In 2022, the Express Writers team got up close and personal with what it means to be agile and adaptable. For most of the year, leadership has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create and implement processes that will allow us to serve clients and our team members better.
For the year ahead, we intend to keep clear and concise lines of communication open between our team and our clients. This will give us the space needed to strive toward excellence in every new product and project you see from us in 2023.
We thought it would be great to share some of the things we’ve been working on or found interesting during 2022. The Express Writers year in review will take you through some of our accomplishments and give you a clear picture of where we’re headed.
2022 Trends and Hot Topics
Content marketing never slows down, and 2022 was no exception. From algorithm changes to centering your audience, here are some hard hitters from the last year.
AI in Content Marketing
The conversation about using AI in marketing is not new. But this year, and into 2023, we’ve seen the conversation shift away from just having AI write content for you.
One big advancement in recent years is AI’s ability to help you track what interests readers. That’s a big plus for marketers who use predictive analytics to generate content ideas. The reality is that using AI to improve your content marketing efforts can be a great tool to add to your belt.
Another recent leap is OpenAI’s ChatGPT. In November, it became a viral sensation and includes a huge back catalog of knowledge. Many praise the achievement, though there are still limits to the technology that make it clear that technology can’t reach the same spaces as humans.
While these advancements are important to keep an eye on, Express Writers firmly believes that humans write the best content. We still vet and hire with a hands-on process that prioritizes expertise and experience in niche industries.
Google Helpful Content Update
In August, Google rolled out a new update to their algorithm intended to categorize useful content that provides solutions for real people. Since then, the helpful content update has been fully rolled out and acts to suppress content that isn’t written with real people in mind.
We think this is a step in the right direction for content that prioritizes authority and trustworthiness. If your business hasn’t fully implemented a process for creating helpful content, you’ll want to prioritize that heading into 2023.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to start strategically updating your content:
- Seek out the content you’ve produced that doesn’t perform well and start updating it.
- Check your competition and similar keywords to find what your content is missing or what pieces you haven’t written at all.
- Do keyword research to find the best ways to optimize for SEO and pair that with human writers who have the industry experience your content needs.
- Use your knowledge of a subject to answer any questions your audience may have about your content to build trustworthiness.
As long as you’re willing to make changes to create high-quality content, there’s no need to panic about these recent updates.
Email Marketing in 2022 and Beyond
One subject that interested us over the past year has been email marketing.
For 2022, 37% of businesses upped their email marketing budgets. We saw that in action as clients started ordering this service more regularly. From blog update emails to regular nurturing campaigns, we helped our clients with a variety of email-centered campaigns.
Additionally, we saw growth in email marketing as we switched how we send and automate emails. This included an increase in our open rates this year.
The launch of our Write Wrap-Up newsletter and other updates in our email writing and sending process meant we were more adaptable with our email marketing. We’re excited about what that means for connecting with our audience over the next year.
We’ve seen that personalizing and segmenting emails is extremely important to engagement rates, so in 2023, we believe it will continue to be important to personalize your email sends.
To increase email personalization, you can:
- Cater your messaging to specific segments of your audience.
- Show off your products and services based on your client’s industry and needs.
- Set up automated emails that send when a site user converts a specific way.
- Send personal follow-up messages to people who request information about your products.
Based on recent behavior, we don’t see this trend stopping soon. So keep an eye out for even more email marketing trends to emerge over the coming year.
Writing & Order Statistics
While the second half of the year faced some uncertainty, we have remained dedicated to our clients’ content. We wrote over 500,000 words in November alone!
Client Retention Milestones
2022 was a big year for us in client retention. We remain committed to your content, and that shows.
We’re grateful that our clients trust us to create quality content without compromise. That’s why we find and vet writers who bring industry expertise to the table every day.
None of what we do would be possible without the support of our rockstar clients, and we’re thrilled that you’re along for the ride as we grow together.
How We Made Changes to Our Content Strategy This Year
For most of 2022, we’ve been updating our methodology, branding info, and target audiences to reflect the business goals of Express Writers’ next era.
We know that businesses need quality content and can’t always ideate and create content themselves. That’s why we’ll continue to provide end-to-end content creation services to brands looking for a long-term partnership.
Updating Our Social Media Strategy
One of our largest endeavors this year was creating a cohesive social media optimization strategy centered around educational content (and a few content marketing memes for good measure).
Our first target was growing our reach on LinkedIn, and, in the first month, we saw a 64% increase in impressions and engagement over the previous month. Then, between July and August, another 49% increase.
You’ll see the increase we’ve seen in engagement between December of 2021 versus now in the screenshot below.
