What’s in a Name? How to Differentiate Between Types of Content

It happens all too often – a client says they want a blog, but when a blog is delivered, they ask why it’s so short, or why the tone is so casual. Or, they say they want an op-ed that can be pitched to a top-tier industry publication, and then don’t understand why their company’s newest product isn’t specifically mentioned or detailed in the piece.

While it’s wonderful that this client knows content will help them boost their brand and generate leads, if they don’t understand the difference between types of content, things will be frustrating for both the content team and the client. Because, unlike a rose, an op-ed by any other name is an entirely different piece of content.

When communicating with the content team you’re working with, it’s vital that you are on the same page when it comes to the types of content they are producing for you – otherwise lots of time, energy and effort will be wasted. This is because different types of content are geared for different audiences and are meant to reach different goals.

For example, if you’re hoping to increase your CEO’s profile, a social media campaign is likely not the answer – thought leadership articles are. Likewise, if you’re launching a new report and want to extend the coverage of all that data you analysed, you’ll need more than press releases – you’ll want op-eds, blog posts and maybe an infographic or two.

If all of this has your head spinning, don’t worry – we’re here to help dispel the confusion surrounding different types of content. So let’s dive in, shall we?

Social Media Copy, Explained


Oh look, a Facebook post.

Pithy, punchy and to-the-point, social media calls for short-form copy (Sometimes, extremely short-form. A tweet, for example, is a maximum of 280 characters that is attention-grabbing, informative and creative (yes, emoji are completely acceptable and hashtags are a must – they help with discovery). It should be written in your brand’s voice and have a personality that resonates with your audience. 

Though there are several different types of social media platforms today, the platforms most often used for business are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. While similar messaging can be pushed out via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, LinkedIn is a professional network that is better suited. for business goals such as brand or product awareness and communicating employer brand messaging,

Getting the tone right for each platform is an important part of crafting social media copy, so understanding how different platforms operate and which platforms your audience prefers or frequents is crucial. After all, if your target demographic spends most of their time scrolling Instagram and you’re only on Facebook, you’re missing a huge opportunity to speak directly to and engage directly with them.

Thought Leadership Posts and Articles, Explained

When it comes to thought leadership, LinkedIn is the platform you want. Your company’s executives likely all already have LinkedIn profiles in order to network and keep up with industry news. And since the platform caters to professionals, it’s the perfect place to share thoughts on the state of the industry, general business news and the thought process behind your company’s latest developments.

There are a couple different ways to publish thought leadership on LinkedIn: the first is through a post. This is short-form content – anywhere from a line or two to a paragraph – where a professional shares a quick thought about a relevant business topic or a news article they link. Though quick and efficient, these posts do provide insider insights and help to build a personal brand.

The second option is to write and share an original article on LinkedIn. This option allows more freedom and space for an executive to really delve into a topic through a longer-form piece – usually around 400–700 words – providing followers, connections and other professionals a look into their thoughts about a particular event, industry trend or piece of global news. 

In addition to positioning executives as experienced, authoritative, thoughtful leaders with a unique perspective, these pieces could also lead to greater networking opportunities, speaking engagements or even business partnerships.

Blogs, Explained

Behold, a blog post.

The goal of blogs is to communicate your company’s messaging, be it reiterating your vision, launching a new product or report, providing updates to your customers, or releasing a statement in times of crisis. These pieces are where you can not just promote your company and your products, but explain them in-depth and provide behind-the-scenes information or looks at innovation.

Often, blogs and social media work hand-in-hand: you can use your social media pages to promote new blog posts by giving readers a quick taste of what’s to come in the blog and enticing them to click the link and go to your website. 

Op-Eds, Explained

When it comes to pitching articles to the media, it’s generally an op-ed – short for ”opposite the editorial page” (if you want to invite us to be on your pub quiz team, we understand) – that you want to pitch. These should be thought of as thought leadership pieces because an op-ed will include a company spokesperson or executive’s name as the author and will be written in their voice, from their perspective.

But unlike writing for a company blog or for LinkedIn, an op-ed that is pitched to a publication should be long-form – usually 600–1,000 words, depending on their guidelines – and should communicate your company’s vision or leader’s thoughts without specifically selling the company or its products/services. 

This is an important distinction to make, and one that is easy to misunderstand. The reason why the company’s vision or product cannot be specifically detailed or mentioned is that if it is, the publication will consider the piece as an advertorial,  which is, at the end of the day, an ad. And you have to pay for ads.

