It is important for an online brand to invest in content marketing. This will help them spread out their marketing message to the existing and potential consumers. The trick lies in effective content marketing.
Content Marketing Lessons for your Online Brand
Here are some tips that you can learn lessons from:
User Generated Content:
This is most important for content marketing if you are dealing with a brand that has a large fan following. To keep pace with the demand for more content, your in-house writers will find the going tough! You need your brand fans to write for you. And because they are laymen writing especially due to their liking for your brand, their words will have an instant connect with other users. The credibility factor works strongly and you will never run short of content!
Fans as Brand Ambassadors:
There is nothing like your brand’s fans acting as brand ambassadors. You will want your brand fans to share not just content but also photos and promote your brand in their personal circles. Tweets or Facebook posts that portray your brand in a favorable light must always be encouraged. You might find it necessary to indulge these proactive fans with some goodies and freebies!
Social Media Team:
Generating content is not enough. You need to promote the content so that your material is viewed by more users. Social media networks are perfect for this kind of content sharing. You need an experienced social media team for this purpose. It can be an in-house team or an external agency that is helping you with the social media marketing. Actively use these platforms for content marketing and you will reach out to a much wider base of consumers.
Customer, the Protagonist:
Always develop your content with the customer as the chief protagonist. All your stories must be directly addressed to the reader. If you talk about your business and the features of your products or services, your content will have no takers. Instead, talk about how these features will make life simpler or easier for the customer. That will grab the attention of the customer and ensure that your content marketing strategy hits the bull’s eye.
Top 3 Online Tools to Get Content Marketing Ideas
You are more likely to grab the reader’s attention if you can dish out what they are looking for. Here are the top 3 online tools for content marketing ideas
Content marketing is one area of online marketing where your content is your identity. People know your brand and your product and services through what you write about them. Needless to say, you have to be ahead of the curve at all times to anticipate and deliver what the reader wants to read. You are more likely to grab the reader’s attention if you can dish out what they are looking for. What is the best way to find out about their topics of interest? Use these top 3 online tools for your content marketing ideas:
The predictive search function is close to your perfect tool for content marketing ideas. Here you can key in the primary keyword and then look for the predictive input results offered by Google. You will get a comprehensive idea of the kind of searches being made by users looking for information in your domain of interest. Note these down and use them to write content. You can also use the website soovle.com. This site will provide you with predictive searches for not just Google but also Amazon, Bing and YouTube.
Quora or Yahoo Answers:
If you have hit upon the wise idea of resolving the queries of users interested in your line of work, a great way to do that is to tap Yahoo Answers or Quora. You will get some often-asked questions here that online users have posted for answers. Use these questions as your starting point. Solve the questions and you will get enough topics for content marketing. The questions are often narrow and niche, helping you to get to the core of your readership’s necessity for content.
Social Media and Forums:
What better way to find out what the users want to know in your domain of work than to use the social media for the information! Hang out on the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can keep a track of discussion forums as well. Engage with other users and find out what they are looking for. Write on those topics and don’t forget to share them on those specific discussion threads for maximum impact.
Top 3 Questions for Better Content Marketing
Content marketing is the most vital tool if you want to make a big impression on the internet. Startups and established brands have to look at their content marketing strategy in order to grab eyeballs on an extremely congested internet space. You need to ask some questions to yourself on content marketing and the answers will guide you on how to do things right. Here are the top 3 questions for better content marketing:
Question 1: What do I write about?
Answer: You have to write about what the potential consumers and users want to know rather than what you want to say. Content that promotes your business and its features are slowly becoming obsolete. Internet users have no time for such articles and blog posts. Instead, they are interested in reading on how your products and services can benefit them. It’s back to the basics of marketing! Informative content that offers solutions to users’ problems will find takers.
Question 2: Why should you provide information through content?
Answer: If your write-up contains all the necessary information, readers will be curious about your business. You have to pack in marketing messages subtly and smartly. Some may argue that readers will not be pursuing your brand if they get all the answers through the content that you put out. That’s a fallacy. Readers will definitely note how knowledgeable your brand is about a particular domain. They will recognize your expertise and endeavor to use it if you can convince them that your brand is their best available option.
Question 3: Where should you post your content?
Answer: The traditional areas of content marketing, like article directories and blogs attached to websites are not the only options available on your table. You have to think beyond these avenues. Offer to write guest posts for established websites. That will get you plenty of attention. You can also leverage social media to publish your online content. Get as many ‘shares’ and ‘likes’ as you can on your content. Offer easy buttons for online readers to promote your content through their personal networks. But make sure that your content is being available to the maximum number of readers.
For those with a shortage of content, hire full-time or part-time writers to meet the demands of content marketing. Remember that this is the best way to create your own identity on the internet.
Top 3 Content Marketing Pits to Avoid
If you are actively into content marketing for your brand or company, you must be aware of the various challenges that you have to face on the job. There are the obvious challenges of writing cutting-edge content that is easy to read and interesting for online users. Add to it the constant need to write about issues and topics that are relevant or your brand. You need to be ahead and different from the competition curve around you. Even when you have ticked these boxes in your content marketing initiative, there are 3 areas that require your full attention:
Content and Link Building:
Link building must be a product of your content pieces and not the other way round. You have to develop your content pieces by maintaining a deep connection with your brand, products and services. Catering to the top trends of the internet even if they are not relevant to your brand will get you links and online traffic but they will be useless. Visitors will simply bounce away because they are coming for the wrong reasons.
