Is Your Content Underperforming? Consider Re-Optimising

If your content is underperforming, don’t give up on it too easily. But rather than investing time and money in fresh content, try reoptimising/rewriting your current content to make it more receptive to search engines and engaging for readers.

Story-Telling Is The Latest Content Marketing Strategy

Story-telling is an ancient art. When executed well, stories not only engage and entertain readers, but also leave a lasting impression in their mind. Not every visitor to your website will be ready to buy immediately. They may just be browsing the web and stumble across your content, or they may be actively assessing their options with the intention to buy at a later date. Content should engage readers deeply enough that it evokes an emotional response. It is this desire or connection you make with your audience that compels them to choose your company over a competitor. So imagine if you can produce content that not only provokes an emotional response, but also remains in their mind until the time they are ready to buy. Do this and you are guaranteed they will return to you rather than your rival. Why is story content so powerful? Story-telling is such an effective art because it appeals to the human mind. When we read general text – no matter how compelling – we typically only remember a small percentage of the context. The reason for this is because it is only the language part of our brain that is decoding the meaning, and the Broca’s area cannot retain a great deal of information. When we read a story that has a beginning, a middle and an end however, we connect the dots and remember more details. Better still, create actual imagery and readers even remember the smaller details. When the neural systems in our brain relate a true understanding of the world, the cognitive guns are fired and this is...

Dancing With Google: How To Show Search Engines You Are Serious About Content

Google is serious about delivering quality content, so you should be too. According to the Big G’s bulky guidelines, business owners should be publishing content that is unique, informative and offers value to readers. The ultimate goal of Google and other search engines is to rank high quality websites at the top of their search results. At the moment, we have to say the search engine giant is failing in its quest, which in part, is the fault of content creators. The tussle for top rankings promoted unjust practices by marketers attempting to manipulate search results. In response, the Big G took action with algorithms that penalise sites for publishing low quality content. Do how can you prove to search engines that you produce content that offers real value to readers? Create web pages that have good content The first thing to bear in mind is that the content you publish is for the benefit of readers. So you need to think about what readers want; information, advice, reassurance. To fulfil this promise, do not limit yourself to a specific word count. Make sure that every page you publish says everything you need to say. However, it should be tightly focused on one specific product, service or subject otherwise, search engines are confused how to index the page and it will not show in search results. Search engine experts recommend that any page you post live on the internet should have a least 100-words. If you are an eCommerce company with lots of similar products, you must have unique content for each product. Duplicate content is considered low quality...

Does Your Content Resonate With Readers?

Not only does content writing challenge you to develop fresh and unique ideas, you also have to make an impression on your readers. Not easy, not every time anyway. So how can you write content that resonates with readers? By tapping into their desires, interests and problems! A content strategy is more than an SEO marketing tactic. It can help you to understand the needs and demands of your audience. Content writers should also be analysing customer data in order to have a better insight of your audience. Being a good writer, means being a good researcher, and a good listener. You need to take on board what your audience is saying, and write content that answers their questions from an industry perspective. Identifying content ideas So you have listened to what your audience is saying, together with considering your company line and core philosophies, but still not sure what to write. Don’t worry, it’s natural. You just need a spark of inspiration. Take a subject that most interests you and do a Google search. What are other writers publishing on this subject, and what headlines are they using? When you read their content, what resonates with you and what points could you improve on? Also look for angles that other publishers in your field are not writing about. It helps to follow an industry magazine that is at the cutting edge of developments. If something in the news grabs your attention, you can do a quick bulletin for one piece of content then follow it up with a full length feature. Compiling notes You should be making notes...

Why Online Businesses Need A Content Marketing Strategy

The ultimate goal of SEO is to rank higher in search engines so that your website is visible and in a position where you increase conversions. And to do that you need a content marketing strategy. Which can be complicated – especially if you have a limited budget. The thing is this; new technologies have made the need for content to be delivered in different formats. Not to mention Google guidelines and readers demanding high quality content. Content marketing involves writing blogs, articles for third party sites, making videos, eBooks, newsletters, podcasts, case studies, FAQ’s, images, infographs, email campaigns and landing pages. And here’s the kicker. They all have to offer value to the reader and make it easy for them to make a decision. Which means creating each piece of content to perform a specific goal, targeted to a specific audience and designed for a specific device. Mobile handset have thrown a spanner into the digital works whereby content that looks great on a desktop computer is difficult to navigate on a mobile phone. Where do you start your content marketing? Blogs are a vital cog in the digital wheel. They allow you to use your website to publish various types of content that will attract the right audience. Adding content alone will help improve your page rank. But that does not mean by keeping a blog you will improve your conversions. The content has to offer value to readers so they keep coming back and exploring more of your site. And most of all, your blog has to position you as an expert in your field –...

