Archive for January, 2017

Top 10 Article Writing Services: SEO Article Writing Pros Reviewed

by Laura College on 01/20/2017

When you need a professional to write an article for yourself or your business, you want the best quality at a reasonable price. However, finding this needle in a haystack can prove overwhelming, which is why we’ve reviewed the top 10 article writing services. We want you to make an informed decision about your needs, whether you’re looking for a 500-word blog post or a 5,000-word e-book.

Today we’re taking a closer look at number eight on our list: SEO Article Writing Pros. While the company name lacks creativity, it deserves its spot because of decent reviews from past clients and because of its commitment to quality.

Pros of SEO Article Writing Pros

seo article writing pros
There are a few reasons to use SEO Article Writing Pros for your articles.

This is strictly an article writing service, which means that it doesn’t handle other facets of content marketing, such as distribution, promotion, or collaboration. Based on information from the corporate website, SEO Article Writing Pros hires only in-house writers and editors, which means that you should expect consistent quality.

SEO Article Writing Pros offers free revisions on every article you order. If you’re not satisfied, just provide your criticism and wait for the team to revise their work. Additionally, each article is 100 percent unique, so don’t worry about getting a spun article that might damage your reputation and your search engine ranking.

Cons of SEO Article Writing Pros

seo article writing pros
Transparency proves troublesome with SEO Article Writing Pros.

When you visit this company’s website, you learn what they do — write articles and other content for customers — but that’s about it. SEO Article Writing Pros doesn’t disclose any case studies or explain how they hire their writers and editors. Furthermore, the company doesn’t have a blog of its own, which isn’t particularly inspiring if you’re looking for blog writers.

We’re not impressed with the ordering process, either. You fill out a brief form on the company’s homepage. The form asks for the “# Of Articles/Posts/Pages,” the “word count per item” in increments of 100 and the total word count. You’re then asked to choose between standard, premium, and copywriting levels of quality. You’ll pay between $0.04 and $0.08 cents per word, and the number of free revisions varies depending on how much you’re willing to pay.

Since the company doesn’t explain the differences between those three levels — other than cost and revision count — potential customers might feel wary about selecting this article writing service.

What Customers Say About SEO Article Writing Pros

Very few reviews of this company exist on the Internet. In a thread at WarriorForum.com, one member says, “I tried SEO article writing pros, but the keyword density was over the top and so much that I think the search engines would penalize it.” Another user, however, comments that “I have used SEO Article Writing Pros on numerous occasions for different website topics. They have over-delivered for me. On the rare times that they had overloaded the keywords, they fixed it the same day.”

If you want to give SEO Article Writing Pros a try, we recommend ordering just one short article so you can gauge the quality and the experience. However, companies that want to hire a more transparent article writing service should consider Media Shower instead. We’re open and honest about our content generation process, and we’re always available to answer your questions. To learn more, contact us about your article writing needs.

“Apathy is the Enemy” – Fashion Copywriter Camilla Peffer Explains How to Keep Your Copy Fresh

by Chris Martin on 01/18/2017

Camilla Peffer is a fashion copywriter from Melbourne who writes for businesses all over the world. Camilla recently took some time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts with us about writing for the fashion industry and how freelance writers must adapt to succeed in today’s dynamic marketplace.

Tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide to become a freelance copywriter?

I’d always known that I wanted to be a writer because I’ve always loved telling stories. In fact, when I was 6, my teacher accused me of plagiarism when I wrote and submitted a novella as a class assignment. From 1st grade detention to journalism school through to today as a copywriter for some big-name Australian brands, storytelling is still my passion. And SEO copywriting is one of the most challenging and fun ways to do it!

Since you do a lot of work for fashion and lifestyle websites and companies, could you tell us how writing content for this market differs from other industries and topics?

Fashion brands are on such a tight turnaround, particularly high street brands. Because of this, you have to be incredibly sensitive to the timely nature of their industry. Clients need copy ASAP; and as their chosen copywriter, you need to adapt quickly.

As for tone and style, fashion and lifestyle brands understand that customers don’t seek to merely own more stuff to clog their Instagram feeds with. They want an experience that stirs their emotions. Good copywriting alongside strong and compelling imagery should create a story for the customer where she is the heroine stepping into an ideal lifestyle through the power those clothes give her.

Since there is no shortage of fashion and lifestyle companies out there, how can you help a specific website or retailer stand out from the crowd?

By creating a strong tone of voice that resonates with that brand’s ideal customer.

One brand that does this particularly well is Nasty Gal. Their tone of voice seeks to empower, entertain, and engage their ideal customer through a cheeky, irreverent style that never holds back. Whether that’s through an email subject line, a blog post, or a simple product description, Nasty Gal has an incredibly consistent tone of voice that no doubt took a considerable amount of time to develop and implement.