Content Marketing Goals:
You need a proper goal or aim for your content marketing to be successful. Without all of your posts going somewhere definite, they will remain disjointed articles and blog posts that do not connect together. On the other hand, if you have a goal in mind, you can write posts to meet that aim in the horizon. You need a clear strategy to ensure that all your writers are contributing towards one objective instead of just churning out content by the dozens.
Content marketing today is crippled severely without promotional fanfare. It is not enough that you write beautiful, evocative content and publish them online. You have to keep promoting them actively on social media networks and other channels to get maximum leverage out of them. Get the promotional machinery in place by networking actively online. Once you have fed the content into this machinery to grab eyeballs online, write the next post.
Are You Really into Content Marketing?
Here is the checklist of how you can get into the actual routine of content marketing.
It is a trend in the SEO market that startups and small scale business companies tend to get some of the search engine tools wrong. It is because of a lack of effort in understanding and then implementing SEO methods to get online traffic.
The same is applicable for content marketing as well. Injecting fresh content into the search engine stream and then promoting them relentlessly on social media platforms is not what experts consider as ‘content marketing’. In fact, by doing so, you are adding to SEO spam! How can get into the actual routine of content marketing? Here’s a checklist.
To begin with, you need excellent content. There is no substitute to that. The writing part must consist of thorough research and complete authenticity about facts and figures. SEO companies will do much better if they paid more attention in getting quality content into the search engine stream rather than just add to the volume. When you come up with quality content, you need not have to go out of your way to promote it online. Your readers will do the promotion for you and that adds more value to the content marketing machinery.
By the help of your content marketing, you will have to create the demand for online users to visit your website or read your posts. Do not be too overawed by the conversions that your content is getting for you, or the online traffic that it is getting for your website. The hallmark of the success of your content marketing domain must be the demand that it is creating about your products and services, and also for more content from your end. Your content marketing must entice the readers into feeling the necessity to buy from your brand.
Another statute of content marketing is that you have to work on building up your ‘own’ brand keywords. Instead of paying obeisance to the keywords that are doing the rounds in the market, your aim must be to build up keywords with your brand name, just like you will have to generate demand for your products or services. If you follow this keyword-generating strategy, you will end up as the first-mover in this particular part of your domain. That will take you much ahead of the competition around you and also give you enough leverage as a brand.
Content Marketing: Entrepreneur’s Most Productive Task
Most of the successful online entrepreneurs have said that the most productive task is marketing. They believe that if everything is outsourced and the entire concentration is only on marketing then the business will surely flourish. In fact, the monthly income may actually double if you devote more of your personal time to content marketing.
Content marketing is the key but it is most shocking when some people object to the belief that the most productive task for an entrepreneur is content marketing. They are of the opinion that online success is only about writing and blogging. They will say that that focus should be on new learning and skills development. Blogging and writing are very important and in the cyber world these are known as content marketing.
What makes content marketing productive?
If you want your business to flourish then you would need more people who will like your products and services and will be willing to shell out a decent amount of money for them. If you want to grow your business, it simply means that you want to make more money. Content marketing helps you to reach the goals faster and getting more subscribers to join your list and buy what you have to offer.
How to market and write good quality content?
It is a good idea to write an informative blog article that will aim to solve the problems of your clients. When you publish it try to promote it within your network so that more and more people can benefit from it. If you come across a blog with a large number of subscribers then try to indulge in guest post. Read the comments of the other readers and try to understand the area of interest. This helps you to connect with a larger audience. You may also create a video and try to make it viral.
But it is easier said than done. But if the video is really good then you will get increased traffic with new subscribers. However when you are engaged in all these activities you cannot feel bored. This is the biggest mistake that you can make while working online. You can also focus on creating a free report that can be used a subscribe incentive. Your subscription conversion will get a big boost as this report can be downloaded whenever someone subscribes through MailChimp. An autoresponder email sequence is another option that will reach all new and existing subscribers. They will get introduced to you and you writings through it.
Related reading: How to do effective email marketing
Do not feel overwhelmed
It might happen that from time to time you get a feeling of overwhelm. This has affected many entrepreneurs so you are not an exception. But if you allow this to get the better of you then you will lose valuable time in terms of weeks and months. So during these times you must turn your back to content marketing. As you get the tasks done one by one you will feel pleased and relieved. The rewards of good content marketing are huge and are actually beyond anyone’s imagination.
Candid Facts about Targeted Content Marketing
We are working in an advanced stage of internet marketing. In terms of content marketing strategies as well, we will do better to think in some progressive lines so that we can keep pace with the changing times and also the search patterns that have evolved in the recent past. Of course, your content marketing has to be targeted towards your customer base. There is no two-ways about that one. However, you cannot limit yourself to just thinking in terms of targeted content marketing to grab online business. You have to go deeper and think about buyer-oriented targets and research-oriented ones.
To throw more light on the differentiation here, consider an example.
Suppose you want to buy a book. Before buying it online, you want to know more about it by reading Wiki pages, or book reviews and blogs on that particular book. You search with the name of the book and expect these pages to come up as search results. This is the result-oriented targeting stage.
After you have decided on buying it, you search again for the book. Only this time you precede the name of the book with the word ‘buy’ or ‘buy online’. This is buyer-oriented targeting. Here you want the results to throw up online bookstores from where you can buy that book. When you are developing your content marketing strategies, you have to be clear about this differentiation in the psychology of online searchers.
Studies have revealed that the conversion ratio of buyer-oriented search is better than research-oriented searches. For obvious reasons! But it is interesting to note that, more often than not, the buyer-oriented phase does not come before the research work gets done. And the websites that provide quality and dependable research information is usually the ones that online users end up buying from.
That clearly shows how you need elements of both these targeted content marketing fields in your content. The long-tailed keywords do more for your online marketing success than the generic, specific ones. That is because when users are detailed in their search query, in the form of a long-term keyword, they are clearly interested in a definite outcome from the search. This another factor you must consider during content marketing brainstorms.
Role of Social Media Lessons in Content Marketing
Content marketing is not about churning out articles and blog posts by the dozens every single day. It is about offering to your online readers and customers (both existing and potential) what they want to read about.
As evident, you will need to know what the readers are willing to invest their time in when it comes to content. Writing about something dramatically opposite will increase your website’s bounce rate and lower your returns on investment (ROI).
You can take hints from your social media networks to guide you in content marketing. Your social pages on Facebook or LinkedIn are a collage of opinion and ideas pouring in from online readers and customers. You can use these pages to frame your content topics.
Write what your readers are interested in, instead of what you want to talk about. Their comments and tweets must be followed to get a drift of what’s working on their minds. Get your writers to pull their topics from these discussion threads.
The use of social media statistics can be eye-openers for brands. You will be able to check how many of your ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ are hitting ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ on your content links. If a particular topic is getting more approvals from your network than the others, you have done something right there.
Try to cash in on the popularity of that particular post. At the same time, keep testing with different topics and share them on Facebook and Twitter. It will help you break new grounds when it comes to content marketing.
Social media networks will help you write fresh content. You can pick up threads of a debate and write your own inputs. Readers want to know your side of the story as well. In fact, your credibility as a brand will increase manifold if you write inclusive content. Your online readers will also feel a sense of belonging with your brand. Some brands have done well to write content exclusively for social media networks. That is beneficial for startups as well.
You must strike a balance with the information you want to share on behalf of your brand and giving your readers what they want. At the same time, encourage your readers to come up with content as well. User-generated content gleaned from social media must be a significant part of your content marketing plan.
Use Facebook Wisely for Content Marketing
By now, we all know how important social media platforms are in the domain of content marketing. We use a healthy dose of Facebook and Twitter to get more online visitors to our websites.
The question we are asking here: are we making optimum use of platforms like Facebook to push content? We have noted in our work in the field of social media that more often than not, online marketers do not target audiences on Facebook.
As a result of this scatter-gun approach, they receive substantial number of visitors, but a fraction of them actually stick. The rest bounce out, primarily because they are the wrong kind of online visitors. You will be surprised to know how you can make more out of your content on Facebook because user profiling on this social media giant is in fact better than on Google! With Facebook recording various information about every single user you can target your audiences much better and more effectively.
When you customize your content message to suit only your targeted readers, you save so much time and effort. You serve only those who are interested in your party, rather than everyone out there! You are not just writing for people associated with your brand in some way, but also engaging those who are interested in your kind of products and services and fit the bill of potential customers.
The Data File Custom Audience option will help you upload information about customers or online users that you want to target. Facebook will help you out in matching this information against users who fit the profile and voila, your content profiling is done!
The use of customized messages will surely cost you but it is worth the money you spend. You will be able to reach users interested in your brand and other Facebook users who are ‘lookalike’. This option gives you access to people who fit your target consumer profile but are not really part of your circle. Yet!
You can engage them into reading your content and feel part of your group. This will also ensure that you are getting people to read your content in a very select process as opposed to a generalized approach. Facebook content customization is surely worth your time.
Try it and tell us about your experience!
Content Marketing Ideas to Win Matches
While watching one of the FIFA World Cup matches on the telly, I was surprised at the close analogy between how a team plays a soccer match and how a content marketing team charts out its strategy. There are so many striking similarities in their mode of operation. I’ve pointed out some of these similarities to give you a better hang of how you can tweak content marketing ideas to win matches.
No football match can reach a desired conclusion without a proper plan for every eventuality that you can possibly think of. This is very true of content marketing strategies. Your job as a content marketer is to draw up a blueprint well before you take the field. Jot down topics you want to write about, the promotional channels that you want to tap and other details.
Study your Opponent:
Can you think of a soccer match, especially at the FIFA World Cup level, where a team does not study the opponents on the field? Without an inside-out view of the competitors, no football team will feel comfortable, or even successful in carrying out a winning offensive. The same goes for content marketing ideas. You have to look at the competition around you and then include your observations in the pre-match blueprint.
Coordination of Players:
A football match is a team game, as so is content marketing. Without proper coordination and synchronization between the players on the field, every conceivable strategy will go for a toss. Similarly, if the content writers and promotional executives are not coming together as a team, your plan of attack will become blunt. You will also face issues in delivering your tangible goals like the requisite number of articles or blogs.
The Final Push:
Anyone who has played or followed any sport, be it football or tennis or baseball, knows that it is not enough to keep playing on a plateau. You have to give a final push in order to go over the finishing line. For footballers, the players have to make a dying attempt on the goal. In the same vein, a content marketing team should not give up after writing an excellent page of content. It should give it that final push of promoting and hard selling to ensure that it reaches it optimum number of readers on the internet.
Relationship Marketing over Content Marketing
The mechanics of online marketing are changing and morphing into new avenues with each passing day. What we must do is embrace a change if it works for our online business initiative. In this vein, we have observed that relationship marketing trumps over content marketing in a number of ways.
Before diving deep into it, let us broadly understand what they both mean. Relationship marketing, as the name suggests, is building up a trust and confidence level with the consumer to conduct business. Content marketing, on the other hand, is reaching out to your customers only through the written or spoken word.
So why does relationship marketing offer more to a business venture?
Firstly, relationship marketing allows you to target specific customers and customer groups instead of a blanket message for all of them. With targeted marketing messages, you know who your readers are and that gives you an opportunity to build up a stronger marketing case for yourself. That does not happen in content marketing where you draft a single marketing message for all and they either like it or trash it. You cannot write anything specific or create niche groups.
Secondly, relationship marketing makes ample room for two-way responses. You can regulate your marketing mantra according to the feedback that you receive from your consumers. You can quickly zero in on the pitfalls of a marketing plan and make changes.
There is no such scope in the case of content marketing. You are in for a long haul if your message is not well received. They are certainly going in for poor sales and more losses, traps that can be avoided in relationship marketing.
Thirdly, relationship marketing allows consumers to have a say in what they are receiving as marketing messages. There is a sense of belonging with your brand. It builds up confidence in the brand and also brand loyalty.
Customers feel that they are in the loop and can voice their concerns if things go downhill. But in content marketing they are at the receiving end with nothing to get back with. They are either receiving your marketing messages passively or simply gleaning past. You have to engage them, just like social media networks do. You have to get them to ‘touch and feel’. That will keep them interested and you can only do that in relationship marketing.
Content Marketing Strategies: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly
There’s no doubt about it: content is one of the most important factors when it comes to marketing. If you don’t have enough content, you can’t reach your audience. Still, there are different types of content you can use and many different strategies to employ. Some of these strategies are brilliant, cutting-edge tactics, while others are holdovers from different Internet eras.
Here are some of the content marketing strategies you may have encountered, along with information about which ones work and why.
Hiring one journalist isn’t enough.
Some companies hire a full-time journalist to take care of “all their content marketing needs” and then pat themselves on the back. This is bound to go spectacularly wrong. Hiring a journalist isn’t enough to meet the content demands of the average company or organization. If you’re serious, you need to come up with ways to get users to create content, invest in methods of interacting with your customers that produce a great ROI, and consider outsourcing to freelancers or a company devoted to content creation.
You can’t ask every department to take care of its own content.
A terrible content marketing strategy that has become more common is getting each department to take care of its own marketing message. You could have multiple Facebook accounts for the same company, many voices and tones establishing inconsistent brand messages, and a fragmented strategy that still doesn’t generate enough content. Instead, the solution is clearly centralized and coordinated.
Delegating content marketing to those who aren’t trained.
Instead of hiring content marketing experts, freelance writers, or branding experts, companies try to hand off these jobs to existing employees. Even if they have had some experience in this area, it isn’t the same as hiring an employee or outsourcing to a team who is dedicated and trained in marketing. Running your personal jewelry page is not the same as running a corporate identity. Worse yet, some companies hire interns for general work, then put them to work as social media representatives when they don’t know what they’re doing.
Creation without analytics.
Another content marketing “strategy” that comes about from lack of oversight is mindless creation of content – posts, photos, or videos on Facebook made without examining analytics, new blog posts without looking at your Google Analytics account, and so on. If you don’t have a centralized voice and training method for employees responsible for content creation, you’ll just be firing “missiles” of content in random directions and hoping you find an audience.
Your content marketing strategy may need a revamp if you are relying on decentralized employees who haven’t been properly trained. You need to be able to scale up your content creation, engage your audience, and measure the results.
If you aren’t doing so right now, look at creating a dedicated team or at least hiring an employee for a content marketing position with prior experience. One journalist can’t handle the demand for content creation that most companies have, and the answer isn’t about delegating it to different departments without careful thought put into a unifying guidebook or brand guidelines.
Content Marketing Ideas to Bypass Attention Deficiency
There are tons of web pages being added to the internet every single second. Every brand or would-be brand is publishing reams of content in the hope of getting noticed, read and liked. Social media engagement in form of Facebook updates and tweets are being done in a compulsive manner, most time without any definite aim. Amid the entire clamor, it is actually a huge challenge to be heard. It is like entering a class where all the students are talking together. You cannot hear anyone or make out what is being said.
Today we bring you some content marketing ideas that will help your brand’s voice to cut through the attention deficiency syndrome that is so common online. These tips are simple and nothing that you have probably not heard before. These are being reiterated here only to highlight how important these content marketing tips can be:
Tell a Story:
Even when you are into hardcore internet marketing, you should never steer away from a good story. You cannot sell something unless you get people interested and the best way to do that is to tell them a story that connects with them. People are always falling for stories and when the story is even half believable, you have hit the right note.
Horses for Courses:
You cannot have the same content marketing strategy for all the available platforms. You need to market your content according to the channel. A tailor-made plan for each of the platform is ideal to engage with your readers more effectively. If you are not doing so, you are wasting valuable resources in getting your message across without actually leveraging it to the optimum capability.
Think Long Term:
Content is for posterity, even in the days of the internet. Your Facebook updates or tweets are not picked up by Google or any search engine. In due time, they will slip into the pit-less hole of social media. You need content that stands true for months, if not years. Online users must be able to find and read your content and then come back again after months and reread it. Your content marketing should focus on web pages and blogs instead of only social media posts.
Ways to Build up SEO Content Marketing for B2B
In the context of B2B content marketing for SEO, the game becomes a little tougher. Here you are not dealing with laymen users where the margin for error is larger. Faulty steps taken in the B2B sector can lead to disastrous circumstances. So, you have to get your act right without getting into the pitfalls. Here are some ways to do it!
One, you have to collect information from credible sources. To remain at the edge of breaking information, you have to subscribe to a number of news alerts that will update you on anything new in your domain of work. You can make use of blog feeds, RSS or Twitter feeds or simply, Google Alerts. Latch on to relevant updates and add them to the content pool from where you will draw upon while drafting content for your website.
Two, spend some more in research. Study your own keywords and strategies at the backdrop of the competition around you. You may be ahead of your competition in some areas but that must not make you complacent. Keep a strict eye on the keywords developing in the search engines and update your own SEO efforts accordingly. This hawk-eyed approach will always give you the first-mover’s advantage.
Three, develop a content pool that you will draw upon while writing for websites and SEO. The pool will be the reservoir for your content marketing strategy. You can share this pool with other writers as well. Keep a tab on who’s writing on which topic so that there is no overlapping. This content pool will work wonders when you are racing against deadlines in developing content for B2B SEO.
Four, evaluate your performance with the use of internet tools and statistics. This is imperative for those who are new to this kind of work. It is difficult to hit the right notes at the very onset. B2B content marketing is not a walk in the park! To know that you are doing it right, depend on statistics. Test regularly and note down the development or the lack of it. Incorporate the lessons learnt during this experimentation stage. If you find that your content is not churning out enough leads for your B2B work, rethink your content. Do not focus on quantity. Instead, be patient and keep your convictions in place.
Content Marketing Trends of All Time
Every time we come to the end of the year, there are a whole range of predictions to figure out how things are going to be in the next 12 months. In this post, we will keep ourselves limited to the content marketing trends that will be applicable for all time.
These trends, obviously, were simmering under the surface for some time now. With the changing face of the internet marketing industry, these trends will definitely see the light of day sooner rather than later. Let us now take a quick look at the upcoming content marketing trends :
Writing unique content is not enough!
Till a couple of years back, unique content creation was a sort of cherished benchmark of quality content marketing. A brand that could put up unique content on a daily basis found themselves a privileged lot when it comes to credits from search engines like Google. That scenario is going to change a little.
Putting up unique content is not going to be enough. You need more than that because there is too much of competition around, vying for the attention of the online users. Besides being unique, you need the content to grab eyeballs and also be immensely readable.
You will need some serious promotion to be done as well,
especially on social media networks. Publishing the content is just the first step, to be followed by posting the link on Facebook and Twitter to increase the online visibility of the content. Riding piggyback on this trend is the need to make content more catchy and instantaneous. Online users are shying away from paragraphs and pages of written content.
An Infographic will do the job and get the message across in quicker time. Also, such packaging of information is more shareable than simple content writing. To catch up with the changing times, you need to embrace the upcoming features of content marketing.
Multi-Channel Content Marketing
Another trend in content marketing that is on the upswing is the use of content in diverse channels and media. You cannot afford to stick to the traditional guns like articles, blog posts and web pages. Try out how-to pages, press releases and even cell phone apps! The fresher your ideas are to reach out to consumers, the more successful your content marketing will be.
Content aggregation and syndication will be losing some of their grounds. Google Panda updates have forced website owners and businesses to refrain their attempt to republish similar content to aggregating links. As a result online syndication and content aggregation will be losing their heat.
However, this created an opportunity for content curation. Instead of republishing content, you can share link of an original content along with your commentary. It adds value to the content, giving it a momentum and is easy to use.
The Advantage – With no plagiarism involved, content curation eliminates the chances of thin content and Google Panda updates will surely love you for this. These opinion websites are the new face to market your content this year.
Similarly, crowdsourcing will be in hype. In fact, we are already hearing much about it. Crowdsourcing for content creation became the most discussed item on web when AOL’s purchased the Huffington Post last year. It has become a valid business model for content marketers, where people create content for you for low pay or for free in return for online exposure. Guest posts and user reviews are some of the best examples of crowdsourcing to generate content.
Think out-of-the-box and make a separate blog post based on your reader’s comments such as “best of” comments post to attract your readers.
For consumer crowdsourcing, focus on the social media. Invite and encourage your consumers and followers to upload photos and videos on Facebook for a steady flow of content. Also invite people to tag themselves as friends. The photo and video sharing contests that are now popular on social media sites like YouTube, Facebook and Flickr are also a great way to generate content through crowdsourcing. Almost all the brands are using them, and small and mid-sized businesses too are taking advantage of it.
The Advantages – You gain brand exposure by showing off your reach and influence over the crowd. Better yet, it’s usually free.
Content Publishing as Media
Another trend that’s likely to gain popularity in 2012 is brands publishing content as media. However, the traditional content marketing trend of using social web is likely to have a fall. For many companies, social media sites and tools fail to make proper marketing pitches. To connect your brand with online users, you rather need to think more like publishers. So redesign your content strategy and blend in some sporadic marketing information with an informative editorial material to create branded content. Also, focus on mobile-friendly content – the number of smartphone and tablet users are growing, even in India.
Customer’s buying process and content marketing strategy [Infographic]
Digital Marketing Trends [Infographic]
3 Important Content Marketing Tips
1. Content must be focused to your business & what your audience loves – It should not be based on Google top trends or twitter trending topic just to get more hits or link back. Your content must be unique and of extra ordinary quality so that you get natural links.
2. Keep a clear content marketing goal – You must decide & plan beforehand about the content structure, topics and content depth. Your articles must not be disjointed posts, they must be relevant & highly interrelated with each other. Go deeper with your subject.
3. Don’t ignore promotional fan-fare – Whenever you publish a content first get it stabilized, promote it to your social fan-base and then you jump into posting another content.
Watch Out for These Content Marketing Trends
As a content marketer, it’s most important to pay attention to recent trends in digital media. Being the first to adapt to recent changes in your industry will give you an edge over the competition. But there are times when you won’t be comfortable with every latest trend, but yet you have to stay up to date as it will give you an edge over everyone else. This year’s mantra? Stand out in the web with right content marketing strategy!
So, let’s check out few content marketing trends to look out.
Let’s Welcome Documented Content Marketing Strategy
The enormous process of creating engaging and valuable content has allowed a lot of companies to connect with their target group/market, establish brand loyalty, trust, generate leads, grow business and eventually earn profits. Since 2017, content marketing is growing its popularity among numerous businesses, and many of them are already fixing up their budget for the next year.
Content marketing still remains as the ruling “king” in digital marketing sector but many companies are still struggling to document and implement the content marketing strategy in their business mostly because of lack of knowledge, ideas, budget, infrastructure or simply skilled people in this domain. According to CMI and its B2B content marketing report for 2017, 41% of content marketer have a strategy in mind, yet it’s not properly documented.
Though it is still unknown to many fellow marketers but documenting the correct content marketing strategy is as important as implementing the strategy itself. It actually provides a clear overview of the business’s goals and objectives from time to time, and allows the content writers to stick to the planned strategy and approach rather than to adopt short-lived trends.
The Ascend of Visual Content
By now most people are well accustomed with the major forms of content that are available, such as blogs, eBooks, white papers. Though these still carry the day in the content marketing sphere, but more brands are getting smart and creative with their content formats to break through the online mad race and stand out in the web.
With this human made race, even search engines are updating itself with much more complicated algorithms and the bots are getting better at reading and analyzing images to determine the niche of the website. Companies are shifting slowly concentrating in creating high quality engaging images for their target audience.
From memes to gifs and infographics, we can expect to see more visual content and businesses are concentrating more and more on promoting their business through emotional, engaging, exciting contents. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is what marketers believe wholeheartedly right now.
Let’s see where the trend takes us.
18 Most Important Content Marketing Trends
- Storytelling (Educational or Motivational)
- User generated content
- Authentic visual content
- Quality long form content (For SEO)
- Live streaming video
- Native content
- Expiring content (Urgency Creator)
- Optimized content (For Conversion)
- Content marketing automation
- Interactive content
- Mobile Content
- Educational Content
- Paid Distribution Channel of content
- Data & Statistics backed Content
- AI driven Personalized Content
- Structured Data Driven Content
If you have anything to share about Content marketing trends, post in comment below.
Content Marketing Metrics that Concern CEOs
Are you under the assumption that CEOs care about how flowery your web content is or how readable your blog posts are? As web content writers, you have to throw out such assumptions out of the window! CEOs, as rightly should be, are concerned with the commerce aspect of the business rather than art and literature. An article or a blog post is good only if they get in business revenue or engage customers. Clearly, the performance metrics the content marketing team are different from those of literary societies! Here are the top 3 content marketing metrics that concern CEOs:
- Online Leads: Are your articles and blog posts bringing in online leads? That is the first and foremost content marketing metric that determines performance of the content writers. Are people and users of the interest getting drawn to the brand that you are writing for? Is it converting the amount of online traffic coming to the website into possible leads? Getting in the online traffic is the job of an SEO professional. Converting those online visitors into potential leads is the responsibility of the content team.
- Return on Investment: The content marketing team, simply because it is dealing with a non-tangible domain when it comes to hardcore business metrics, cannot be excused from the return on investment quotient. The ROI of the content marketing team must justify the expenditure is takes to hire writers and other associated costs against the returns in terms of revenue generated for the brand. If the ROI is not green and sufficiently so, you need better content marketing ideas.
- Customer Retention: Building up brand loyalty and engaging customers with the brand is the job of the content marketing team. You have to come up with new, fresh ideas constantly and keep updating your website to give something new to the online visitors every single time. This will help keep customers glued to your brand and also cut down on the number of customers leaving your brand to join competitors (churn rate). Content marketing metrics should contain a column depicting customer retention rate and the churn rate.
Measuring Your Content Marketing: Five Essential Key Performance Indicators
Marketers and advertisers stretch creativity to the limits, trying hard to capture the attention of an audience and convert large parties of interest into customers. Trying is essential, but it is not enough to make rational and measurable progress. Therefore, KPIs or key performance indicators are adopted, expressing whether endeavors are realized by practical actions.
The early days of the web offered a minimum number of KPIs. For instance, the number of visitors on a page or how many times an ebook was downloaded helped marketers gain a sense of the worth of content, but advertisers of today enjoy added cues, analyzing the efficiency of waged campaigns.
Content Marketing: Five Essential Key Performance Indicators
Imagine a local storeowner, enjoying the commerce of neighborhood consumers. To gain a better sense of the potential of expansion, the owner would want to differentiate neighborhood commerce from consumers living farther away. Distant and unique visitors rather than the same regular commerce will indicate whether the store’s popularity is growing. Unique digital visits calculate how many different parties landed on a web page within a particular period (usually 30 days).
How many unique visitors does a brand host? Investors and hopes of expansion beckon the question.
A car enthusiast starts a blog, lending mechanical insight to readers. After some time, the mechanic realizes a number of people seek answers to winter-related car issues; the decision to engineer an ebook seems lucrative. Spending more time analyzing digital metrics, the mechanic realizes a majority of his readers live in Pennsylvania. Rather than a general mechanical guide, the author decides to tailor the information to better address the needs of a car operating in the northeastern hemisphere of America, with a specialized section on winterizing one’s car.
The greater attention to geographic detail gained the attention of those living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio. Additionally, those using review sites like Yodle.com are alerted to the geographic precision.
Ted operates a one-man graphic design business, with hundreds of samples displayed on his web site, figuring the colorful displays will help sell his services. However, Ted’s metric analysis indicates that over one-quarter of his site’s visitors use mobile phones to peruse the site. After checking his site with his own mobile phone, Ted realizes most of his graphics are getting modified and ‘cut out’ of the screen. It’s likely making a poor impression on otherwise interested parties.
Ted’s ability to review his KPIs and realize the disparity of what’s seen on a laptop and a smart phone screen will help his business make more sales.
A number of owners, obsessed with search engine result pages, build links in the hopes of raising their pages’ ranks. It’s a wise investment; research has shown a large majority of users click on results featured on the first page. However, great search rank only facilitates exposure; it does nothing to engender a sale. Analyzing bounce rate metrics, a web owner can view whether pages are satisfying a user’s query; does the page fulfill a consumer’s expectations? If it does not, the page will reflect a high bounce rate, meaning browsers do not spend a lot of time on the page, whether due to poor navigation, design, content, etc.
Page views are an oft-overlooked KPI, but very important, especially for ecommerce and news sites. Once a consumer lands on a domain’s property, how interested do they remain? For example, a browser, wanting to learn about the US government strike, may click on a article, and after reading, continue to read another one on a separate domain page. The amount of time the browser spends on a site sends good and bad signals to search engines. Web masters, with high amounts of page views, can enjoy the satisfaction of knowing their site’s navigation is user intuitive and hosts a number of pages of interest.
Online marketing is much like the segmented enterprise of an entire and robust marketing campaign. Brands need to analyze a number of metrics and traces of consumer behavior. Key performance indicators are weighted differently per brand; however, don’t lean too heavily on one element. Analyze a variety of indicators to devise a clearer holistic picture of consumer behavior.
Top 3 Content Marketing Tricks You’re yet to Take Seriously
Every SEO firm is into the content marketing game. They are inhaling Penguin and exhaling Panda! So conscious they are about the new impetus on content in the context of SEO that many are overhauling their content marketing strategies to begin afresh. Keyword packing is out, a more subtle approach to embed keywords is in. In short, SEO firms have a new sheen on their content marketing approach that they lacked six months back. But are they really doing it right to appease the Big Brother Google? Here are the top 3 content marketing tricks that you’re yet to take up seriously:
Quality Content! Really!
There is no point screaming from the rooftops that you have got quality content onboard. Ask yourself: have I really got it? Are you still working with the same content writers who churned out pages after pages of monotonous writing expecting that they will give you clutter-breaking content all of a sudden? You are greatly mistaken! Get a fresh perspective on your content team before sounding out the verdict that you have got quality content on your websites. Read the web pages of your competitors and analyse your own pages.
Your Brand’s Voice
The best written content page will lose itself in the maze of the internet unless it has a distinctive voice. This voice is that of your brand. Your content must make a strong impact on the mind of the reader or the internet user. Your USP is this distinctive voice and personality of the brand. Develop this voice in your writers and get them to draft copies in this voice. That will help you get quality content that gets heard or seen by breaking through the maze of online clutter.
Research is the Key
Your writing is of little worth unless you have done your research well. In-depth analyses and critical content is the order of the day. Half-baked facts and figures will be highlighted in no time and you will lose your brand’s credibility. Conduct a thorough research and build up this habit of crosschecking facts among your writers. Insightful writing is the best way to get attention and after doing so, if your facts come up to no good, all the effort will be undone.
Content Marketing Magic: The Effectively Engaging E-Book
Search engine optimization has changed over the years. In the beginning, it was a bit easier to ‘manipulate’ engines, stuffing keywords and attracting scores of incoming links. The algorithm shifts, ushered by Google Panda and Penguin, struck fear in the hearts of web masters and practitioners.