How to plan a content marketing strategy

Your content strategy plays a vitally important role in your overall digital marketing campaign. It is therefore equally important that you put together a solid content strategy that will hold and help you achieve your goals. We will not lie to you, putting a content marketing strategy can be tricky and frustrating. So you are probably wondering whether it’s worth the hassle. Statistics say it is. According to Contently, content strategists are 13 time more likely to improve ROI, increase search engine rankings and earn better trust and authority scores. Not only that, but the creative nounce you need to put together an effective content strategy is an exciting proposition that gets you out of bed in a morning! So how do you go about planning a content marketing strategy? Let’s take a look! #Step 1: Tidy up your link profile If you are new to content marketing this step is easy. Your task is to move on to step two. Done! See, we said it was easy. If you already have content on your blog and, dare we say, a large social media following (cringe), this step needs some attention – and you are going to hate me for this! But it best to get it right… First of all, go through your analytics and remove any backlinks that do not serve you. If they are from low quality sites take them out. There, that wasn’t too bad was it? Okay, that’s the easy part. Now you need to go through all your back-content and remove any broken links. This is especially necessary if you have updated your...

Is Your Industry Boring? How to Develop Engaging Content

It must be disheartening for marketers of dull industries to be told they should be publishing blog content. What can you write about floor tiles that is going to pique interest? But even writers of products and service industries that are considered boring can still find angles to create engaging content. However, it does take creativity and adept writing skills, but just to throw some ideas at you, here we go! Tell real-life stories Story-telling has been an art for centuries and will never grow old and tired, especially when based on real-life events. Your stories still need to relate in some way to your brand and product, but you can use artistic licence to spice them up a little. Let’s say you work in a despatch warehouse. How many stories can you tell about things that happened in a day? I am sure you can spill one tale or two a week. Tell readers what has happened in your workplace, bring the environment and characters to life and readers will want to stay tuned. Your customers will feel like they know you even though you have never spoken to them. If you have a good sense of humour and can bring that out in your writing developing real-life stories are exceptionally engaging. But don’t be scared to stretch the truth a little – writers call it faction. Use images If you do not have a great deal to write about, look at other ways of creating content. You know what they say about images speaking a thousand words – then you don’t need words. However, a funny caption...

10 Questions To Ask A Content Writer

You know you need a blog for your online business, but you are not sure what to write, right? Maybe you are not confident in your writing ability, or perhaps you just don’t have time to maintain a blog. If any of the above ring true you need to hire a content writer. And that means parting with money. You therefore want to be assured the content writer can deliver quality content and will improve SEO page rank. Readers demand quality and oftentimes they are searching for answers. Therefore your content should be packed with information. A good spread of subjects related to your business will do the job, both for SEO and attracting readership. So how do you find a writer with this knowledge and ability? You interview them. So ask these questions: What experience do they have in your industry? Your content should speak with authority. It needs to show that you are an expert in your chosen field. If you work in a niche, the writer should have a good knowledge base and understanding of your industry and/or products. What do they know about your brand? A content writer needs to understand your brand and your company’s core philosophies. If they are acting as your “voice” you need to be assured they are saying the right things. Does the writer understand SEO? In terms of search marketing, an understanding of SEO is essential. A surprising number of writers that contribute to online publication and blogs are not aware of Google guidelines. Keywords are not as important as they used to be, although long-tail are required in...

5 Tools To Help Improve Content Marketing Results

In today’s digital environment, content is the marketer’s weapon of choice in the battle for consumer attention. But content curation and all the shebang that comes with it can sometimes feel like flogging a dead horse. Creating content, engaging with your audience on social media networks and analysing various stats is all time-consuming work and can be so frustrating you want to throw your PC out the window and go home. But before you do anything hasty, take a look at these five tools to help improve content marketing results in half the time you are spending now. InboundWriter A content marketing strategy should start with a list of content ideas. Brain storming sessions can easily devour an afternoon and leave you with a headache. Ditch the aspirin and reach for InboundWriter instead. This clever tool gives you an insight into what type of content your target audience is lapping up. Get knee-deep into some topic profiles before you start typing your masterpiece and article titles will bounce off the top of your head like a football. Directr The importance video will play in online advertising over the coming years cannot be stressed enough. It will be THE number one content format. It catches the eye of consumers and leads to conversions. It’s a no-brainer! Therefore, you should be hopping on to the video content making bandwagon asap. But isn’t that expensive? I hear you say. Yes, it is – ordinarily. But not with Directr. This content app allows you to make videos on your phone and comes complete with hundreds of storyboard ideas to get you started. Registration...

