3 Steps to Making Your Content More Credible (prior to publication) / (blog post)

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Challenge: How do you create trustworthy and credible content and increase its conversion rate?
Solution: Offer a simple three-step solution by obtaining endorsements. A blog post from Content Marketing Institute.

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3 Steps to Making Your Content More Credible (prior to publication) / (blog post)

  1. 1. AboutLATEST ARTICLES RESEARCH FREE WEBINARS WHITE PAPERS/EBOOKS CONTENT JOBS By THOMAS CLIFFORD published SEPTEMBER 23, 2011 3 Steps to Making Your Content More Credible (Prior to Publication) Like 7 4 Tweet 0 Out of 42 different content marketing tactics, the CMI Content Share 61 Marketing Playbook and CMI community ranked testimonials as one of the top 10 tactics. Testimonials can definitely give your content that extra boost — and credibility —your audience is looking for. But here’s the thing: Receiving testimonials after a project is complete is easy enough. But how do you receive testimonials when your content isn’t published yet?
  2. 2. Your content is ready to go. It’s proofed, designed and lookingsharp. And, hey, the landing page is looking nifty, too.What’s missing? Some testimonials to tip the scales in your favor.The secret to receiving testimonials aheadof timeThe secret to receiving testimonials before publishingyour content is to give it away to a handful of people andask for a testimonial from those select recipients.Testimonials help position your content in the best possible lightand supply that extra “push” it needs to get noticed.However simplistic this idea may appear,few people act on it. Instead, we cross ourfingers and hope for the best.But there are some easy steps you can take to increase the chancesof receiving those testimonials: 1. Identify five influential people. 2. Craft a short, compelling email introduction. 3. Email your content (if possible), and directly request a testimonial.Step 1: Identify five influential peopleThe key is choosing five people who can benefit from your contentand have their own audience or network that will also benefit.You may know five people in your own network who may enjoyreceiving your content; but if they’re not the target audience foryour information because they can’t apply it to their business orthey wouldn’t know how to share it with their network, you maynot reap the full benefits of this advanced action.
  3. 3. Look for five people in your market who could use your insights intheir business. If they find it helpful, they’ll likely feel more inclinedto share it with their network and friends.What if you can’t find people in yourmarket?If you are having trouble identifying influencers to reach out to fortestimonials, try looking at these places to help you get started: 1. LinkedIn contacts 2. LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business 3. Twitter followers 4. Industry bloggers 5. Current customers 6. Past customers 7. Local companiesStep 2: Craft a short, compelling emailintroductionOnce you’ve identified your five targets, it’s time to contact them. Ifyou know someone personally, a phone call is certainly a great wayto see if he is interested in receiving your content and providing abrief testimonial.If you have a relationship with someone, a phone call is a great wayto see if your content might be of value to them. If they find yourcontent intriguing, you can then ask for a testimonial afterreviewing it. Let them know right away there is no obligation towrite one.If you don’t know any of your targets, an email might be a betterway to introduce yourself. Emphasize how and why your contentwill help them and their audience.
  4. 4. Tell them you are seeking testimonials before the official launch ofyour new content, and that you would be honored to send them anexclusive preview for their consideration. Be sure to mention thatthere is no obligation to write a testimonial; they should only writeone if they found the information helpful.Here is an email template you can easily modify for your ownpurposes. You can even use a version of this for a phone call. 1. Introduction. In one sentence, share what your content is and why your contact (and their audience) will find it helpful. 2. Ask for a testimonial. If your contact finds the content unique and helpful, ask for a testimonial. Of course, share with them that they’re not obligated to write one; it’s entirely up to them. 3. Attach your content. It’s easy to forget to attach your content! If you don’t have an attachment, consider providing a link pointing to your content. 4. Close with a version of “thank you for your time.”Step 3: Email your content and testimonialrequest to your targetsOnce your email is crafted, send it to a friend for proofing and toget some honest feedback on your approach.Ask how that friend would feel about receiving such an email outof the blue. If your friend has suggestions, incorporate theirchanges, attach your content to the email (or link), and send it offto your targets.Next stepsHere’s a nudge: Do you have a project nearing completion? If so,it’s time to get moving.
  5. 5. Scan your contact list and write down five people who can benefitfrom your insights. Remember: If there’s a benefit for your targets,your odds of receiving powerful testimonials will be improved.Over to youHow do you ask for and receive testimonials for content thathasn’t been published yet?Do you wait until content is published to gather testimonials?Feel free to share your experiences in the comments area. 10 Must-Have Templates for Content Marketers Coca-Cola Bets the Farm on Content Marketing: Content 2020 7 Strategies for Developing Compelling Content in 2013 Findable Content Marketing: 3 Google Keyword Tool Tips Recommended by Like 7 4 Tweet 0 Share 61 Author: Thomas Clifford Thomas Clifford is a B2B content marketing writer and certified copywriter. He helps companies Follow generate and nurture high quality leads through eNewsletters, blog articles and free special download reports. Tom has 25 years under his belt as an award-winning B2B filmmaker. Hes produced hundreds of marketing-branding films and brings his street-level interviewing experience to every project. Tom is featured in the book “Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your
  6. 6. Business." He has also written dozens of articles as an “Expert Blogger” for FastCompany.com. You can follow Tom on Twitter at @ThomasClifford. His blog, "Humanizing Business Communications," is packed with new media business communication tips and writing strategies. His eBook "5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier" is free to new subscribers. Other posts by Thomas Clifford Enter your email address... SEND ME UPDATES12 comments ★ 4 Leave a message... Discussion Share # Lionel Bachmann • a year ago Nice post. I never considered trying to get testimonials prior to publishing content. Most marketers know that testimonials gain trust and authority from its readers, but releasing content with testimonials already in place is genius. The best thing is that you have a chance to make corrections or rewrites before publishing. 0△ ▽ • Reply • Share › Thomas Clifford > Lionel Bachmann • a year ago

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