Op-eds, however, do not cost your company anything if they are accepted to publication and they can not only boost brand reputation and brand awareness, but will establish your business and leaders as a trusted voice in your sector.

Infographics, Explained

A combination of copy and design, infographics help to tell a story or explain events or systems visually. These can be very effective when communicating complicated ideas that are often difficult or confusing to explain with only copy, and are great to share online on any platform.

If you’re unsure about what type of designed content it is that you want, that is completely fine – feel free to provide examples of designed content you like and the content team can help you figure out what will work best for you.

Hopefully this content primer helped shed some light on how different pieces of content operate. However, if the event you head into your next meeting with your content team and you can’t remember the difference between a blog and an op-ed, don’t tell your agency you want five blogs and five articles, hoping they’ll figure out exactly what articles mean to you. Instead, explain your business goals – your content team should be able to help you narrow down what will work best for you. 

Unsure what type of content works best for your brand? The Mutant content team is here for you. Send us an email to [email protected]

How to Choose the Right Content Agency

It’s fair to say that “content” is one of the most misunderstood and overused buzzwords of all time. Don’t believe me? Then let me paint you a (slightly exaggerated but still accurate) picture that I’ve mashed together based on dozens of conversations with potential clients over the years:

Potential client: “Hi. We need some content marketing, please.” 

Agency: “Alright. What are you aiming to get out of this for your business? What does successful content look like to you?”

Client: “I think we need blogs. My CEO needs a blog.”

Agency: “We can write blogs, but I’d like to know why you think you need them. What’s the goal here?”

Client: “We need more eyeballs on our website. But actually, can you create more snackable content? And make it go viral.”

Agency: “Um, I have lots of questions.”

Client: “We’ll send you all the information you need. But can you also do influencer marketing? I think that’s the best way to create awareness. Can you provide content for that? Just talk us through a typical content strategy. And give us some examples of social media content that has worked.”

Agency: *head explodes* 

Here’s the thing – content is lots of things. But it can also be absolutely nothing because “content” and all it embodies has become a broad umbrella term, reduced to a catch-all phrase that ignores or pushes aside the intricacies of everything within it. 

If you don’t know what your business needs from “content”, you’re not going to get very far – or many results.

So, before you approach an agency to “do content” for your business, consider the following points so that you know what to look for, what to ask, and what to be wary of:   

Know what you want from an agency 

I’m hitting this point again because it’s worth it. Different businesses (and people) have different definitions of what content means. To one, it will be a constant churning out of new tblogs, but to another it means planning, creating, amplifying and measuring social media posts. Then, to a third, it’s about providing a full content marketing strategy that includes everything from content creation to amplification and lead generation. 

So before you approach an agency, you need to have the answers to a few key questions: Why are you even approaching an agency for content in the first place? What are the business goals you need to achieve with said content? How can an agency provide the right type of work to get you the results you need? This should be your starting point. 

Oh, and pleasehave a budget. Content comes in all forms, which means the cost does, too. We want to help you – and we can – but we need to know how long that piece of string is to be able to offer the most cost-effective solution for you. 

Know what to look for in a content team 

While many agencies have beefed up their content capabilities, what you want is a group of people who can actually write well. And not, “oh yeah, I have a food blog in my spare time,”kind of writing. You need professional, qualified and experienced former journalists, editors and content leads who can pen a research piece on renewable energy one day, and deliver compelling social posts to launch a new perfume the next. 

The members of a fully-fledged content team should work across content creation, marketing and public relations (yes, PR people should have strong writing capabilities) and be a mix of strategists, writers, editors, digital marketers, social media experts and more. 

Ask about their storytelling capabilities. How do they figure out how to tell the right story? At Mutant, we hire former journalists, so we know how to probe and get all the juicy titbits of information we need to create a compelling piece. And because we are also PR experts, we know which juicy details to leave out. 😉 This integration across PR and content is absolutelykey, and will always provide stronger results overall.  

Find the right fit

When you hire an individual in your company, you want to ensure the culture fit is right – the same goes for onboarding a new agency. Do a chemistry test with the entire working team for your account. Meet in person, see if you get along, talk about things other than your jobs. 

Throughout this chemistry test, make sure you gain an understanding of the agency’s processes and turnaround times. How do they handle a high volume of work on short notice? How do they adapt to writing with different tones and styles (which shouldn’t be a problem for a bunch of former journalists), and how would they handle certain situations that are likely to crop up. The best results are produced in a partnership, so make sure the agency will really slot in with your team while having your best interests at heart. 