Expert Tips To Write Copy That Converts

Driving traffic to your website takes patience and hard work. Converting buyers into browsers takes skill. If your website is not graced with copy that sells, there is little point having a website. It can sometimes be the case that striking the right balance with your copy is a matter of trial and error. Should you have short or long copy? Do you need landing pages? It used to be the case that long copy was stronger, but mobile handsets are changing the way people surf the web and make purchasing decisions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s the best way to learn. Even professional copywriters sometimes have to revisit copy and try a different tactic. To point you in the right direction, this article will give you some firm pointers of what your copy should include to increase your chances of converting and how to get the information you need. Know your audience’s needs Know your audience has become a marketing cliché, and it doesn’t always help to know the profile of your audience. You need to know what they want. Before you write sales copy, get feedback from your customers and prospects. Online questionnaires social media accounts enable you to ask specific questions that could prove useful. Make the enquiry casual rather than salesy, and if possible put a fun spin on it. The most effective sales copy you write will come from the words of your audience. Conduct extensive research Before you start writing your copy, you need ideas. Surf the web and look at the copy of your competitors. What do you think works,...

Top Brands Improving ROI On Content Marketing

Content marketing has become the weapon of choice amongst top brands. According to research, 43% of companies are winning on their content ROI whilst 80% of marketers said they will be investing more on content in 2015. Whereas content has been a major factor in boosting page rank and improving visibility, the biggest challenge for online marketers has been to turn marketing campaigns into conversions. However, top brands have recognised the advantages content has over other forms of online advertising and have develop disciplines marketing models that are designed to improve conversion rate. Content marketing strategies? Social media networks remain the biggest driver of content marketing campaigns. It is the easiest way to connect to a wider audience and share content. The problem many companies face however, is converting social media followers into paying customers. But without a defined content marketing strategy, it is tantamount to swinging a golf iron wearing a blindfold and hoping to hit the ball. Your content marketing strategy should begin with a brainstorming session to come up with as many content ideas as possible. It is important at this point to think of the type of device your content will be accessed on. Don’t forget mobile. Your content therefore has to be a variety of images and written text, short and long articles. Set times of day when each piece of content will be posted. For example, images and short articles intended for mobile should be posted during commute hours. Measuring ROI A surprising amount of content marketers do not analyse ROI or performance metrics of their content. This is a big mistake, because...

10 Headlines That Improve Customer Engagement

The phenomenal amount of content posted on the internet everyday makes customer engagement a challenge. According to experts, eight out of ten people will read an average headline, but only two in ten will click on it. So how do you make headlines clickable? Draw on human emotions Humans by nature are egocentric and are guided by emotion. This is an important psychological factor to consider when crafting a headline – appeal to human emotions. Customers want to know “what’s in it for me,” so think about what your customers want and use your headline to show them how they can get it. 5 Ways to improve your love life Eating these foods make you happier Get over depression fast! Explain ‘How To’ do something The “How To” headline is one of the most powerful as it ticks several engagement boxes in one foul swoop. Internet users are often looking for information on how to do things and your headline tells them exactly what they can learn to do. How to attract the girl of your dreams How to increase traffic to your blog How to save money on your heating Make a Statement When you are targeting a wide audience, making a statement in your headline increases the likelihood of people clicking on it. The statement obviously needs to be true and if it is a new discovery or topical news that is shocking, the statement headline is all the more appealing. Check Out This Hangover Cure – It Really Works! A Sure-Fire Way Of Making Money Online Governments Plan To Pull Plug On The Internet Provide a...

Why You Need Specialist Writers And Influencers In Your Industry

To increase visibility online, companies and professionals need to build an online profile. This also enables you to position yourself as an expert in your field. However, in order to do that, writers need to publish content with established magazines in your industry that already has a strong readership. Unless you can afford paid advertising, pitching your content in front of an audience is becoming more difficult. Despite the advantages of SEO, it is not without its challenges. The leading social media networks typically limit the amount of content that reaches your followers. Although there are emerging networks that allow writers to publish content in front of a ready-made audience, they do not have a strong following yet. Furthermore, search engines are looking for webmasters that have a good authority end users can trust. This strategy makes sense given the end user also wants to interact with companies and professionals they can trust to deliver a quality service. Established websites that have been building an online reputation with search engines for years may not have a problem with this, but what about start-up companies struggling at the bottom of the page rank pile? Content outreach Writing for third party sites enables marketers to build an online profile, but it doesn’t always help SEO. Google has told editors they are not allowed to give “followed links” and guest posting with links embedded in the text is a dangerous game to play. Essentially backlinking for SEO is dead, but a content outreach strategy still has advantages. If you can get your content published in a reputable magazine, it will be read...

