Author: Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr is Director of B2B Marketing for Straight North, an internet marketing agency headquartered in Chicago. He is an experienced content strategist, respected blogger, and SEO copywriter. Connect with him on Twitter @bradshorr.

By brad-shorr published January 19, 2014

6 Enemies of Clarity in Your Business Storytelling Efforts

thief caught by flashlightOne of the most common questions in content marketing is, “What is high-quality content?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Quality has technical aspects, such as grammar, as well as more qualitative dimensions, such as whether your business’ story moves readers on an emotional level.

This post will discuss a very important aspect of business storytelling: clarity. Clear writing may not be the single, defining element of quality, but without it, readers are unlikely to be persuaded by your story — or take action on any business purpose that stands behind it. Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published October 21, 2013

Make Your Content Marketing Processes More Creative: 5 Actionable Tips

lightbulbs-process of creativityIn my opinion, the most useless advice that often gets passed along by content marketing “experts” is this: “Create awesome content!!“As if using exaggerated adjectives and punctuation could help anyone figure out how to do this. Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published August 13, 2013

How to Build a B2B Content Marketing Department: Beat Staffing Shock

content marketing staffWe’re all familiar with sticker shock; but with content marketing, staffing shock is the problem that has many of our heads spinning.

Indeed, when a company embarks on its first B2B content marketing program, a common discovery is that there’s more to the job of creating and managing content than meets the eye. Producing effective, high-quality content efforts requires a wide range of skills, capabilities, and expertise; so the team you assemble to do the job must be prepared to meet the challenges involved in conceptualizing, creating, crafting, executing, promoting, and measuring content.Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published June 6, 2013

How to Produce More Effective Content Marketing with the Help of PPC

pay per click testingFootball players have been known to take ballet lessons to improve balance, footwork, and other skills that give them a competitive edge on the field. In a similar way, content marketers can use pay-per-click (PPC), a seemingly unrelated discipline, to tune up critical components of their game. Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published April 12, 2013

What Quality Content Is, and How to Help Your Clients Create It

quality contentWe all know how essential quality website content is. However, continually producing content that meets high quality standards while still meeting performance goals can become an overwhelming challenge when working with clients who haven’t yet jumped on the content marketing bandwagon.

Here are three major problems that must be overcome before your clients can create content that not only captures attention, but also holds that attention and uses this engagement to convert customers. Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published August 28, 2012

How to Make Content Do a Better Job of Converting

© Straight North

© Straight North

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an internet marketing discipline that focuses on creating a positive user experience that inspires conversion. When marketers think about CRO, their thoughts typically turn to details such as testing different button colors and placing offers in different areas of a web page.Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published May 22, 2012

How to Serve Multiple Audiences by Using a Segmented Website Structure

The problem: Sites with a “something for everyone” architecture rarely satisfy anyone.

Serve multiple audiences with a "content cafeteria," CMIAppealing to multiple audiences is one of the biggest challenges in creating content for corporate websites.Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published March 7, 2012

Everything You Need to Know about Using Title Tags in Content Marketing

Title tags are the nuclear warheads of content marketing: While they contain only a very small mass — roughly 65 characters — they pack an unbelievable punch. Because of title tags’ enormous impact on SEO, social sharing and conversion, content marketers should know how they work, and how to put them to work.

Definition of title tags

A title tag is a piece of meta information required for all HTML/XHTML documents. It should be thought of as the “title” of a web page, describing the overall theme of its content.

Continue Reading

By brad-shorr published February 2, 2012

The Essential Guide to Meta Descriptions That Will Get You Found Online

If you think meta descriptions are no longer important, this post may change your mind. In fact, with the rise of social media, they are more valuable than ever.

Meta descriptions are little snippets of text (about 155 characters) that appear in search engine results and with links shared on social media and bookmarking sites. Although they have very little pure SEO value, meta descriptions are still important for communicating your brand message and for conversions — i.e., getting people to click on your links.

Continue Reading