Knowing that our audience wants to learn more about content marketing while getting a few laughs has been instrumental as we continue to adapt our strategy. We’re appreciative if you’ve joined us from social media this year.
Express Writers has been around for over a decade, so our domain authority is pretty cemented. But to increase visibility and welcome new clients, we needed to buckle down on our content goals.
We have always had really great content, but we also had a few pieces not optimized for creating conversations with clients who needed a content writing partner. We needed to pivot, and pivot we did.
For example, between November 2021 and November 2022, we saw a 10% increase in traffic to the site. Moreover, we grew an audience more interested in the solutions we offer around content creation.
Some of this came from our shift in keyword targeting. We have some stellar blogs on the site about the history of language and how to become a stronger writer (which will stay on the site), but we knew we could help more folks understand content marketing topics. We also wanted to help decision-makers grasp how to create content and why it’s essential to marketing today.
This meant shifting the goals for our content and implementing sustainable methodologies for content creation and focus. Content marketing remains a long-term game, so we knew that changing tactics wouldn’t yield results overnight.
But eventually, we started seeing informational and educational keywords moving up the rankings. Focus keywords like “email marketing content” and “direct response copywriting” garnered regular traffic, while terms like “john deere tractor” or “funny words” dropped off.
Some of those were hilarious to find on lists of keywords we ranked for, but they didn’t help us bring you better content. Let’s look at a direct comparison.
This screenshot shows you what traffic looked like for us between November 1st, 2021, and December 22nd, 2021.
Compare that with this year, and you’ll notice a significantly lower bounce rate, higher time on page, and double the pages per session.
This shows our patience and dedication to quality content has paid off with better quality traffic to the site.
This year has been a labor of love behind the scenes for our team. We’re excited to share these big milestones with our clients.
Express Writers University
This project is one that we’re super thrilled about. It’s all thanks to the hard work of our Content Manager Korilynn that this project is rolling out in beta.
Our team needed updated and more cohesive training materials, so we put our heads together, and Express Writers University was the solution.
Now, the team will have universal access to training materials that are standardized and updated regularly. Everything is housed in one place, so we reduce the number of documents or handbooks to sort through.
Plus, our writers and editors will be able to take more courses to grow their skills and learn everything they need to know about various content types. This way, we keep our standards high and offer our clients even better content, all while providing growth opportunities and long-term partnerships with the writers we hire.
For much of the year, our marketing team worked hard to improve site UX and content to make it easier for our clients and newcomers to find everything they need. This is an ongoing project (more on that later), and we’re thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far.
You likely noticed that our Content Shop got a facelift earlier this year. We streamlined our content offerings, made it easier to find add-ons, and updated our product descriptions to make them easier to understand.
Resources & Site Content
Additionally, we’ve updated and revamped our educational resources and downloadables for our audience. You’ll find updated content and new search functionality that makes it easier to find anything you need.
Beyond that, we’ve also spent time smoothing our site navigation, updating our contact form, and generally making it easier for folks to contact us. As a company, we value face-to-face communication and believe personal conversations are the best way to ensure long-term content partnerships.
What’s Ahead for Express Writers in 2023 (and Beyond)?
We’ve worked tirelessly behind the scenes to update the site, boost our team members, and simplify content delivery for the past year. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out more visible changes that we believe will make the client experience even better!
You’ll have seen our site design and graphics change a bit during 2022, but in 2023, we have some big changes planned for the look and feel of the site. Our goal is to streamline and optimize while making it simple to get great content.
Updated Version of Our System
In 2023, we’re rolling out an updated system. The new system will allow more flexibility to make changes on our end while making it easier to find your orders, account funds, and to chat with the team.
New Packages & Managed Services
Perhaps the biggest upfront change will come from updated packages and managed services. You requested it, and we deliver!
We have built out packages based on the content needs we hear most – watch for updated monthly and quarterly blog packages coming to our site soon.
Plus, our updated tiers of managed services will provide you access to exactly the right amount of assistance from our team that you need.
We’ll provide quotes based on your content and budget needs, complete with partner pricing based on monthly spend and account deposit bonuses.
Express Writers will build a writing and editing team that works in unison to bring you top-notch content done right the first time. After that, we manage that team through the entire content creation and delivery process.
Ring in the New Year with Content Creation Services
We’re incredibly grateful if you’ve been with us this past year. None of what we do would be possible without your trust in us. 2022 was a year of growth, and we look forward to more in 2023.
You can always count on our team to create powerful content for you. Our expert writers are ready to tackle new challenges and exciting projects to help build your brand in 2023.
Want to see how you can get started with Express Writers? Chat with our team today!
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