Expert Tips To Grow Your Blog

Successful content marketing campaigns rely on your ability to attract traffic to your blog. It is therefore worth your while to invest time, and if needs be money, to grow your blog using tried and proven tactics. This is how the experts do it. Create traffic If you are new to blogging, it is difficult to attract a significant amount of organic traffic. You therefore need to create traffic through alternative avenues such as social media networks, blog forums and community forums. Your objective at this stage is to build an audience that will have a genuine interest in your content. You will not attract readers if the content does not relate to their interests. Start by trawling through social networks and community forums and answer any questions that are posted by users looking for answers. If you have already written content that is relevant to the question being asked then great, give a short reply and leave a link back to your article where the user can find further information. If you do not have relevant content posted to your blog already, cease the opportunity to create content. This tactic not only helps you create ideas for your blog, but gives you a better understanding of your audience and enables you to build an online reputation as an expert in your field. Build relationships Building relationships with your followers is a skill in and of itself. As mentioned above, interaction with forum users and social media followers enable you to identify a relevant audience, rather than connecting with as many contacts as possible. Quality is better than quantity....

Is Google+ Any Better For Marketers Since The Stream/Image Split?

Earlier this month, Google officially split its social media network into streams and images. According to VP of product Bradley Horowitz, the company is looking to “We’re trying to do something broader that helps people communicate wherever they are using whatever products they prefer.” Well, that’s the official line of the company, but the reality is trendy alternative like WhatsApp and Snapchat are stealing the search engine God’s thunder. Google+ is wilting like a rose in winter. It’s hardly surprising really, given users prefer to Hang Out and share content casually. Google+ is simply not a platform digital marketers are choosing to sell. They just prefer to share. Why Google+ is still an option Google insist its social media network is not dead, maybe just a little bruised and damaged. The company has published statistics on the number of uses for a year, at which point there were more than 300 million adopters active. Considering Facebook and Twitter followers are in their billions, the search engine giant is seriously lagging behind on the social front. Is the California-based company losing face against its bitter rivals? As far as online businesses are concerned, Google+ tops the social media networks for content marketing. Twitter and Facebook do not offer good options unless you are willing to fork out for paid ads. Google+ on the other hand helps to rank your content. In many cases, content posted to a Google+ account will appear on the first page of search results whilst the actual site languishes some in the murky depths. Content marketing in Google+ Given the prowess of Google+ to raise visibility...

Are You Breaching Copyright Laws?

Content marketers beware! Hungry lawyers are gathering in packs. Over the last several years, thousands of website owners have received legal letters from stock image companies like Getty Images and Corbis accusing them of being in breach of copyright infringement. Blog owners are handed a desist and remove notice, but are also being told they have to pay damages – in some cases up to 20 time the value of the actual image. The aggressive approach of firms like Getty have raised questions about the ethical integrity of their pursuit, claiming it is morally wrong even though the law in on their side. There is even a question of criminal behaviour. A team of lawyers in the United States, Michael Chan and Oscar Michelen, have called the threat an “extortion scheme” and have dedicated an entire website to raise awareness of unwitting “infringers”. What is the law on copyright images? When anybody produces a creative piece of work and publishes the piece in a public domain, it is classed as intellectual property and belongs to the person that created the piece. Therefore, you can take a picture of your family and post it on Facebook and it immediately becomes intellectual property. If somebody uses your photograph without your permission, you can legally sue them for copyright infringement. And this is what Getty Images and other stock photo firms are doing. However, there is a problem in the system that allows them to do this and be protected by the law. The complications arrive under the creative commons licence. What is creative commons licence in the Copyright Act? The owner...

4 Things To Avoid In A Content Marketing Campaign

Content marketing is the leading strategy for online business owners. However, with Google algorithms changing the landscape of SEO, the rules for content marketers keep changing. The reason for the changes is because marketers are using techniques that fall outside Google guidelines and subsequently manipulate search results. Search engines then have to bring in new rules to prevent low quality sites from ranking highly. If you do try to manipulate search engine results you should expect a Google penalty at some point. The sophisticated Penguin algorithm has become very adept at identifying irregular patterns of SEO activity. Therefore, in order to run a successful content marketing campaign, avoid these four practices. Inbound links from low quality sites When the owner of a third party website directs an inbound link to your website, it is an indication that your site is worth visiting. This indicator is favoured by search engines who will rank your site higher. Because inbound links score well, SEO agencies began posting articles on third party sites. The owners of third party sites saw pound signs and started charging for inbound links back to commercial sites. Google got wise to this practice and released Penguin to prevent webmasters manipulating search results. Some SEO companies continue to use a strategy that cannot be detected, but the net is tightening. As a result of bad practices, guest posting has been given a bad reputation which is a shame considering the benefits it has, i.e raising brand awareness, positioning yourself as an expert and attracting organic traffic. Inbound links from low quality sites should be avoided, but that does not...

