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    Proposals weren’t always about carats and cut. The history of the diamond engagement ring is a brand story worth knowing. Learn how clever marketing made diamonds synonymous with love in our newest Brand Bites video.

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    By Erin Rowley

    Blogging is an important part of content marketing strategy. But it’s also time-consuming, and sometimes, no matter how hard you or your employees try, you just can’t think of good topics to write about. You need to find ways to push through that writer’s block, because blogging is important: It increases your thought leadership and brand recognition and improves your website’s ranking on search engines.

    Infographic showing fast ways to create interesting blog topics



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    Learn how today’s instantly recognizable Santa brand came to be – over centuries – in our happy holidays Brand Bites video. May your holiday be bright and your new year especially wonderful, from all of us at CrucialContent.

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    According to analytics company Return Path, the average email subscriber gets more than 400 commercial emails per month. Given the volume of content pouring into consumers’ inboxes, how can a credit union’s e-newsletter successfully connect with members?  

    First things first. You need your members to sign up.

    Promoting your credit union’s e-newsletter is every bit as important as the e-newsletter itself. If you want to increase sign-ups, first prove the value of your content. Your promotion efforts should focus on informing, not selling. Show your audience what the e-newsletter contains and how it will benefit them. If you persuasively demonstrate why your members should subscribe, they will.

    1. Give a generous preview – On your website, create a dedicated web page where your audience can sign up. Whet their appetite by featuring a preview of your e-newsletter, or include an archive of this content.
    1. Set clear expectations – Let your audience know what to expect. Tell them exactly what content you will send and how often you will send it. When signing up is an informed decision, your members will be less likely to delete your e-newsletter or mark it as spam when they see it in their inbox.
    1. Make signing up super easy – People can’t subscribe if they don’t know how, so make newsletter sign-up forms highly visible. Some credit union marketers embed a small form at the bottom of each blog post. And Facebook has an app that lets users collect sign-ups directly on their page. For other social media channels, include a link to your e-newsletter page in the About Me area.
    1. Start the story on social media – On social media, drive reader interest by leveraging the “curiosity gap.” If your e-newsletter has a feature about applying for a mortgage, entice your audience with a social media message like this:

    @Your_Credit_Union: The mortgage with the lowest APR isn’t always your best deal. Find out why, plus 9 other things other lenders won’t tell you, in our e-newsletter.

    Prospective homebuyers will sign up to get the whole story. Plus you’re earning members’ trust by providing exclusive info.   

    1. Divide and conquer – According to Content Marketing Institute, nearly half of content marketers feel their e-newsletters don’t deliver a satisfactory ROI. One reason for this may be that their content attempts to speak to everyone at once. As we’ve said before, when you market to everyone, you market to no one.

    Customize each promotion effort to a key audience persona, whether it’s the college student, the home buyer, the business owner, or the retiree. If your current e-newsletter features a member’s story about choosing an IRA, tailor your promotion to those who are planning for retirement. Promote to other groups when your e-newsletter has content just for them.

    For more content marketing insights, head over to our post on social media strategies for banks and credit unions.

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    Developing original and engaging content for your hospital marketing strategy isn’t easy. But your hospital can follow the example of industry thought leaders and practice newsjacking. Newsjacking is the process of capitalizing on trending health or medical news stories by weighing in on the subjects and offering insight or a different perspective.

    It’s easier than you think. Certain health-related headlines are sure to draw readers’ attention and spur conversations on social media, in blog and article comment sections and in the healthcare provider’s office. These include breaking news releases dealing with topics like:

    • The emergence of new diseases or their appearance in the United States (Zika, Ebola, swine flu)
    • Outbreaks of potentially dangerous food poisoning and the massive recalls that follow
    • Reports of rising cases of chronic disease or mental illness among children and teens
    • New and effective treatments and therapies for cancer, neurological disease or heart disease
    • Issues affecting prenatal or pediatric health
    • “Medical miracles” such as reversing paralysis with stem cells or treating inoperable tumors
    • Outbreaks of diseases once well-controlled by vaccination 

    To stay top-of-mind with patients and sophisticated healthcare consumers, your hospital or healthcare system should deliver content that’s timely and topical. “Newsjacking” is an effective way to capture the momentum of breaking news and use it to drive your visibility and social media engagement.

    With your easily accessible pool of medical experts, you are poised to offer professional commentary on any of these topics in a variety of engaging formats. Here are five tips to make newsjacking part of your marketing strategy:

    1. Get the facts – When health news breaks, make sure it’s being reported by a reliable source, or several, before you run with it. Commenting on an ill-researched study presented on a potentially untrustworthy site can make your hospital or healthcare system seem untrustworthy too. And make sure it’s a topic you can relate back to your resources. If the story’s about stem cells, for example, and your providers have little experience in that realm, take a step back. 
    1. Act quickly – Once you’ve established that you have the expertise to weigh in on a health topic, don’t wait. Many of your competitors are likely also exploring ways to enter the conversation. Track down your physicians or researchers best suited to contribute to a blog, video Q&A or social media series, and start sharing! 
    1. Stay tuned – Breaking health news rarely fades into the background after the first report. Often, updates flow in over several days and weeks as local, national and international health experts assess the situation, develop recommendations and attempt to reassure or guide the public toward next steps. Stay connected by frequently checking news outlets, government agency websites, humanitarian organization pages and social media trends, and offer your own increasing insights as you learn more. 
    1. Remember keywords – Incorporate relevant keywords to improve your search rankings. You’re trying to attract new readers and potential patients to your content who might not otherwise go directly to your site. Using the right keywords can help your content appear higher on search rankings, which also builds your brand by establishing the perception of your hospital as a trusted resource. 
    1. Connect through conversation – Getting lots of shares and comments on that Facebook or Twitter post? Engage your readers with links to related topics on your blog or website. Share dates and locations for pertinent screenings and health fairs you’re hosting. And ask your audience directly or through linked surveys what kind of content they’d like to see you focus on more frequently.

     Does your internal marketing team need help getting started with newsjacking? We can help.

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