Increasingly, SEO providers invite clients to engineer quality content focused on a target market. Content appears in the form of on-site pages, guest posts, landing pages, and other editorial varieties such as e-books.
E-books, instantly downloadable, packed with information, and spanning a variety of industries, are oft sought by consumers. Consider orchestrating an e-book for your business, minding the following insights.
What brands do you elect to purchase or notice? Likely, your go-to brands are those that have established a sense of authority and reverence within a respective industry. For example, Apple is a well-respected name in technology, and the esteem fuels the company’s revenue stream; when Apple produces new products, people sleep outside for the chance to be one of the first owners.
E-books facilitate the process of thought leadership. An e-book may address a particular problem, yet the product aligns a brand with its industry, fertilizing sentiments of mastery.
E-books provide opportunity to discuss specifics. Marketing and advertising literature is often vague, hosting catchall sentiments. However, regardless of the product or service, each customer will use it in a unique fashion to address personal issues. E-books containing particular case studies invite readers into the problem-solving world of publishers.
While some marketing material provides limited space to accurately describe end-to-end solutions, an e-book allows publishers to write in-depth upon how a company addresses client issues, engineers a plan, and executes it to perfection.
Publishing an e-book and creating an associated landing page where browsers may see the advertisement helps with online marketing. Building authority to a landing page (the page introducing and leading to the e-book purchase page) helps spread awareness and secure a brand’s legacy using online resources.
Brands with little online exposure may use the e-book method to target digital markets concordantly with offline buyers. Since brands create, publish, and host ongoing e-book ads with small overhead costs, companies of all industries see search engines as a potential marketing channel. Seek SEO reseller services for more information.
You may remember text books going through iterations of publishing; every few years, a mathematics or English textbook would reveal its newest edition provided by the same publishers, who sometimes added only a few changes or chapters as compared to previous versions. It’s a way to keep readers current, but it’s also a branding method.
Publishers want to remind schools (the customers) that when it comes to particular subject matter, the former is an authority. Overtime, the customer begins to associate the publisher with the product, branding the relation into mind and habit. Producing one e-book invites the opportunity to create ongoing editions, forming stronger associations. Taking the notion a step further, a brand may create a library or ‘university,’ replete with e-books, videos, podcasts and more.
Related reading: How to build brands online
Get Started with Content Marketing Today!
Are you stalling your plans to start content marketing because you are worried about the immensity of the task? You are barking up the wrong tree if you are really thinking on these lines. It is right that there are numerous channels and avenues that have opened up to swallow whatever content you will generate. However that should not stop you from starting out on a small scale.
You will be surprised by the amount of leverage you will get for your brand by simply adding one post to your content stream on a weekly basis! How much time or effort will it take to come up with just a single post in the whole week? You won’t need a designated ghost writer even. Just sit down at your computer and do it yourself. As time permits increase the number of posts.
Now you are probably thinking of what to write about. Expert advice will only confuse your mind. Keep only one thumb rule in mind: write what you know about. You are selling products and services to your customers or simply in the business of providing information. You know who will be interested in what you have to offer. You know what you have to offer. That is all there is to know! Blend these two and your content marketing ideas are set to rock!
A quick, cursory look around the internet will throw up varied platforms like YouTube, Facebook or StumbleUpon. You will start to think how to make use of these in your own content marketing plans. It is very simple. These platforms are all about recycling the same idea in different formats. Suppose you write a post on how to make tea. Publish it on your blog and register it on StumbleUpon. Then shoot a video of the tea being made with a voice over for the instruction. Upload it on YouTube. Create an infographic of the process and promote it on Facebook.
So, you see how a single idea can be tuned according to the platform you are interested in? That is what smart content marketing is all about! Now get cracking today!
Sharpen Your Content Skills to Market The Site Effectively
Content is one of the most important elements for marketing of a website. When discussion is about the content of a website, it is wrong to spend much time only on written documents like, articles, blogs or web-page content. Infographic, video, image, whitepaper or e-book any relevant element that adds value to the page, engage the attention of readers are the part of content marketing. The ultimate aims of all these forms of content marketing tools remain the same, which is driving profitable action from the customers’ end.
Related reading : AI powered content automation tools
Online content is not a very new thing in the field of online marketing. The earliest online cook-books, guides for farming and tourist guides are examples of such forms of content. As more and more content started being uploaded online, it became a challenge of considerable level to retain the attention of a large group of target readers. Some of the farmer’s guides started giving out information about getting loans at lower rate of interest and making more money through larger amount of harvest. This tricky but smart way of content curation helps earning loyalty from the repeat visitors.
There are a few thumb rules of making your content a winning one. With time, a marketer starts learning to use those tricks with enough smartness and make them their weapon to attract the readers’ attention.
- Given a chance, always take up a topic you are passionate about. That brings out the best of your talent in no time and makes you a pro in the game of writing.
- Target the best in the business while trying to cater with your content. Do not wait for them to link to your site and offer them what they might need. That helps in bringing the best to your doorsteps not through link building but through link attracting.
- Easily sharable content grab the attention of a large group of visitors and help retaining them all for the benefit of the site. For example, if you want a video on your page, embed its i-Frame code there. Related reading: how to make your content shareable
There are numerous ways to make your web-content stand out. With time and proper practice, your skills will become razor-sharp and effective for the purpose of marketing.