How To Make Your Content Go Viral

It is the dream of every marketer and business owner to create a piece of content that goes viral. But what are the secret ingredients of shareable content when you are on a shoe-string budget and unable to pay stars to appear in your advertisements. Of course, there is no substitute for publishing compelling content, but surveys independently conducted by the New York Times and BuzzSumo found that certain content formats are shared more than others. Appeal to emotions Cute, happy content is by far the most shared. Anything that’s gets an “ahhh” such as pictures of kids and kittens is always passed on to friends. This is simply human emotion, but this type of content rarely offers anything of value to readers. You do however need to appeal to a readers emotions. If you can somehow move a person through your content they are more likely to share it amongst their friends and social media networks. This means impressing them. Entertaining posts that are amusing or laugh-out-loud received the highest amount of shares followed by intelligent content readers can trust. So let’s take a look of ways to present shareable content that might – just might – go viral. Infographics and lists Visual images are appealing to the human mind, so combining information with visual is perfect. That’s why infographics has been such as success. Lists are also shareable because the headline tells readers exactly what they are going to get from the article (10 new hair trends for summer). They are also skimmable and easy-to-read so are suitable for mobile users. Long form content Yet surprisingly, content...

UK Marketers Losing Faith In Content Marketing

A report published by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) indicates that content marketers in the UK were less effective in 2014 than the previous year. The annual report shows that only 42% of content marketing professionals confirmed their campaigns had been successful – down from 48%. The results are causing some marketers to lose faith in content marketing all together. However, it was determined that the underlying cause of the decline was because a content strategy had not been put in writing. 36 per cent of respondees said they didn’t even have a strategy. Considering that an average of eight tactics were used to target four categories of audience, there is little wonder so many content marketing campaigns failed. Simply loading up a blog and posting the results to Facebook and other social networks is not a strategy. Content strategy A documented strategy allows you to create the right type of content for specific audiences. You should also be thinking about the type of device users are accessing the content from. Mobile content for example has to be small and easily digested thus is very different from advertorials targeting desktop users. Your strategy should also include the type of technology you need to create engaging content (apps, infograph creation etc) together with the tools you will use to analyse the metrics and results. If you do not know which types of content are effective and which are not, you are wasting time, money and effort doing something that does not serve a purpose. Founder of CMI, Joe Pulizzi says “There are two critical factors that differentiate effective content marketers...

What Does “Value In Content” Mean And How Do You Achieve This?

For webmasters and SEO agencies, there is a lot of focus on providing unique content that offers readers value. But what does value actually mean? Google stress that content offering unique and fresh ideas that give “value” to readers will rank better. However, to come up with unique and fresh ideas every time you publish a piece of content is impossible. But you can always offer readers something of value! Unique content v Unique value Unique content simply means the content is fresh and has never been published before. When search engine crawlers visit your site to semantically discover content, they want to find words and sentences that have not been written before. Essentially, this is Google’s way of cancelling out duplicate content so that webmasters cannot copy paste somebody else’s work. Unique content does not necessarily mean new ideas. Unique value is providing readers with new ideas or opinions, or publishing different types of content that make visitors think or see things from a different perspective. From Google’s POV, content should be informative and relevant to the search query. Search engines and readers are not interested in broad articles on a specific topic, they want accurate information that is easy to find. The emphasis of search engines is to provide a service that offers great user-experience. And that is where unique value has a major role to play. What is unique value? Offering unique information that is not readily available anywhere else is not always possible. But when it is, blog owners should look to jump on it. Keep up-to-date with industry news and publish the item on...

Content Marketing: Telling The Story of Your Brand

Search engines and SEO marketers keep telling webmasters to upload quality content. But how can you define what quality content actually is? Search engines define quality as content that “is fresh and engaging.” This doesn’t really tell you a great deal, but one sure-fire technique of writing fresh and engaging content is to tell a story. And there are seven basic story types you can choose from. The Quest The most popular stories are “quest” stories, tales where the hero goes in search of something such as Lord of the Rings or Jason and the Argonauts. In terms of business content, you can use the quest story technique to explain how you solved obstacles to reach your goal. Hero’s Journey The journey is similar to the Quest, the difference being the character is thrown into a situation rather than specifically striving towards a goal. Think Life of Pi, Up In The Air. As a piece for your business, the journey is a problematic position you found yourself in and the lessons you learned to overcome the problem. The Underdog The Underdog stories are simple enough to decipher – and everyone always wants the underdog to win. This may be a story of how you overcame competition from direct rivals with more money and experience or maybe even a legal or social barrier that prevented you growing; the struggle to find funding for example. Rags to Riches This is another plot line that requires little explanation. Even in business terms it is the story of your business growth. These type of stories work well for an About Us where you...

Why Getting Your Content Marketing Strategy Right Is Crucial To ROI

In the last few years, content marketing has become the advertisers leading strategy – yet not all online business owners are having the success they expected. The main reason for this is because they do not have a realistic content marketing strategy. Publishing regurgitated content on a blog and posting it through social media channels is not always enough. A successful content marketing strategy delivers a variety of marketing materials at every stage of the sales process. Not only that, but the content must be relevant and offer something of value to recipients. Google guidelines clearly state that websites featuring quality content will be shown favouritism in search engine rankings. Furthermore, engaging content attracts followers and organic traffic. The content you publish is the driver of your online revenue. It is therefore crucial you produce quality content, but more importantly that your content marketing strategy produces a positive ROI. How to create a content marketing strategy Building a content marketing strategy is no different from creating any other marketing strategy; define your objectives, target audience, message and budget. A content marketing strategy involves delivering the right piece of content at every specific stage of the sales process. This also means you have to decide how the content will be delivered. You will have a route map through your entire marketing process labelled with tags that explain the objective at that particular stage; lead generation, brand awareness, engagement etc. From there you need to determine who your audience is, how you will reach them and what device they are most likely to be using. And this is a crucial element...

Why Your Next Blog Writer Should Be A Marketing Buff

To create a successful blog you need two things: a top writer who can produce quality and a marketing mind to connect it with a target audience. Which means the writer and marketer need to work in perfect sync to take content fro the planning stage to published blog posts that contribute to a wider strategy. Which is why it makes sense to hire a writer with enough marketing know-how to think beyond their individual blog posts and build towards the bigger picture. Because there is no clear line between where writing ends and marketing begins; the two are synonymous when it comes to content marketing. Strategy behind the words Obviously it helps to hire a writer with some (up-to-date) understanding of SEO – keywords, anchor text and other on-page elements. But a successful blog is far more than a collection of separate articles and SEO copy, which calls for a blogger with a more strategic approach. Just by looking at a number of business websites, you can see they hire a writer to cover their blog and leave it at that. If you’re lucky enough to find a writer who understands the importance of your audience and what they’re looking for then you have done well. But this doesn’t get your content very far without the marketing knowledge to get people reading your blog posts. The wider roles of blog content Blogging has been a vital part of building an online presence since the early days of the social web. Your blog page has a number of roles to play and if you ignore any of them, you’re...

Is There Such A Thing As Safe Content Syndication?

Content syndication is still a core practice of many SEO agencies and website owners. Google algorithm updates have made it a dangerous territory and you’ll find a number of marketers steer clear of it altogether. The obvious question that many business owners come up with is whether they should dabble in content syndication or not. The promise of winning multiple links form a single piece of content is very tempting, but anyone who has seen the effects of Google search penalties is understandably concerned. Is content syndication safe? The answer to this question depends on a number of things – mostly how you go about it and where you choose to do it. The quick answer is yes, that syndication can be both a safe and beneficial part of your content strategy – but you do have to be careful. Duplicate content is a no-no when it comes to Google algorithms and you don’t want to set any alarm bells ringing. That said, it’s not the biggest SEO sin out there and you can distribute your content to other sources quite safely with the rel:canonical tag. This tells Google that any given piece of content isn’t the original and prevents any drop in search ranking for duplicate content and URLs alike. You still need to syndicate with caution though and make sure any publisher you use will insert the rel:canonical tag on every piece of content you send them. So syndication can be safe, but is it worth it? Now this is a different question altogether and the most important one you need to ask yourself. If you want...

Best Free Tools And Resources For Content Marketing

Whether you’re a marketer yourself or a business owner that wants to know more about the art of content marketing, there are a wealth of free tools out there to make life easier. As technology and user habits evolve this industry moves at a rapid pace to keep ahead of development – which means you need a constant stream of reliable information. While busy times mean the right tools are essential if you want to make things happen. So today we’re looking at a collection of the best free tools and resources for content marketing to get all the latest info on content marketing and make the process that little bit easier. Top resources for content marketing Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Land, Search Engine Land, Smart Insights and The SEM Post are great places to start for all your SEO, content and wider digital marketing needs. From the latest algorithm updates to advice for real-word marketing problems, you definitely want these sites in your resource collection. Copyblogger is another great resource – with all focus on creating content that sells. Created with the modern copywriter in mind you’ll find all kinds of tips and advice, from simple writing tutorials to managing your content workload. Whitepapers, free guides and case studies are great downloads to get your hands on for a more detailed look into content marketing. The State of Content Marketing is just one example of leading industry studies which releases key insights each year and you can find a collection of other resources with a simple search, Top free tools for content marketing The best content starts with killer...

The Role Of User Experience In Content Marketing

Talk about user experience in digital marketing and both design and functionality of a website will feature heavily in the conversation. But one topic that often gets overlooked is content – and this kind of neglect can cost you big when it comes to converting traffic into customers. Content is what people are looking for when they visit your site, check out your social media accounts and subscribe to your blog. While a strong user experience is vital for keeping them involved with your online brand. So it’s time to integrate a strong user experience into your content strategy (and vice versa) if you want to maximise your conversion rate. A two-way partnership The truth is user experience always has a role to play in web content – and it works the other way as well. The two should be inseparable, but very few websites marry both effectively – which gives you an opportunity to take advantage and get it right. So let’s tale a look at a few key areas to get you started. Mobile optimisation is a priority as more people take to smartphones for their online needs. This provides a big challenge when it comes to content as there is only so much you can fit on a small screen. It’s safe enough to say users expect to scroll on a smartphone, but reading a 1,000-word article on a mobile hardly counts as good UX. So you have to devise a way to deliver mobile optimised content to users on the go. Calls to action are the finishing line of the conversion process and that tiny...