Be wary of agencies that outsource everything  

If it sounds too good (ahem, cheap) to be true, then it probably is. And it’s probably being outsourced somewhere with fewer checks and balances – and therefore way more difficulties and frustrations at your end. 

At the end of the day, do you want something done cheaply, but that needs multiple rounds of edits to fix tone, grammar and spelling, all while dealing with people who don’t really understand your business? Or does it make more (financial) sense to increase your budget to get things right the first time around? Remember, you get what you pay for. 

Ask about results

If an agency can’t share tangible results with you about the content they have produced, this should be a red flag. Results should always be the main driver behind any content – otherwise what the hell is the point? 

How they will measure your business success with the work they are creating should be a key factor in choosing an agency. Not only will it help get management on board at your end, but it also means the strategy will actually work. Which, you know, is sort of important. 

And there you have it – some key considerations to help you choose the right content agency. 

If you have any further questions about content and what it means, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected].

3 Ways To Infuse Life Into Your Content

While creating content may seem like a simple task, consistently keeping your audience hooked is a different ball game. Blog posts and articles are often the first thing which come to mind, we talk about content. While this is true, content exists in other forms such as videos, infographics, e-books or audio. Thanks to social media, short-form video content is all the rage – all you need to do is scroll down Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, and check out the staggering number of views that some videos manage to clinch.

Want to keep your content alive, so audiences always keep coming back for more? Here are three tips:

Re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle

Great advice not only for the environment, but also the content you have generated so far. Most of which is probably timeless, so don’t let it go to waste. Posted a blog on your website two years ago? Give it a fresh lease of life, and repurpose it for a different platform. Trending topics tend to be cyclical – a specific topic you wrote about a year ago could be relevant in the present moment.

For instance, events such as the Oscars, the Super Bowl, and the prominent Fashion Weeks never fail to be a yearly occurrence. If you wrote a listicle about the major looks sported at celebrities at the Golden Globes, or penned an insightful op-ed about fashion and sustainability, why not rehash the content by giving it a fresh new twist and sharing it across your socials?

Reel them in with an irresistible headline

Putting time and effort into creating your content is great, but it’s the headline that will compel people to click on whatever you have put out. Writing a good headline involves balancing the right amount of information to let people know what to expect, yet being mysterious enough to pique their interest. Clickbait is annoying, and will only turn your readers away – be genuine with your headlines, and you will earn the clicks you deserve.

Make it personal

Customers nowadays are all about authenticity. Thanks to the Internet and social media at large, people want to see the “real” you. They want to know your story so they can be invested in it, and hopefully get to know you and talk to you (just like dating).

Give people what they want. Share stories about the team working behind the scenes to help your brand or product come to life. Hop onto Instagram or Facebook Live, or record a “Storytime” video for your YouTube audience. Social media allows for two-way communications, where your customers and fans will tell you what they think of you and your product in real-time.

Let your customers in, so they can see you for who you really are. Tell your brand story with flair, and make it human. Instead of turning it into a hackneyed old sales pitch, show people what you and your brand can do. Your content strategy should leave people hungry for more.

Want to give your content a fresh lease of life? Drop us a message at [email protected]

How to get the most out of your relationship with your marketing agency

A client-agency relationship is more than just a business transaction. It takes more than charismatic account management and savvy sales pitches to make the relationship really work. What many agencies and clients miss, is in the on boarding process– from the business objectives to the culture. Here are 5 key points to help you kick-start an awesome partnership with your marketing agency:

Invest some time

Given that you’re trusting this agency with the reputation of your brand, you need to feel confident about the ability and reputation of the team. Plus,  actually getting on well with the people you’re dealing with has a huge impact on your relationship – so don’t be afraid to explore the company culture, values and, of course, technical expertise. Developing authentic, trusted connections with your customers is at the heart of marketing; similarly, you need to feel confident in your relationship with your agency. The best way to do this? Invest some time when it comes to finding out a little bit more about the agency, whether it be heading over for a lengthy chemistry meeting, going out to lunch or arranging a happy hour.

Agree to a communication plan

At the start of any new client relationship, a communication plan should be mutually agreed upon from day one. 

Some tips to consider when agreeing to a clear communication plan:

  • How often and how you’ll catch up, whether it’s in person or over a call
  • Your point of contact – Knowing exactly who your liaison is saves a lot of time and effort when you’re in need of a prompt  response
  • The agreed goals and objectives for your business and what you expect from your agency.
Set measurable key performance indicators (KPIs)

In order to keep up with and evaluate the performance of your campaigns, your agency will need to provide you with specific metrics against which to benchmark success. These should be based on business goals and expectations that were set out at the very beginning of your relationship. Reviewing them thoroughly will allow for greater productivity moving forward, and will also signal when there needs to be a change in strategic direction as well.

Make your meetings count

No matter how often or seldom your meetings occur,  preparation will enable you to get the most value from your meetings with your agency and negate the need for continuous threads of emails or calls outside your regular meetings.

Tips:

  • Agree upon an agenda before each meeting. This will give you the opportunity to include topics that are a priority
  • Have objectives clearly defined before the meeting
  • Ensure all relevant people are present to allow decisions to be made
Make the most of your agency’s expertise

You know your brand and industry the best. Similarly, your agency will know the latest developments and technologies in their industry best. In order to optimise your campaigns, they should be able to anticipate twists and turns, and should have the ability to adapt quickly when things don’t go as first planned or when new opportunities arise.

Your agency should always work according to your agreed plan and scope, but flexibility is crucial to the success of your campaign performance. Not only does this benefit your outcome, but its encourages your trust in them to be able to deliver on outcomes that matter to you.

At the end of the day, your agency contains a wealth of knowledge and expertise, so use it! Explore all the ways you can learn from them;  whether it’s downloading guides, reading their blog or regular newsletter or simply asking questions your agency can help you grow your own skill set.

Want to talk more about how an agency of experts could help your business? Drop us a line at [email protected]

Fall in love with data to shape your content marketing strategy

The first thing that often comes to mind when someone mentions content, is creativity. That’s almost true – great content is indeed dependent on creativity, but it’s also reliant on data. Data helps guide content towards the next best direction. After all, brands aren’t just shelling out money for nothing – they want to see value and ROI.

Data should never be an afterthought. It should be looked upon as an integral part that can help a business angle its content to accurately reach their audience and drive results. 

So if you’re having trouble filling up your content calendar, look to your data set first. It’ll give you access to the latest trends and insights  – and as well a whole new mindset on how to approach your content marketing strategy.

Here’s where to start:

Step 1: Do your research

Kick off with extensive research on the external data that’s available to you out there. Start with these:

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is great if you’re looking to see which specific keywords/topics are trending. You’ll also be able to see the number of social shares and engagements a particular topic has received. You’ll be in luck if the topic you’re writing about is already trending.

2. Google Trends

Always wondered what people are searching for on Google? Here you’ll find market-specific trending searches and search interest in various topics/keywords.

3. Twitter

Twitter makes it really easy for you to look at what is currently trending – just look to the left on your homepage and you’ll see the number of tweets each trending hash-tag has received. You’ll also be able to view market specific stats relevant to your preferred location.


4. Instagram

Instagram doesn’t quite have the same function as Twitter, but if you tap on the ‘Explore’ tab in your account, you can see what’s popular. Keep in mind that this is tailored according to your behaviour on Instagram, so the results won’t be an accurate reflection of what is truly trending.

Another feature of Instagram is hash-tags. Hash-tags with the most number of posts attributed to them signify popularity. Movements or trends that start on Instagram will usually use a unique hash-tag to group all related posts together as well. For example, take a look at Jamie Oliver’s #MeatlessMondays. Since this began, hordes of other food bloggers and enthusiasts have jumped on the bandwagon to produce related content.

If you’re unsure what hash-tags to use? Check out this link. However, it’s always important to keep your hashtags relevant to your content. For example, don’t hash-tag #dog if your photo is about baking.

5. Facebook

If you’re on Facebook’s mobile application, you’ll be able to see what’s currently trending through a quick tap on the search bar. This mostly changes everyday so if you see recurring topics that have remained on this page, you’ll definitely want to try and angle your content around that.

 

Step 2: Look deeper into your existing content


Recommended reading
: When was your last content audit?

Now that you know what topics people are talking about, you should now take a look at the other side of the coin. An internal content audit will give a deeper insight into how well your current content is performing. This is where you’ll find out what your audience likes, and what they aren’t really receptive to.

For starters you can take a look at your website analytics and social traffic.
Website analytics

Google analytics is a nifty tool for any content marketer out there. Simply set up your  account and copy the unique code on your site (if you aren’t sure how to do this ask your web developer). This tool will offer insights on your web traffic and referrals – you’ll also be able to identify your most popular content pieces in terms of views, time spent and bounce rate.

Social traffic (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)

1. Twitter Analytics – this can be found on the top right portion of your account.

Here you’ll find tons of useful data, including Tweet impressions, profile visits, mentions and follower growth. You’ll also be able to export these analytics into a useful Excel sheet so you can match these numbers together with other data that you’re analysing.

2. Instagram

If you’ve linked up your Facebook page with your Instagram account to get a business profile, you’ll get access to useful data including number of impressions, reach and engagement for each Instagram post. Simply go to each photo and tap on ‘View Insights’.

3. Facebook

Facebook has a really intuitive way of presenting data. Simply go to your Facebook business page and click on ‘Insights’. This tab will tell you everything you need to know from the thousands of people you’ve reached to the number of people that have liked/un-liked your page in the past month.

For starters, click on ‘Export Data’ and exporting ‘Post Data’. This will show you key information on individual post, such as reach and engagement. But of course, feel free to play around with your Page insights – there is a lot there to explore.

 

Step 3: Set your KPIs

Now that you’ve extracted your internal and external data, the next step is to set your KPIs. With all of your previous research in mind, you should now have a clearer idea of what a good result looks like, and what doesn’t. This would then set you up to decide on achievable and realistic KPIs. Here’s some ideas for realistic goals you can set:

Web traffic

In Google Analytics, you’ll want to set your goals based on your past sessions, new users and page views. If you’re slightly more advanced, you can break the data down to the different channels where your traffic comes from. For example, finding out where the majority of your web traffic comes from, i.e.Google, Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter etc.

Engagement

One of the biggest issues that content marketers face is driving engagement from their audience. Because you’ve already done your content audit, you’ll now know what numbers signify a good engagement rate.

On social, you could set goals based on reach, impressions, engagement, link clicks, comments and shares. On your website, you may want to work on improving lead generation from newsletter sign-ups or free source downloads through your content.

Getting started on a content marketing strategy can seem daunting because there are so many factors to consider. But take it one step at a time and it’ll no doubt pay off.

And finally, in the wise words of David Welch, Former Adobe VP of Marketing Insights & Operations, ‘Creative thrills, but data pays bills’.

 

If you need help in shaping and executing your content marketing strategy, drop us a note at [email protected].

 

Better together: Content Marketing and SEO

If you find yourself asking whether you should focus more on search engine optimisation (SEO) or content marketing, I’ll help you out by saying the answer is both. While both have their fair share of  benefits, it doesn’t mean one should be cast aside in favour of the other. Instead, they should be considered as two different things that compliment each other to help your business stand out online.

But first, before we see how they can be integrated, let’s take a look at what they mean individually.  

SEO

SEO is a technique that uses keywords to help search engines find and rank your website higher in the search results.
It involves understanding the keywords your audience use in their search process, and placing them in your site to make it more relevant, hence pushing your site up higher in the search rankings.

Content marketing

Content marketing involves understanding what your target audience needs and coming up with content ideas they would be interested in reading. It’s essentially creating content that informs, educates and inspires readers, as opposed to a direct sales pitch.

For a better idea of things, think of content marketing aiming to engage the human reader, whereas SEO aims to “engage” the search engine indexes.

A beautiful blend

Having quality content but without the SEO groundwork can be a waste of your efforts. Unless you have a great content distribution strategy in place, it’s likely your pieces will get lost in the large digital jungle. Likewise, having good SEO but no quality content can result in little repeated visits. Using both tactics together results in optimised content that hooks more visitors and keep them coming back for more.

So how do you go about doing that?

  1. Research relatable keywords to your business
  2. Research the problems your target audience face
  3. Create original content of quality targeted for those problems.
  4. Insert your keywords

TIP: Remember to write for people first and then focus on search engines. Don’t go overboard with your keywords as readers will find it odd and your pieces will lack flow.

Tailor your content

You want your content to be detailed and provide actual solutions for your audience. For example, when you search for ‘best external hard drive’, the top results show reviews, guides and forums – not the actual product pages. Personally, I always like reading discussion sites to help me decide which brand to to buy, and Google is aware of this search behaviour, since it’s reflected in the results.

seo and content marketing

These days, people want information that solves their problem, and not just a sales-orientated product page. Use your keywords sporadically to benefit Google but also to engage your readers – this is key.

Implementing both SEO and content marketing strategies means you’ll be reaping the benefits, and easy-to-find found content that’s worth reading and sharing, keeps people coming back.

Drop us a note at [email protected] and we can help you structure your content marketing campaign.

4 ways to convince your manager to adopt content marketing

Exactly two decades ago, Bill Gates predicted the power of content marketing, writing an essay on “Content is King”. We’ve been hearing this mantra ever since. It’s not exactly without reason, because content is driving the internet now. The most visited websites are full of great content and for a business, this opens up many opportunities to attract valuable leads. Producing quality content relevant to your audience demonstrates your company’s knowledge and expertise, and positions you as a thought leader. When executed correctly, it helps build brand trust, awareness and a positive reputation.

Now you may know this but…what if your manager doesn’t hold the same belief?

It could be down to a lack of education or understanding and it can be frustrating to get them on the same page.So, here’s how to convince them:

  1. Angle your pitch

You know how a convincing pitch is prepared to woo a prospective client? Yup, so apply that same principle on your manager. Tell a story, find common topics, and relate it to how content marketing can help them with their job and drive the business forward. Let your manager come to his or her own conclusion by asking if their recent purchases were made based on obvious advertisements, or after reading opinions, articles and reviews.

  1. Target business goals

Familiarise yourself with the company’s business goals, and demonstrate how content marketing aligns with the business objectives. Besides the (obvious) potential increase in revenue, demonstrate how the goals of traffic growth, business leads and good customer experience can be achieved with content marketing.

  1. Offer solutions

Find out what problems your target audience faces, and come up with a few content ideas to show how your business can address these questions. This step combats any reservations managers might have about the business being too “boring” to generate interesting content.

  1. Be prudent

While it’s good to show your boss the many benefits of content marketing, you do need to explain this is a long-term strategy that works on building brand awareness and reputation.

It’s not easy persuading a superior, but hopefully with enough preparation, your manager will jump on board the content marketing train by the time you leave the meeting room.

 

Now that your boss has converted, drop us a line at [email protected] and let us help you drive your content marketing campaign.

 

A day in the life of … a Mutant Content Manager

Ever wondered what a Mutant Content Manager really does every day?

Between writing blogs, white papers and e-books, and the odd Beyonce-style hair-flip, the content team is responsible for developing quality content for a variety of our clients cross multiple industries.

Check out a snap shot of an average day for our Content Manager, Jane:

Mutant - content manager

 

For on-demand creative content, visit our content platform, Words by Mutant, or drop us a note at [email protected] to discuss a content marketing campaign. We look forward to writing for you soon!

 

How to score your first job in PR

Internships are vital for getting your foot in the door. Just because you’ve studied for more than a decade to eventually get your degree doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to a full-fledged job the moment you graduate.

The harsh truth is that most agencies aren’t going to hire fresh graduates with no experience, but they are always on the lookout for interns. So you may have to bite the bullet for 3 – 6 months in an internship before you can even dream of getting your name cards printed –  and that’s ok!

So, take it from me, an intern turned full-time exec at Mutant – you need to stand out.

No boring cover letters, please

The first step to writing a good cover letter is to differentiate yourself. Don’t follow wikiHow’s tips on how to write a cover letter and ditch the boring and formal language that so many people write in.

Hiring managers receive tons of resumes every single day so you need to impress them right off the bat. If you’re going to write in the exact same way as everyone else, chances are the manager won’t even bother to look at your CV.

PR agencies look for people that can write well, and creatively. So if you’ve got the skills, why not show it off in your cover letter? It is after all the very first impression that you will make on your potential employer.

 TIP: Get started on writing that killer cover letter here.

Be active

You need to show the agency why you should be considered for the job. Telling them that you’re enrolled in the relevant degree is great, but so will everyone else.

In a competitive market, the need to stand out is stronger than ever. Employers don’t necessarily look solely at grades but also at other external activities or communities you may be involved in.

Prior to Mutant, I had a couple of finished personal projects and a previous internship under my belt. This included my short digital video creation stint with Youtube x SK-II, being a suggested user on Instagram and 5 months in an e-commerce startup.

The more activities or projects you’ve done, the more you’ll have to show and talk about in your CV and interview. Even if you’ve never worked in PR, the relevant experience in those projects will show employers your interest and passion for the field.

TIP: Start with something simple, like freelance writing.

Tailor your application

Don’t blanket send! I applied for many internships and jobs at various PR agencies and their specialisations ranged from lifestyle, startups, tech, healthcare…and the list goes on. I didn’t send them all the same CV and cover letter. Instead, I tailored each one to make it more relevant to the specific job description and the business.

Tailoring your job application to the business will show the agency that you’ve done your research and have interest in the position.

Do your research

This is a no-brainer. Simply take 15-20 minutes out of your day to go through the company’s website, social pages and profiles of who will/may be interviewing you (I said ‘may’ because sometimes you won’t know who will be sitting in the interview).

Because agencies usually have their case studies up on their website, it’s just like an open-book test. Reading through them will help you think of interesting questions to ask during the interview.

This is something I’ve done across various interviews – and to the interviewer’s pleasant surprise, they said they never expected someone a junior to do that much research.

Bottom-line, it honestly isn’t that hard to exceed expectations. It’s just 15-20 minutes of research. Do it. Don’t be lazy.

Ace that interview

If you’ve secured that interview, congratulations! The next step is to ace it.

Doing a couple of rehearsals beforehand and thinking of some good questions to ask will help you get ready and feel more confident. Remember, interviews are not just for the employer. They are also a great opportunity to learn more about the business and if you see yourself as a good fit. You can also find out about the job opportunities available for you after the internship.

 

Landing a PR internship is the first step, the next, is to dominate it. Stay tuned for the second part of this blog, where I will share my secrets on how to turn a PR internship into a full-time position.

So, have you got what it takes to be a Mutant? Visit our careers page for more information.

Creating captivating content in a mobile world

In Asia Pacific alone, it’s estimated there are more than 1 billion mobile users – and this is expected to grow to 1.4 billion users by 2019. Over the last five years we have witnessed a massive shift to digital (after all, an estimated 87% of smartphone users regularly have their device near them), which means we have to adapt our marketing communications to fit mobile.

This doesn’t just mean having an app or mobile-friendly website (yes, those are important from a UX perspective), but also maximising the use of content in the mobile space. I’m talking about creating content fit for a small screen that makes a big impact. 

Here are three ways to help get your brand noticed:

  1. Get visual

If you’re anything like me, you get bored and lose interest when reading large paragraphs of boring text that never seem to end. Am I right? Instead, visually stimulating content – images, graphics, video – gets the message across quickly. Time is money and people like to absorb information in quick spurts, so don’t let your content get lost in the digital jungle.

Try mixing up your Facebook News Feed with some cool images or videos to capture interest. People like variety, so shake your content up!

  1. Use emotive messaging

Most purchases are driven by pure emotions. What make you choose one brand over the other? Why did you buy that particular car, or pair of shoes? There is a massive divide between our needs and wants, and most of us opt for the want. Why? Because we experience certain emotions when we own a particular product or experience something new.

To tap into this emotion, you need to create content that pulls on people’s heartstrings. Create a heart-warming video or series of graphics – anything that can ignite a sense of desire for a particular product or service.

  1. Create an immersive experience

No one likes feeling left out. We want to be in the know, and brands today are winning when they allow their audience to feel like they are a part of something.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook enable brands to easily distribute content in a creative and engaging fashion. Take your fans on a journey – whether you are using Facebook’s 360 video feature to showcase your event, or are sharing behind the-scenes snaps of your latest clothing line on Snapchat. Think creatively and develop immersive experiences for your fans.

There are so many ways brands can present content. With our eyes fixated on the small screen, we all need to think about how we can tailor our marketing to meet the demands of our mobile audience.

Need help developing your content marketing strategy? Get in touch with us today at [email protected]

 

How to nail your professional bio

Whether you’re writing a bio for yourself, the company you work for, or even for someone else, you want to make sure that it’s exciting enough for others to take an interest. Writing corporate content is hard. Very few people really know how to write informative pieces that aren’t front loaded with a heavy sales push – and our bios are no different. They act as a marketing tool that helps others understand who we are (or what our company does), and aim to educate the reader by providing useful background information.

But how exactly do we do this?

The most basic thing to look out for would be the point of view in which you are writing from. A corporate bio should always be written in third-person as it sounds more credible and professional. But don’t let us get you confused with a LinkedIn or social media bio, as this should be written in first-person. Suggested read: LinkedIn for the entrepreneur

Here are some essentials you should keep in mind when you’re writing your bio:

Establish your credentials

Grab the reader’s attention and showcase formal credentials like certificates, awards and job titles. At the same time, don’t let your informal credentials go unnoticed. How have your life experiences shaped you as an individual and how has that gained you an advantage in a particular industry? Only talk about your most relevant accomplishments because you don’t want to drown your reader in a long list of accolades.

Build credibility

Demonstrate your expertise in a particular field by proving that what you do is recognised by others. Where possible, add in a list of articles you’ve been featured in or anything you have published that’s relevant.

Be human

We know, you want to impress others by sounding as professional as you can. The thing is, we are all humans and come on, everybody loves a little humour. You want people to know that you take your work seriously, but at the same time can be relatable. Of course, always remember the context of your bio and where it’s like to appear, then tailor accordingly.

Keep it short and to the point

Speaking of space, the last thing your reader needs is a bio that just doesn’t seem to end…ever! With the human attention span getting shorter, it’s always good to only emphasise the most important points.

PRO TIP: Have both a short and long version of your bio.

Attach a photograph

This is probably the most underrated tip mentioned when it comes to writing bios. Yes, you’ve got your contact details there, you’ve included links to various social media profiles but you’re missing one of the most important features of a bio: a photograph. Readers like to put a face to the name, and when we say attach a photograph we don’t mean any casual selfie you took from your smartphone – get a professional shot taken as nobody likes to be let down by a sloppy picture.

Tone and format

Sit down and start thinking of how to best structure your bio. Where is it going to appear? Think about tone – formal or informal? Bios should be easily adapted to suit different situations. For example, a bio in a company media kit may be slightly different to one that you’d send off when pitching for an industry speaking slot, so it’s important to create something that you can adapt and repurpose.

Do you need help with your bio? Drop a message to [email protected] 

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8 tips for writing a killer award entry

Have you have spent the year executing great campaigns, or working on the most magical product available in the market? Your work speaks for itself, your customers love you, and the only thing missing is that industry award that recognises your efforts.

Just like Leonardo DiCaprio’s long-awaited Oscar, an accolade is what you have been patiently waiting for.

Industry awards can give your brand credibility and take your business to new heights, but the competition is fierce.

Funny example of image for award submissions for content writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what’s the secret?

We’re afraid there’s no secret sauce to guarantee a win, but there are a few things you can do to better present yourself, your content and supporting data or results.
1- Remember the submission deadline

Never forget this, and don’t ever assume you are an exception. Find out when the applications are due and set a date at least two weeks back in your calendar to begin prep. Chances are the organisers may extend the deadline, but never plan for that. Better to be safe than sorry! You might also want to take note of the applicant shortlist dates and the date for the awards night and add them to your calendar.

2 – Look at the weightings

Assess each question and look at how the scoring will be done. Is each section weighted equally? Or do certain sections carry more value? Where more value is given, remember to spend more time providing the right information – otherwise you will lose out on valuable points.

3 – Get factual

Read the application criteria and work out what data you need to supply. Is it financial? Is it relating to business or campaign performance? Whatever it may be, get your facts together and have the supporting data ready and available to add into your application. You can opt to keep sensitive information confidential but it always helps to present this to the judges, so never skimp on the details.

4 – Prepare

You can write all the words in the world, but if you don’t have detailed information available about your campaign, product, or event, then you will not convince the judges. Never assume the judges know your company – no matter the size or credibility of your business. Explain your offering in the application in a clear and concise manner, and avoid babbling.

5 – It’s all about results

This is one of the more important parts. Here is where you get to demonstrate that what you’ve done actually works. In most cases, this section holds the highest weighting, so make it count. Explain what you set out to do and what was achieved. Again, never assume the judges know anything about you, so go into as much detail as possible and use examples, figures, links and visuals to support your content.

6 – Stick to the word count

This is pretty self-explanatory. As a general rule, aim for better content and fewer words, and don’t go over the word count as you may be penalised. The judges will have a lot of applications to read so you need to get to the point quickly. Chances are they won’t read every single word, so including facts and figures in graphs, charts or interesting graphics can really help.

7 – Proofread

Don’t rush these things. Take your time, think carefully about each section and triple check your work. Does it make sense? Have you addressed all components of the application? Do you have solid figures or examples to support your words? Ask a colleague to check your work – they should be able feedback on any flow or grammatical errors.

8 – Follow submission instructions

Pay close attention to the instructions – all of them. Is it to be submitted online, or do need to email your application directly? Understand what company information you are required to include, and source all the images you need. Sort out payment (if required) and – voila! – you’re done.

Need help creating a crafty entry? Drop a message to [email protected] 

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