a Case Study 

Did your company just find out something majorly cool? Post about it on your blog. Use data and analysis to show your readers exactly what you did and how awesome it is.  

6. Create a Guide 

Have you nailed a specific process or skill down to a tee? Write an ultimate guide for your readers to see your expertise and help them learn at the same time. 

7. State the Stats 

Curate a list of statistics that your audience will find interesting or helpful. Use these statistics to emphasize your business and why it matters. 

8. Start a Series 

Series posts are great because they give you an opportunity to expand on one subject over a more extended period. You can link these articles together each week after they publish to create a timeline of blogs your audience can read back to back. 

9. Define & Educate 

Industry lingo and jargon can be one of the hardest things to overcome, especially if you are in a very technical market. Use your blog post to highlight difficult topics or vocabulary to help your audience better understand what you mean. 

Curation Blog Post Ideas 

10. Profile an Influencer 

Have a favorite person or company in your industry that would make for a great highlight? Write about them on your blog! Be sure to notify them after you post your blog, so they have the opportunity to take a look and possibly share it with their followers! 

11. Interview or Crowdsource Industry Topics 

Just like a profile post, you can choose more than one person to profile about their own business or even about industry related topics. This is a great way to aggregate your industry's finest ideas at one time! 

Use audio recording to make these interviews simple and easy for your interviewees! 

12. Quote List 

Everyone loves a good quote that inspires them throughout the week. Collect relevant quotes to your business, industry, or topic to draw readers in emotionally. 

13. Best of the Week 

Pick one of your favorite tools, books, or resources you loved this week and write about it! Link out to the site or store that your readers can find it. 

14. List Industry Influencers to Follow 

Curate a list of your favorite industry influencers and link out to their social accounts and websites. Be sure to write a quick sentence or two about the individual to give your readers an idea of who they are following! 

Entertaining Blog Post Ideas 

15. Draw a Cartoon 

Cartoons have been around for decades, and they always entertain. Create a cartoon post every week or month to keep your readers coming back for more consistently. 

16. Tell a Story 

Have a funny story about your business or lessons learned from this week at work? Write an entertaining story about your experiences that will keep your readers on their toes. 

17. Curate Memes 

Memes are all the rage! Create a meme or curate a set of memes you see on the internet that is relevant to your customers' problems or your industry. This will get a laugh every time. 

Time or Event-Based Blog Posts 

18. Share News 

Write about a local event or big industry news right after it happens to stay relevant. 

19. Review a Trend 

Review a trending product or service when it's popular or right after it debuts. 

20. Create a Survey 

Create a survey based on a recent event or trending topic. You can use the results you get from your survey to do a case study or other form of blog post, too! 

21. Talk About the Issues 

Is your industry facing a real problem? Address the issue in a blog post when the issue arises to see the most engagement. 

Inspirational & Emotional Blog Posts 

22. Celebrate the Holiday 

Don't go into hibernation just because the holidays are coming! Create blog content around the holiday theme! 

23. Be Inspirational 

Use information or stories to inspire your readers to take action. Inspirational posts can come in the form of quotes, interviews, and stories. 

24. Let Your Guard Down 

Showing off your vulnerability can be a great way to meet your readers on their emotional level. Give your audience a more in-depth look at your personal experience with your work, employees, or industry to give your audience something to relate to. 

25. Behind the Scenes 

Show your readers exactly what you do behind the scenes at work. By letting your audience see what you do behind closed doors, they can have a better appreciation for your business.

26. Rant About It 

Show your passion and anger for a relevant topic in your industry. By letting your guard down and showing your true feelings, your audience can understand your business and ideas a little bit better. 

Promotional Blog Posts 

27. Showcase Your Latest Project 

If you just finished a project or created a new product or service, show off what's new on your blog! 

28. Compare Your Product 

Is there another product or service like yours on the market? Compare your product to your competition's and let your readers do the math. 

29. Company Update  

Let your customers and prospects know what's new in your company. Give them an update anytime you buy, merge, or acquire a new company, product, or service. Did you hire a new employee? Highlight them, too! 

30. Product or Service Tips 

Are there any particular tricks your customers should know about your product or service? Let them know with a blog post just about tips on how to use your products and services. 

31. Best Of Your Content Post 

If you've been running your blog for a while, it's time to gather up the best of your content and show off a little bit! Share your most successful pieces of content on the blog. 

Statement Blog Ideas

32. Ask Yourself What If 

Play Devil's Advocate by writing about a “what if” situation that leaves the reader wanting more or that inspires a debate in your industry. 

33. Start a Debate 

Debating a relevant topic can be a great way to make a statement. You can present one side or both sides of the argument! 

34. Show Your Reaction 

Use your blog to react to content that was created by another individual. Whether it be another blog post, tweets, a book, or a presentation, you can give your reaction or review of their content. 

35. Make a Prediction 

Predict the next upcoming trend in your industry. Use an approach that will keep your audience entertained and make them think outside the box. 

Engaging Blog Posts 

36. Answer Industry Questions 

Answer relevant industry questions that you find online or through social media. Curate those questions, answer them, and then put it all together into one post! 

37. Have Your Audience Answer  

Ask your audience a question and have them answer the question in the comments.  

38. Challenge Your Audience 

Challenging your audience to a goal or competition is a great way to get more engagement on your blog. 

39. Giveaway Freebies 

Introduce your audience to your most recent giveaway or another giveaway that they can enter that is relevant to your business. 

40. Start a Contest 

Create a contest that your followers can enter! Be sure to update everyone at the end of the contest with the winning results. 

Leave the Blog Stress Behind! 

You have all you need to keep your blog busy and going! Creating content is the first step to acquiring new customers, and a blog is a perfect way to start if you haven't already. 