What Content Does Your Audience Really Crave?

As businesses invest more into content marketing the competition heats up and you have to raise your game. If you’re serious about converting sales from your content you can only get away with following the same old strategy for so long. Before you know it you’re audience will have a better offer come along and they’ll go elsewhere. So the burning question you always need to ask yourself is what content does your audience really crave? As always you need to know your audience better than yourself and never take for granted their habits and tastes can change. And as things stand right now there are a few types of content that audiences everywhere can’t get enough of. Content cravings In a sense all content is the same – or at least the content that gets results. Your audience is simply after the information they need most at any given time and its your job to provide it. Where content starts to vary is in its format how you deliver this information and how effectively it engages. We recently covered the value of video when it comes to generating high quality leads – and this is because you can communicate a huge amount of information is a short space of time. Not only is this vital when your audience is busy, but video combines a range of audio and visual elements to engage viewers in a deeper level. The other hot trend in modern content is snappy stuff posted on social media. Whether it’s micro content designed to draw prospects through to your websites, infographics, or some branded imagery,...

Why Video Content Leads The Way In Lead Generation

Video content has fast become the king of online lead generation and new research from Software Advice highlights the benefits for B2B marketing. Not only is video the most widely used form of content in the sector, but it’s widely cited as the best way to generate a high volume of quality leads. This won’t come as a surprise to many marketers who have seen the impact of video content on their clients’ conversion rates. But the study by Software Advice puts the prowess of video in numbers – which will reinforce the importance of video content for business owners. Video content in numbers In the study 92% of marketers confirmed they use video as the main driving force of their B2B content strategies. And video was the favourite choice for producing high volumes of quality leads that turn into closed sales. However, not all video performs the same and live demos of products have been singled out as producing the highest-quality leads for B2B. Of marketers questioned, 45% cited live demos as “excellent” and 42% as “good” for generating leads that result in sales. While viewers are found to respond better when they get more information, rather than your typical sales pitch. Why people respond to video When volume of information is the key to generating leads video has a huge advantage over other forms of content. It’s said a picture paints a thousand words so if you apply that theory to moving footage – and include audio, dialogue and text – you’re looking at a wealth of communication in a very short space. Which is important because...

It’s Time To Take Your Audience On A Journey

Business owners have been investing in content for quite some time now – something that looks set to increase as we move into 2015. However, the majority of content is still underperforming and small business owners in particular are missing a trick. SEO appears to be the main aim of smaller firms who publish blog posts on a regular basis, but content has a much bigger role to play. Even if your blog posts are loaded with quality and your audience can’t get enough of them, they’re underperforming unless they come with that next vital step. Like every other piece of content you publish, they need to push visitors on to the next stage of the conversion process. Reassess your objectives If your content is underperforming there’s a good chance you haven’t got the right targets in mind. Increasing traffic and building brand awareness are two fine examples of targets for a successful content strategy – especially blogs. But the overriding goal of everything you do is to increase conversions. Conversions are where the money is so you want to use every tool you have available to increase your conversion rate and improve your ROI. Content has a vital role to play here, but so many businesses overlook this and settle for underperforming content. Lead your audience It’s not a question of quality content on an individual basis either. Let’s assume that your content is top-notch and you have a stream of comments, shares and likes. People are reacting to your content, but what do they do when they finish reading or watching? If they leave your website or...

5 Tools To Help You Break Into Video Content

As the web becomes a more visual place for everyone, video content is the premium option for engaging your audience quickly and more effectively. The trouble with video content is it sends shivers down the spines of businesses owners on a tight budget. The general consensus is that video doesn’t come cheap and unless you happen to have a camera crew, sound team and production staff, the concept of video content might seem out of reach. This doesn’t have to be the case though, as there are video options for every budget and we’re starting right at the bottom today with these free online tools to help you break into video content. PowToon Powtoon is a free tool that allows you to create animated videos and presentations. The great thing about animations is you don’t need a film crew, sound team or actors – you just need the animators and PowToon gives everyone the chance. So if you really don’t have the budget for video content, start here and invest in a professional animator further down the line. Wideo Wideo is a slightly more advanced approach to animated videos that comes with a bunch of paid packages. There’s also a free option that allows you to create 45s clips and keep 10 tracks in your sountrack library, plus 380 images. The most expensive plan gives you 15 minutes with 50 tracks and 1300 images for $49 a month or $399 per year. But there is no reason you can’t start with the free option – ideal for social videos and apps like Vine. Superflix Superflix gives you a free...