It really is the key to getting your ideal customer to sit up and pay attention to you, because shoes and skirts won’t sell themselves.

You mention on your website that “apathy is the enemy” when it comes to copywriting. How do you keep your copy fresh and new?

One way I consistently ensure my copy is fresh is by staying on top of consumer trends and also paying attention to UX. The way we use websites and consume media is always changing. For example, three years ago it was a huge trend to ask a question in email subject lines and use first name personalization. Today, such techniques are outdated and don’t work because customers see through marketing tricks easily.

My philosophy is to stay on top of consumer trends, and of course, keep reading. Read everything. It inspires you.

When you market your skills as a copywriter, what have generally been the most successful methods or channels for you?

Getting on top of my SEO, hands-down. I get 80% of my clients through Google and was #1 in Melbourne for “Melbourne copywriter” for quite some time. I’m now at #2, but I’m working my way up!

Also, keeping your clients happy and fulfilling their needs. There is no better or smarter marketing than a happy client!

How is writing for social media different from writing web copy, articles, or blog posts?

It depends on which social media platform we’re talking about! Each social media platform has a different audience with different needs. In a nutshell, I consider social media almost a form of micro-blogging, so you want to stir some emotions in a super powerful and potent way. Social media is where you spark interest, whereas a website or blog post is where people go to get more information.

How do you demonstrate to clients that your copywriting efforts are working?

One easy way to stay on top of your results is by getting an SEO audit of your website. Once you’ve launched your new website, give it three months to see where you could further improve. Then, you can think about tweaking headlines and metadata.

How do you foresee the market for freelance copywriters like yourself changing or evolving in the future?

Copywriters need to wear multiple hats and expand their skill sets beyond the written word. They need to think about the bigger picture and how their words fit within a larger story – that larger story being the whole marketing mix. That’s why I don’t just offer a content writing service. I offer a suite of SEO services, along with content marketing and social media strategies. It’s important to be diverse because the market is always changing – and so should you.

Concerned that your blog or website content isn’t as good as it could be? Request a free content marketing assessment today!

Why You Should Treat Your Customers Like They’re Five Years Old

by John Hargrave on 01/16/2017

One of my favorite websites is the Reddit forum called Explain Like I’m Five, abbreviated “ELI5.” This is where smart people explain complicated topics, like string theory and international politics, as if you were five years old.

Here are a few of the top-rated explanations on ELI5. I apologize in advance for taking up the next hour of your time.

Note that the winning answers aren’t using baby words or talking down to us; they’re simply explaining these topics in a way that a layperson can understand.

The thing about Explaining Like I’m Five is that it’s actually far more difficult than Explaining Like I Should Understand This Stuff. Distilling a complex political or scientific subject down to its essence, so that it can be understood by folks without advanced degrees, takes a skill that most “experts” don’t have.

But it’s a skill that we need now more than ever. Here’s why.

 

Simplifying is Difficult

At our content marketing company Media Shower, the first thing we do with a new customer is write about their business in plain English: we ELI5. When a customer sells hardware for data lakes, or software for medical coding, it can be quite difficult to explain the business in plain English.

This is why so many business websites leave you scratching your head about what the heck the company actually does. They’re stuffed with industry jargon, or even terms they’ve made up themselves. It might make sense to employees, but to an outsider they may as well be manufacturing potions for wizards.

One of our mantras at Media Shower is, “Simplifying is Difficult.” It’s far more difficult to make things simple and clear than it is to muddle and confuse. It’s easy to throw stuff in; it’s harder to leave stuff out. It’s easier to write a paragraph of nonsense than a laser-crisp sentence of clarity.

Simplifying is about what you leave out. In the case of ELI5, you have to leave a lot of stuff out, including the nuance and detail. Sometimes we cynically call this “dumbing it down,” but I see it as the opposite. Boiling it down helps us to understand the basics; only then can we appreciate the details.

We can’t understand the pros and cons of the Trans-Pacific Partnership until we actually understand why the heck it was created in the first place. Then we can make a decision as to its strengths and weaknesses, without all the political rhetoric clouding our vision.

As the world grows in complexity, things are ever more difficult to understand, but our need to understand them is ever greater. They affect our lives in ways that are far more profound than the latest celebrity gossip, which is why we need the media to focus less on Eli Manning, and more on ELI5.

 

How the Media Can ELI5

In an earlier post, I talked about a new role for the media, one in which we use the news to move humanity forward.

Imagine a newscast that gives you context. When reporting on the latest peace talk in the Middle East, they start off with a quick reminder of the history of Israel and Palestine, perhaps done with Lego figures or simple animation. Wouldn’t this be better than assuming everyone understands what’s going on?

Imagine a newspaper with callouts. When reporting on the economic situation in Greece, it explains the backstory under the headline “Grecian Formula.” Wouldn’t this be better than assuming we are all up to date on the Greek economy?