If you feel like you don't have the time to create content, ask us how we can help you here at LeadCrossing. Content can be time-consuming, but it's well worth it for the returns you get.  

We're here to help and want to see you succeed. Leave a comment below with some of your most successful blog post ideas!

Easy Blog Content Calendar That Takes 30 Minutes or Less

Planning your blog content ahead of time always seems like a chore. 
 
So you've put it off…
 
It's now the end of the month.
 
Your blog content isn't ready for the month ahead.
 
You're scrambling to do research and write content the day before the month begins and still have time to do day to day business.
 
Can you guess what's not getting done this month?
 
From research to organizing topics to deciding how to lay it all out on the calendar, it's a lot of work and time that you don't always have every month.
 
Most business owners don't have enough extra time and energy to give to researching for content. So we decided to come up with a 30 minutes or less process we use to create one month's worth of blog content ideas!

Step 1. Determine the number of articles you want to create. (2 minutes)

Deciding how many blogs you want to write is the easiest way to knock out ideas left and right. As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least one article per week in the month!

Step 2. Search for Industry Related Holidays for the Upcoming Month (8 minutes)

Use Google to find holidays related to your industry for the upcoming month with a simple search. Are you a pet groomer? Try “January pet-related holidays” in the search bar to find holidays that fit your business like National Pet Day or Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Write these holidays on your content calendar for later.
 
Want to skip this step? Use our 2018 Holiday Calendar here.

Step 3. Search for Interesting Industry Related News & Related Blogs/Sites (10 minutes)

Save industry related news articles for later to use as curated content or for a reaction post early in the month. A great tool to use to save articles for later use is Pocket. Save articles and come back to them so you can move forward with your blog content planning. Write down the article titles that will work for this coming month.

Step 4. Determine Your Blog Structure (7 minutes)

Now that you have a few ideas to start off with, decide what kind of blog posts you want to create for the month. You have a lot of choices to choose from such as How To posts, Quote Posts, Inspirational Posts, and more. If you're not sure what blog content you should be creating, use our cheat sheet of 40 blog post ideas here to help you get moving

Step 5. Wrap Up Your Ideas (3 minutes)

Now that you've made a list of ideas and figured out the structure of the upcoming month of blog posts, it's time to wrap everything up. Select the days you want to post your blogs and choose appropriate times for those days. 
 
You have a plan, and it's time to put it into action! Get started writing faster than ever before by following this 5 Step Blog Idea Process. 
 
We want to hear how much time this saves you! Let us know in the comments below.

The Marketing Strategy Every Successful Business Has That You Don’t

Every business should have some form of marketing strategy in place. But our strategy works applies to almost every industry with a few tweaks.
 
At LeadCrossing, we know that every business is different, but their goals are the same: to get more customers, grow their business, and make more money.
 
Through our many years of research and hard work, we've discovered the marketing strategy that will forever change the game for your industry.
 
This marketing strategy takes your ideal customers through the entire buying process in a few simple steps, a little hard work on the front end, with a lot of time to relax after it's all set up.
 
Want to get more leads flowing to your business?
 
Take a peek at our 6 Step Marketing Strategy that we recommend to all our clients starting out with their first real marketing campaign.

Here's how it works:

1. Content

Content is king of everything at the first level of buying, also known as Awareness. To create brand awareness, you have to have information out there that your ideal customers can find that will help them understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it.
 
Content comes in many forms such as blogs, social media graphics, images, video, audio, and more. By creating content, you're setting yourself up for success by showing prospects that you are an expert in your field that can handle their business without being too salesy.

2. Videos

Video is the next step that creates awareness on a much faster level. Videos help bridge the buyer between the first phase of buying, Awareness, to the second stage, Evaluation. Creating video content for ads connects your audience to your business emotionally, making it easier for those watching to share your video far and wide.

3. Online Advertising

Traditional advertising is still around, but online advertising is taking up more and more of the advertising marketing each year. Online advertising allows you to reach your specific customer where they are right now without excess expenses from unqualified leads that will never buy from you.
 
Online ads are a great way to test out the waters before committing to a full-on marketing campaign due to the lesser cost and targeting tools that get you in front of the customers you want.

4. Landing Pages

Your advertisements should always lead to a specific landing page. Creating a particular offer for every click through your ad is the key to hooking your next sale.
 
Be sure to create landing pages that make your audience want to stick around and convert into a sale or take an action, such as downloading a free trial or PDF.

5. Email Marketing & Retargeting

Email marketing and retargeting go hand in hand. You should be building an email list that allows you to send marketing messages to those that have taken action on your site.
 
Retargeting comes in handy when you get a visitor to your site, but they don't take the action you intend them to. You can retarget these people by “following” them around to the different sites they visit via ad placement online. If you want to learn more about retargeting, click here for our free retargeting guide!

6. Automation

If the above seems like a lot of work, this step is where it all pays off. You can automate all of these things after the first time you set it all up. It's as easy as doing the work up front and then kicking your feet back as you watch your computer generate new customers for you.
 
Automation is the key to making this system efficient and worth your time. If you haven't automated your marketing processes, you need to take advantage of the tools and professionals out there that can help grow your business.

Success is Just Six Steps Away…

If you're looking to grow your business and have little to no marketing strategy, this is the strategy for you. It's the best way to streamline your marketing processes and see success in a short period. Tons of successful businesses have used this method to earn millions of dollars. If you're a business owner, you know how important it is to be above the bottom line every month.
 
Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about this 6 Step Marketing Strategy. All six steps are addressed throughout December so you can learn more about what you need to get everything ready for the new year!
 
Let us know if we can help you in any way as we move through the next few weeks of free marketing tips and tricks and downloads!

Check out our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Schedule HERE: