The “Duh” Metric for Blog Posts

Circular Logic in Content Goes Nowhere Fast

Online marketing and social media people write thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of words each day about blogging, copywriting, SEO, content development, inbound marketing, social ROI, metrics and on and on.

A couple of weeks ago I read a few hundred of those words that… well…. let’s just say when I was done, all I knew for certain was I wanted to get back the time it took to read the post.

The “expert” was trying to get at metrics for measuring success. More specifically, he wrote, most people are not measuring the best metric. OK. Stage set. I wanted to know what the “right” metric would be. I read on.

The problem, he said (I’m paraphrasing here and will be throughout), most people think the best measure of success for a post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or their company blogs is engagement. Not how many views, but time spent, likes, comments, mentions, shares, @replies, click-throughs, retweets and the like.

Yep. With you so far.

The problem with that, he continued, is that none of those measurements gets to what is really important in the online marketing game: value. It’s one thing for site visitors to spend time reading a post, article or page, but are they getting any value out of it? Do they learn something useful? Most importantly, when they’re done are they a little closer to making a purchase or seeing your company as a leader in your category? If not, then your post was pretty much worthless.

To really make a difference to business growth, you need to deliver content that provides real value to prospects and customers. Further, he wrote – and by that point I was imagining someone glaring at me, gnarled hand vigorously shaking a ruler in my direction – companies and organizations MUST MEASURE VALUE.

Value! Of course. So, how do you –

But the problem with that, the venerable Social Media Guru went on, is there’s almost no way to measure value. At least not yet.


So, what social media marketers really need to do is measure –

Wait for it…

– engagement!

That’s right, he said. Until someone comes up with a reliable way to measure online content’s value to prospects and customers, the best one can do is pay very close attention to engagement. You know, retweets, likes, comments and the like.

Well. Hmmmm. Gee.

My reading on social, inbound marketing, blogging and so on has been educational. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Everyone wants to be seen as an expert. Not everyone is. Clearly.
  • Regurgitation is the rule. Many so-called experts are re-writing content someone else wrote a year, a month or even a week ago. I’ve read what’s essentially the same post presented in different ways more times than I care to recall.
  • There’s a lot of garbage out there. Not everyone employs ham-handed circular logic, but there’s a lot of superficial, obvious and even nonsensical content floating around.

Which brings me to my 1 Tip for Online Marketing “Experts” – Never write a post that takes your readers in a circle, right back to the point where they started, with nothing of – ahem! – value to be found on the journey of the circumference.


But hey, it’s easy to play the critic, right? Fact is, there’s a lot of good content out there, too, written by really smart people who know which way is up and try to help you move a little further in that direction (and pay for their services). That just wasn’t the case this time around.

I have to give the circular post writer credit for one thing, though. His piece was the ideal illustration of his point. I spent four to five minutes reading it (good engagement), but gained nothing, didn’t feel a nudge toward deeper thought on the subject and definitely was not entertained (zero value).

Well done, Sir.

To avoid this kind of thing in your content, contact Fredricks Communications today.  

Explosive Copywriting

by Martin “Red” Fredricks


That’s the reader reaction you should strive for every time you write a headline or copy for an advertisement, marketing piece, blog post, website advertisement or blog post. Words should figuratively blast off of the page, hit members of your target markets hard right between the eyes and make them want to take the next step in the buying process.

To make it happen, I use C4 (explosive copywriting).

I shoot for explosive copywriting one every project:

  • Clear – Simple, easy-to-comprehend, everyday language will maintain readers’ attention.
  • Compelling – Powerful words combined with active voice and style will effectively describe the benefits of your company, product or service to the people you want to spur to action.
  • Concise – No one takes time to read these days. Short is sweet.
  • Consistent – I will ensure the messaging supports your branding strategy and complements your other communications.

A fifth “C” – Creative – is a bonus that will help generate even more positive repercussions for your business or organization.

Let’s energize your communication with C4 copywriting and content creation today!

Building Your Brand House

by Martin “Red” Fredricks

You know who you are, what you do and what you do better. Now you need to tell everyone else. Repeatedly and consistently.

Consistency is one of the keys to branding. In terms of copywriting and content development, that means making sure you’re saying the same things in the same and complementary ways through all message delivery channels and to all target markets. It does not mean the words or tone are exactly the same in everything; it just means you stay true to the message and to the key messages.

So how do you do it? Especially if your business or organization is more than just you, when prospects and customers are having brand-relevant interactions with lots of different people and materials and experiences? You build, and almost maniacally apply, a messaging framework. The messaging framework should guide the development of all your content, from copy for ads and brochures to content for blog posts and websites. Before your copywriter ever strikes a key, s/he should have this document in hand.

So what is a messaging framework?

Think of it as the house that encompasses your brand’s voice. You have to build the house before it’s possible to invite anyone in.

  • The positioning statement is the foundation. This should not be confused with what is commonly called a “tagline.” The brand statement describes – often in very clear, plain, non-sales languages – who we are, what we do and what makes us different or better. This internal statement helps us all get on the same page before we take our communications to external audiences.
  • The key message is the roof, the high-level overview of our business. If we can only convey one thing, this is it.
  • Message pillars are load-bearing walls. They support the key message and begin to fill in the picture of our business and its benefits for our target markets.
  • Message support points are the floor, the walls and the ceiling. They are fact-based messages that “prove out,” or support, what your message pillars convey. It’s one thing to say your product will save Joe Bloe money; it’s quite another say it’s going to save Joe cash by doing or enabling X (where “X” is something specific and, whenever possible, quantifiable). The support points fill in the gaps in our messaging by validating the pillars.
  • Tone is the confluence of everything that gives the brand personality – the paint colors, surface textures, floor coverings, curtains, furniture and so on.

Once your brand messaging house is built, you can make decisions regarding how much of the building members of particular target markets want or need to see, how much time they are likely to spend in each room, and which pillars and support points are likely to motivate them.

Strong copywriting and content development on every message delivery channel will get them there.

Want to have a house warming party? Contact me.