This vision requires a new type of journalist. It needs talented writers who understand difficult topics well enough to simplify them. It needs writers who are skilled at making analogies (as in the example of Fat Albert and black holes). And it needs writers who are funny.

In fact, this could be an interesting project for Comedy Central, which has already redefined news with The Daily Show. But here we’re talking about real news, delivered with the right measure of entertainment so that it sinks in.

I still learned more about the legislative process from Schoolhouse Rock! than I did from years of civics classes:

And I learned more about the dangers of executive orders from this video than I did from years of reading The New York Times:

Explaining How to Fry Eggs

I’m sure you’ve seen “Featured Snippets” in Google, which are the quick-reference guides that pop up when you search something like “How to Fry an Egg”:

Now, frying an egg is the simplest thing in the world. Any cooking site worth its salt (heh) would assume its readers know how to heat up some oil in a pan and crack eggs. But every month, 25,000 people search for “how to fry an egg.” (I checked.)

Increasingly, Google rewards “fried egg” behavior with a Featured Snippet, because that quick step-by-step guide is really all you need to know. Voice activated AI services like Alexa Echo and Google Home are all about the quick, simple explanation. (“Alexa, who sang Schoolhouse Rock?”)

By educating the public with simple, plain-English explanations of current events, any media outlet can become that Featured Snippet authority. (Let’s call it the “fried egg approach.”)

That’s what we’re doing at Media Shower. Our content is regularly winning the Featured Snippet position in Google for our customers – a position that guarantees not only a flood of website traffic, but also makes them the foremost authority on that topic.

And there is still so much room for improvement with Featured Snippets, as you can see in the biased results for “what is the Trans-Pacific Partnership?” Reddit’s ELI5 explanation is better.

If your business publishes online, if you write a personal blog, if you post or tweet, you’re part of the media. You have the ability – and the responsibility – to educate the world.

Teach us how to fry an egg. Explain like we’re five. That’s not dumbing it down; that’s smartening us up.

 

If you’re interested in your own Featured Snippet position, request a content marketing assessment from Media Shower.

Top 10 Article Writing Services: Zerys Reviewed

by Laura College on 01/13/2017

Article writers provide you with content for your blog, website, or other publication, but you might not want to sift through the thousands of individual writers who market their services online. That’s why we’ve ranked the top 10 article writing services. Now we’re providing an in-depth review of each, and today we’re zeroing in on Zerys, our pick for 7th best article writing service.

Pros of Zerys

zerys
You’ll like Zerys’ easy-to-use system.

Each writer on the Zerys platform receives a star rating between one and five. The more stars a writer has, the better his or her work quality. Of course, your definition of quality and someone else’s may vary, so you might have to work with multiple writers before you find one who fits your needs.

HubSpot recommends using Zerys’ SmartPost system to offer your first few assignments on the platform’s job board. That way, you get to know multiple writers and better understand how the system works.

While work quality can vary, Zerys doesn’t demand payment unless clients express satisfaction with the work. If you receive an article that doesn’t meet your standards, you can reject it outright and offer it to another writer.

Additionally, rates are typically low at Zerys. Writers command between $0.01 and $0.50 per word, though choosing a writer whose rates fall at the lower end of the spectrum can result in poor deliverables. You’re better off paying more for high-quality articles.

Cons of Zerys

zerys content
Want edited content? Expect to pay extra.

Zerys is the very definition of an article writing service. It connects writers with potential customers and allows them to communicate via the platform’s messaging software. You don’t get any extras unless you pay extra for them.

If you want your article edited by a professional, for instance, Zerys will charge an additional fee. The company will also offer other services, such as posting and distribution, but those services aren’t built into the article price. If you want full-service content marketing, you’ll want to inquire about White Glove service.

What Customers Say About Zerys

The internet is littered with mixed reviews on Zerys. Matthew Bivens of 98ToGo says that his company uses Zerys often, but notes that “Searching for new writers can be a tedious process. Because there are so many writers with so many different areas of expertise, finding the perfect writer can take some time.” However, he praises this article writing service’s “new Z3 platform” and its “superb” customer service. He also likes the company’s “editorial calendar feature.”

Meanwhile, Pandia gives Zerys four stars out of five, criticizing its “[e]xpensive special writers,” but commenting favorably on its “Strict deadlines for timely delivery, free content planning tools, interactive planner, variety of contents, pricing as per writer’s quality, marketing and SEO consulting for free, auto publishing to CMS, decline without a pay, pro team building, agency and SEO platform, revision request, [and] 24×7 support.

If you’re looking for an article writing service that combines other services into the article price, such as editing and distribution, we’re happy to talk with you about Media Shower’s services. We also hand-pick our writers for each project to ensure the best possible quality. Get three free content ideas to see just how seriously we take our customers’ satisfaction.

Expert Advice: How to Get the Most Out of WordPress

by Chris Martin on 01/11/2017

David Aguilera is one of the co-founders of Nelio Software, a Barcelona-based company focused on offering WordPress-related services such as content marketing and split tests. We had a chance to sit down with David to hear about the recent improvements and advancements of WordPress and to learn some tips on how to create a successful blog.

Tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide to co-found a WordPress technology company?

Four years ago, while I was finishing my Ph.D. in Computer Science and thinking about what to do next, I thought that creating my own company along with some of my university colleagues would be an interesting challenge. Given our profile, we obviously wanted to create something related to software development.

The range of possibilities was huge, but there were a few requirements we wanted to meet: we wanted to use free software, have a strong community behind the platform of choice, build services that could scale up quickly, and have a customer base in a growing market. WordPress is the perfect platform since it satisfies all these needs – it runs 25% of all the blogs, it’s a well-established open-source software, and it has a friendly and welcoming community behind it. So here we are!

What are some of the latest features, functions, and add-ons to WordPress that you’re really excited about?

As a developer, I’m very interested in the new REST API. It’s been one of the hottest topics lately, and it’s finally part of the core. I’m quite sure it’ll revolutionize WordPress both from the inside and the outside. On the one hand, developers will be able to create faster and more robust applications on top of WordPress, while using it as a mere back-end to store data. Prototyping and building large projects will be easier, which will make WordPress even more popular than it is today. On the other hand, it’ll also allow the implementation of new interfaces for making the interaction between WordPress and its users more effective. One example of this is the new user interface available in WordPress.com, Calypso – a beautiful, fast, responsive, and modern dashboard for managing multiple WordPress installations.

As a user, I’m very excited about internationalization and improvements on the UX; both facets play an important role in really democratizing publishing and making it accessible to everybody. But don’t take my word for it; during the State of the Word 2015, Matt (the creator of WordPress) said the future of WordPress is in expanding to more languages/locales.

When you speak with members of the WordPress community, what are the issues and problems that are most frequently discussed?

From my experience, members of the community usually have a lot of tech-related questions, especially when they’re new to WordPress. These include what hosting provider they should use, how to change/customize themes, which plugin is better for a certain functionality, and so on. Luckily, WordPress and its ecosystem are evolving fast and the onboarding experience has improved a lot. Users can now have their own WordPress blog up and running in just a few clicks.

What is the most common mistake you see WordPress users making?

Giving up. Did you know that 95% of all blogs die before they turn one year old? That happens because their owners and authors simply give up. They don’t meet their expectations, they’re overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes, they don’t know how to do things properly. That’s what we as WordPress developers and evangelists should be focusing on: we need to help our users to keep going!

What are some areas of a company’s website that are the best-suited for A/B testing?

A/B testing (also known as split testing) is a marketing technique aimed at improving the conversions of your website. Given a certain page on your website (which we call version A), you create a variation with some changes on it (version B) using a split testing tool. Once the variation is ready, you start the test and both variations (A and B) are published. While the test is running, the split testing tool will split your visitors randomly so that half of them see version A and the rest see version B. The tool will monitor the conversion rates of each variation; and after a while, it will tell you which version (if any) performed best.

Consider this example: you have a website where you sell a product and only 1 out of 100 visitors ends up buying it. Is there anything you can do so that 5 out of 100 buy it? Of course there is! You basically need to change the website somehow (use different images, write different copy, apply different layouts, etc.) so that the new site sells more than the previous one (i.e. converts better). But that’s easier said than done, though.

Based on our experience, the areas that are best-suited for A/B testing are landing pages. They’re the first page most of your visitors will see, and it’s very important that it’s engaging enough to make your visitors want to keep browsing your site. Besides, split tests need a lot of traffic to be statistically significant, which means that pages with higher traffic rates are better-suited for testing. Other pages in your sales funnel should also be tested. Since they’re part of the selling process, they should be tested and optimized.

When using an editorial calendar to organize and schedule content, what are some important things to consider?

An editorial calendar is a simple resource that helps you organize your blog’s upcoming posts, along with all their associated tasks and promotion activities. If you want to effectively use your editorial calendar and improve your blog’s performance, follow these steps:

  • Generate ideas. Make sure you decide beforehand the topics you’ll be covering in your blog. This will help you in the subsequent tasks.
  • Schedule posts. Decide the concrete posts you’ll write and the exact dates you’ll publish them. Specific deadlines will help you stick to your
  • Be realistic. If you have a lot of ideas, it’s easy to fill the calendar with tons of posts. But remember: you’ll have to write them! Choose quality over quantity – don’t write a lot of crappy posts, but instead concentrate on fewer, high-quality articles!
  • Save time for promotion. Writing content is very important, but so is promoting it. To reach broader audiences, you need to continuously promote your posts on social media; so try to fill your calendar with social messages and marketing activities too.

How can rescheduling an already-published blog post actually boost traffic to a site?

I’d never recommend a user to reschedule an already-published blog post. However, they can promote it again on social media so that it drives new traffic to their blog. Or even better, they can rewrite the post entirely with up-to-date information and increase the chances of getting more traffic.

What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress? Will other blogging platforms emerge to compete with (or overtake) WordPress in terms of popularity?

I think we’ll see WordPress used as a headless CMS combined with different front ends powering different platforms. New blogging platforms might emerge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them used WordPress as their back-end.

No one can guarantee WordPress will keep its market share, but so far it has, and for good reason: its community is very active and takes special care of its users. As long as we focus on the needs of our users, help them solve their problems, concentrate on internationalization, and reduce their pain points, WordPress will be safe.

Stumped about what to put in your blog? Get three free content ideas today!

Content Marketers: We Are All the Media

by John Hargrave on 01/09/2017

Dimitri (not his real name) is not your typical teenager. He’s a go-getter who rakes in thousands of dollars per month with his successful web business. Considering that Dimitri lives in Macedonia, where the average wage is about $400 per month, he’s a wildly successful entrepreneur.

There’s only one problem: Dimitri makes his money spreading fake news.

Dimitri, and other teenagers like him, run political websites designed to look like well-known news outlets, publishing made-up stories and distributing them through social media. These stories, with headlines like “Obama Refuses to Leave Office,” or “Trump to Deport All Refugees,” generate enough ad revenue to make Dimitri a wealthy young man.

Much has been made in recent weeks about the rise of “fake news,” and how it impacted the 2016 U.S. political election. Social media made it easy to amplify unfounded rumors. Traditional media outlets sometimes picked up hoax stories. And ambitious high schoolers like Dimitri posted articles that they made up during biology class.

There’s only one problem with this storyline: it assumes that “real news” and “fake news” are completely separate, as if news stories are either black or white. But today there are more shades of grey than Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe. Here’s why.

 

The Imaginary Line in the Sand

We’ve created an imaginary line in the sand, with “real news” on one side and “fake news” on the other. But what about left-leaning media outlets (like Mother Jones) and right-leaning media outlets (like Fox News)? What about blog posts? Opinionated tweets?

The chart at the top of the article shows Google News stories on two critical issues of our time: Trump’s feud with Rosie O’Donnell vs. Trump’s pick for Secretary of Treasury. The Treasury secretary will make real-world decisions that will affect the global economy for generations to come. Yet there are over 30 times more news stories about Trump and Rosie O’Donnell.

At one time, the media was necessary to know what was going on in the world. Before the Internet, how could you possibly find out what was happening in Washington, Moscow, or Beijing? The media told us what was going on, and we trusted them implicitly. When the great Walter Cronkite ended every newscast with his signature tagline, “That’s the way it is,” well, that’s the way things were.

With the rise of cable news, the goal was to get more eyeballs, and keep them glued for longer. It’s hard to fill a 24-hour news channel, because there’s really not that much news. The media gradually got more sensational, so no matter when you tuned into CNN, it looked like something important was happening.

The job of the Secretary of Treasury is boring and difficult to understand; a feud with a comedian is much more entertaining. But which one is real news, and which one is fake?

It’s time to redefine the role of the media.

 

Moving Humanity Forward

We no longer need the media to spread information. We have too much information. Now that every smartphone is a broadcasting station, and every Twitter user a field reporter, we no longer need multiple news outlets telling us what’s happening. This is why it’s so hard for newspapers to stay in business: we’re not willing to pay for content when it’s all free online.

I propose that the new goal of today’s media should be to move humanity forward. This was the original promise of the media: to inform and educate the public, for the greater good. Today, this means focusing on three things:

  • Education: Most of us have only a surface understanding of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, or how the U.S. really stands with China. The media could devote itself to simple, plain-English explanations of important issues that the average citizen could understand.
  • Inspiration: The rise of TED Talks show that people want to be inspired with good ideas. Why not devote the time spent covering arson and murder cases to covering innovative technologies, companies, and ideas? Rather than reporting on the negative, why not inspire with the positive?
  • Entertainment: Whether we want to admit it, we do want our news to be entertaining (which is why every major newspaper has a section devoted to it). News is boring. Why not hire newspeople specifically designed to entertain (like Dave Barry or the late Andy Rooney)?

There is value, of course, in true investigative reporting. When real journalists uncover scandal and corruption, that is a public good. But local stories, sports scores, weather: that’s just filler. You can get it all online, and usually without all the ads for the local Toyota dealer.

To move humanity forward is a far greater public good. The media has the biggest and loudest megaphone, and can use it most effectively. In an age where we don’t know what’s real and what’s fake, that is the best role for the media today.

I run a media company that does content marketing for businesses around the globe. Every one of our clients is a publisher, which means they’re in the media business, too. You are the media, if you blog or post or tweet. We are all the media, and we all have its power. Let’s use it wisely.

John Hargrave is CEO of Media Shower, the leading content marketing company. Click here to try us for free.

Image courtesy Michał Szymeczko via Flickr.

Top 14 Content Distribution Companies, Rated for 2017

by Laura College on 01/06/2017

“If you write it, they will click.”

It’s a lovely thought, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s not quite rooted in reality.

No matter how sensational that video or blog post of your is, there’s no guarantee anyone will see it.

Content distribution is how brands get their content to larger, more targeted audiences through such methods as press releases, influencer outreach, and social media advertising. If you want your content to get maximum exposure, you’ll need to find a distribution system that works. Whether it’s a traditional option or something more modern, you’ll need to discover it before your competition beats you to the punch.

Following are six distinct content distribution options. You’ll learn why they’re effective and which companies offer the best benefits for brands.

Press Releases


Learn how to submit your own press release to Newswire.

It’s just about the oldest content distribution method in existence. You can probably see those three capitalized words that start every document of this sort: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

A press release turns a marketable situation or circumstance into a newsworthy event. However, if the topic isn’t actually newsworthy, publications won’t take notice.

For instance, let’s say you’re launching a new product. You might write a press release about how it will revolutionize some aspect of your industry.

This makes it newsworthy.

However, if the press release doesn’t sound enticing or motivating, you won’t receive much distribution.

A great strategy starts with a great company. If you don’t work with a solid distribution agency, your press releases won’t get much attention.

Top Press Release Companies

1. Newswire

Recently acquired by Cision, Newswire’s history dates back more than 60 years. The company developed the original public relations strategies that PR professionals still use today. However, it has also evolved with the changing needs of the market, adapting slam-dunk digital strategies that reach more than 3,000 newsrooms, more than 200 industry-specific social media handles, and 170 countries.

2. PRWeb

Although it’s not as old or as established as Newswire, PRWeb offers many benefits for content distribution. It works with a wide network of social media channels, news outlets, websites, and other publications. It’s less expensive than Newswire, which might endear it to startups, but Newswire offers more packages.

3. BusinessWire

BusinessWire isn’t as popular or as large as Newswire or PRWeb, but it offers significant advantages in terms of technology. It separates its services into four categories: PR, investor relations, distribution and analytics, and website services. Its proprietary technology puts it in our list of top three choices for press releases and related distribution.

Each of these companies not only distributes press releases and other contents to online publications, but they also help you measure each press release’s effectiveness. They also offer multimedia content creation and distribution services, which helps them rise above the competition.

Brand Partnerships

brand partnerships
Combine your audience with another brand’s to amplify both your messages.

When you ally yourself with another brand, you can amplify one another’s online signal. For instance, maybe you offer a carpet cleaning service. You could join forces with a flooring distributor and cross-market your products and services.

If you think it can’t work, look in the rearview mirror for a minute. Brands like Apple and Hermes; Ford and Hearst; Burberry and LINE; and Ikea and Dreamworks have all struck gold with brand partnerships.

But how do you find a brand with which to partner? Several companies help unite companies that want to work together.

Top Brand Partnership Companies

1. Powerlinx

We’re particularly impressed with Powerlinx because it partners each brand with a business consultant. He or she helps you create a game plan and execute it precisely. The company’s proprietary algorithm helps match brands with one another so they can develop strategic partnerships.

2. FutureBrand

While FutureBrand lacks the refinement that Powerlinks exudes from every page of its website, it deserves the number two spot because of its market share. The company has worked with many major brands, from Cadillac to American Airlines. However, it’s also a more expensive choice.

To make brand partnerships work, you must have shared interests. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them, but you’ll confuse your audience if you start cross-promoting with a brand that has nothing to do with your industry. Additionally, you don’t want to alienate your existing customers by partnering with a brand they won’t like. For instance, if you run a green furniture manufacturing company, you probably don’t want to partner with an oil and gas firm.

Social Media Advertising

social media advertising
Don’t miss out on social media’s tremendous footprint.

As of December 2016, Facebook has 1.59 million active users. If you don’t recognize the potential benefits of social media advertising, you might want to look closer.

Because social media connects consumers with brands on multiple platforms, there are endless ways to leverage it for your company. Whether you’re trying to increase your brand awareness or attempting to increase your overall sales, you can use social media advertising to jumpstart the process.

There’s just one question: Which company do you use?

Top Social Media Advertising Options

1. Facebook

This company has been a rising star since Mark Zuckerberg first turned on a computer. It offers several ways to promote your content. Not only will your existing audience see your latest blog post, but it will also be broadcast to people who might never have heard of your company. You can choose to boost single posts, dedicated adds, or even just photos to gain eyes on your content.

2. Twitter

Although Twitter’s user numbers can’t match Facebook’s, it targets a different type of audience. Twitter users enjoy fast-paced conversations and following multiple streams at once. It offers excellent targeting and retargeting options so you can design whatever campaign you like.

3. Instagram

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram focuses solely on imagery, but it offers similar programs. As long as you can reliably generate magnetic content and find evocative images or videos, you can easily reach your potential customers.

Influencer Outreach

influencer outreach
Imagine whispering the name of your brand in your target customer’s ear — that’s influencer marketing.

An influencer is someone whose social reach allows them to influence their followers’ purchasing decisions. Several years ago, bloggers served as the main influencers, but now these online celebrities work from social media platforms, as well. YouTube sensations and Instagram experts can vastly increase your online footprint through content distribution.

Some brands try to find influencers on their own, but you might have more luck with a company that specializes in partnering brands with influencers.

Top Influencer Matching Companies

1. TapInfluence

This company claims to boost its clients’ ROI by as much as 11 times, and it’s created an influencer marketplace that helps brands find the perfect partner. Of course, you’ll have to pay for the company’s services. Subscription plans start at #1,099 per month, billed annually.

2. Ready Pulse

This is a similar service that has worked with major brands like HP, Lugz, and Olympic. The company doesn’t advertise its prices, but you can always get a custom quote. It shows up in content marketing headlines frequently, so it’s an excellent second choice if you don’t connect with TapInfluence.

If you’d rather try influencer marketing on your own, you’ll need to use more elbow grease. Start by monitoring social media activity that concerns your industry. Find out who has the loudest voice and the longest reach. You can then reach out to a few potential influencers to suggest potential partnerships.

Syndication

You’re probably familiar with this word from your favorite old television shows. You can still catch episodes of “Bewitched” and “FRIENDS” because they remain in syndication. It simply means that another media entity has been given the rights to display the content for public consumption.

There’s something to be said for an organic campaign. With the right SEO strategies and the proper use of social media and your own website, you can drastically improve your traffic and conversion rates. You don’t need a third-party service for those process, but you will need lots of time and energy.

Focus on ranking for long-tail keywords as well as for your competitor’s name. Produce high-quality content that generates backlinks and sparks online discussions. You can promote your content manually on social media and other channels to give it even more opportunities to spread.

While you can syndicate your own content across multiple channels, you’ll have to develop the contacts and perform the legwork. You might want to partner with a syndication company to speed up the process and gain access to the business’s insight and experience.

Top Content Syndication Companies

1. Outbrain

This well-known agency has a media distribution platform that revolves around syndication. It’s developed an impeccable reputation for its ability to help brands reach new audiences. Plus, it’s worked with high-profile companies.

2. Taboola

You might also like this content syndication company, which offers custom content syndication campaigns for businesses and media companies. You might give your content a fresh wind if you use syndication to boost its signal. Since it’s not as well-known as Outbrain, its prices prove a little cheaper.

Blogger Distribution

blogger distribution
Blogging isn’t just about churning out articles — it’s a content distribution process.

You need two main things for content distribution to work: great content and a great distribution channel. No matter how much money you inject into an advertising campaign or influencer partnership, poor content will never perform. Likewise, if you don’t have a distribution channel in place, even spectacular content might never find an audience.

If those sobering realities have left you in despair, there’s hope on the horizon. Instead of buying articles from individual freelancers or content mills, consider working with a media agency that can help you design and execute a content marketing strategy.

The best companies in this field help with idea generation, assign articles to capable writers, and professionally edit each piece. They also often help with publication and distribution.

You don’t want to work with just any agency, though. That’s why we’ve prepared a couple recommendations.

Top Blogger Distribution Companies

1. Media Shower

For years, Media Shower has created personalized content strategies for its clients. You get a full editorial team as well as professionals who specialize in content distribution and optimization. Plus, you get reporting on your content’s performance.

2. CopyPress

You might also like CopyPress, which we’ve chosen as our number-two option if you’re looking for a full-scale blogger distribution opportunity. The company hand-picks its writers and editors, and each client is assigned a manager to oversee his or her campaign.

Content distribution isn’t the easiest game to master, but it’s essential if you want to compete in today’s digital marketplace. Even if you’re a small business now, you can easily grow in leaps and bounds if you master the arts of content creation and content distribution. Ready to create some killer content? Let Media Shower create three free content ideas for you. We’re passionate about helping brands grow through amazing content and distribution.

Look Up in the Sky! It’s a Guy Being Carried by a Drone!

by Laura College on 01/04/2017

What does a supersized drone have to do with content marketing? Plenty, when that drone proves capable of carrying a human being.

Content marketing often boils down to two basic criteria: 1) Is it newsworthy? and 2) Does it enhance a brand’s image?

As it turns out, a guy being carried by a drone satisfies both.

(Note: The video features some adult language that might not be safe for work) 

Going Viral on YouTube

As of this writing, more than 7.5 million people have watched the video of a custom-made drone carrying a man off a mountain — snowboard and all. The four-minute video is shot well and offers a startling glimpse into the future of technology. Since it’s visually stunning and professionally developed, it’s an absolute magnet for eager consumers.

Content marketers often talk about getting their content to “go viral,” but very few understand what that task really requires. You need an innovative approach to something that might already have been done, but that has a built-in audience. Other people have customized drones capable of carrying human weight, but this video adds the maker’s reputation along with the stunning landscaping and daredevil element to draw attention.

Casey Neistat, a popular former blogger and vlogger, has created numerous videos for YouTube. He hit it big with the human-carrying drone, but he’s honed his videography and marketing skills to ensure that this piece of footage found viewers.

According to The Verge, Neistat spent a year creating a fully-customizable drone, primarily from Samsung parts. This leads us to the second aspect of content marketing that Neistat nailed.

Securing Product Placement

You’ve seen product placement all your life, from specific vehicles driven in movies to soft drink cans strategically placed in a sitcom scene. It doesn’t just work in mainstream media, though. Neistat partnered with Samsung to build his creation, and Samsung products appear throughout the video.

In addition to the droid itself, Samsung’s Gear 360 camera makes itself visible in the footage. This product placement associates Neistat’s daring feat and technological accomplishment with the Samsung brand, which makes it highly valuable for content marketing.

Replicating Neistat’s Success

drone

You don’t need your own drone to enjoy content marketing success.

Are you tired of sitting at the back of the heap when it comes to content marketing in your industry? You’re not alone. Thousands of companies struggle to win the attention of millions of consumers, so your chances of getting noticed dwindle unless you take your content marketing to the next level.

You need an innovative approach, solid content, and a way to position your brand as a viable solution for your audience. Maybe it’s a drone carrying a guy off a mountain, or maybe it’s an Instagram influencer sharing your latest article.

You’ll notice that, if you search “guy being carried by a drone” on Google, you’ll come up with 7.1 million results. Most importantly, Neistat’s adventure appears several times on the first page, which means that his original content spawned other content. When another publication writes about your company and links back to your website, you gain exponentially more exposure.

If you’re hoping to become a guy being carried by a drone in the New Year, we can help. Media Shower can take your marketing efforts to new heights — either figuratively or literally — in 2017, so contact us to get started.

Top 10 Article Writing Services: Constant Content Reviewed

by Laura College on 01/02/2017

When you need a professional to write an article for you, wasting time researching dozens of options individually can put you well behind schedule. That’s why we’ve prepared a top-ten list of the best article writing services on the internet. Today we’re taking a peek at number six, Constant Content.

Pros of Constant Content

constant content
You’ll like the customizable features that Constant Content offers.

Since its debut, Constant Content has focused primarily on connecting article writers with article buyers. A freelance writer creates an article on this topic of his or her choice, posts it on Content Content, and waits for someone to buy it.

Clients can peruse thousands of articles in search of one that meets their needs. Alternatively, they can commission an author of their choosing to create a custom piece, which typically results in higher fees.

The good news is that you can set your price. If you find a pre-written article you like, you’ll see the cost for exclusive and non-exclusive rights. If it’s within your budget, simply buy the article and download it for your own use.

Should you decide to commission a writer, you let him or her know what you’re willing to pay for the finished piece. Constant Content takes a cut of the profits.

The major benefit of Constant Content is that it’s quick and simple. You won’t get the support that content marketing agencies offer, but if you want to work one-on-one with writers and simplify the process, you might try Constant Content.

Cons of Constant Content

Buying pre-written content on Constant Content can constitute a big gamble. You can’t view the entire article (just the first couple paragraphs) because the company doesn’t want clients to use articles they haven’t purchased. Consequently, even if the introduction proves promising, you might find yourself disappointed with the rest of the article.

Additionally, you don’t get help with ideation, proofreading, editing, or quality control. If the article you buy needs work, you’ll have to hire someone else to fix the issues or do it yourself.

What Customers Say About Constant Content

constant content
Learn how previous customers have reviewed Constant Content.

In March 2016, internet marketer Kevin Muldoon posted a lengthy Constant Content review. He concluded with a summary of his thoughts, saying, “Constant Content is by no means the ultimate solution for producing content online, however I am sure that many of you will find it useful. If you are looking for content for a new project you can purchase unique articles instantly and fairly cheaply.”

Meanwhile, James Parsons of BlogPros notes that Constant Content offers a decent option, noting that “So long as you have the budget to buy from the site, it’s easily one of the best sources of content that isn’t either dealing with a freelancer directly or working with a managed company.”

While Constant Content offers several advantages, it’s also not as tightly run as a managed content company. If you’re looking for articles with a quality-control process built in, request a free content marketing assessment. We’ll help you maximize your content marketing dollars while providing you with top-notch copy.