Will The Content Marketing Bubble Ever Burst?

Content marketing has become the biggest thing in the digital sector over the last half decade. Consumers don’t buy into the traditional advertising mediums like they used to and business owners have fully invested in content marketing after seeing the impact it has on customers and potential leads. But if all good things come to an end can we expect to see content marketing fade away into the background? The initial answer would be a resounding no, but nobody would have predicted TV ads would fall off the pace – so maybe we shouldn’t be so confident. Why content marketing works Content marketing has in many ways replaced the hard selling forms of traditional advertising that consumers have become wise to. Think of the money advertisers once invested in newspaper ads, leaflets and other printed resources. Now ask yourself when was the last time you read one of these ads or leaflets before they went in the bin. The number is probably zero or very close. The fact is people don’t have the time or the inclination to hear a one-sided sales pitch. Nobody cares how excited you are about your product when they have access to just about everything online. All the consumer is interested about is what’s in it for them. Content marketing slots into the gap by establishing a relationship with an audience and offering something for nothing. Whether it’s advice, a solution or an incredible offer, your marketing efforts offer up something of genuine value in exchange for your audience’s valuable time. How valuable you make this time depends on how effectively you encourage your...

What Are The Most Important Metrics For Content Marketing?

To measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, make improvements and increase your ROI you need to track key metrics. These valuable stats tell you where your efforts are paying off and where your weaknesses are. But to turn this into better performance and extra profit you have to know what you’re looking for. There is an incredible amount of data available from analytics tools these days. The trouble is this can all be overwhelming unless you know what to look for and what it means. While some metrics are more significant than others and to illustrate this let’s look at the key measurements of a content marketing strategy. It’s all about conversions Of all the metrics your marketing strategy can throw at you conversions are the most important. Whether it’s a purchase, subscription, email or some other action, these are the conversions you work so hard to achieve. Your ROI is essentially determined by the amount of conversions you can close and everything else is a simple stepping stone to maximised profit. The signals of profitable content The key metrics of profitable content include ROI, cost per lead, lead to close ration, customer value and retention rate. ROI is simply the profit you make on your marketing investment and the other metrics in this list play a vital role. Cost per lead reflects the average expense of every visitor, message and other types of lead. While lead to close ratio shows how many leads turn into paying customers. These two numbers will tell you how much each customer costs you and as long as your average customer value...

Diversify Your Content Strategy With Micro Content

Micro Content – Content Marketing Strategy If you keep in touch with the latest content marketing trends you will probably have come across the term micro-content on a number of occasions. Just in case you are new to the concept, micro-content normally refers to snippets or smaller chunks of content, ideal for sharing on social media. As the way people use the internet changes, creating quality content isn’t enough any more. There is a lot of competition out there and no matter how valuable your content is, it doesn’t help anyone if nobody gets to see it. Micro-content gives you the chance to add a new edge to your marketing efforts, using punchy content that people want to share on social media – and ultimately drive more traffic to your website; the main hub of your online strategy. Micro-content makes your content more digestible People get bored very quickly these days and the attention span of your typical content consumer is painfully short. Which means repeating the same old content format can lead to a dead end as soon as it becomes predictable or repetitive. Micro-content is there to break up the norm and give your content strategy a new lease of life. Instead of the same old blog posts and social updates, you can use micro-content to tease your audience to your website with irresistible snippets of content. In the same way a book cover or film trailer works, you need to show just enough to peak your target audience’s interest, while leaving enough unanswered questions that they can’t resist clicking through to your website and reading the...

Content Marketing Safety And Keeping On The Right Side Of Copyright Law

Watch Out For Vulnerability With Content Marketing As a website owner content is the core of your online presence, search campaign and overall marketing strategy. Needless to say, you can’t put too much value on quality content that attracts a regular stream of relevant traffic to your website. That said, content gets more difficult to produce each year. The web is more visual than ever and social media is evolving the way we consume and share content. Chances are you don’t have a music studio, film crew or team of photographers to create bespoke content, which means you have to source it from elsewhere – and that leaves you vulnerable to copyright law. Written content Quite simply, if you write your own content or produce it in-house, you have full rights to everything you create and publish. Things are a little bit different if you use an agency or a freelancer to write content for you though, so make sure you have all the usage rights before you hire anyone. When it comes to using other people’s content, you should always ask for permission – however Google’s stance on duplicate content means you should avoid ‘borrowing’ altogether. Curated content, where you use the theme or refer to other sources to create original content is fine, but copy and pasting is a big no-no. Images and graphics Images and graphics are a little tougher, unless you have a professional photographer, artist or designer on foot. If that’s not the case, you have to rely on images that already exist on the web. Basically, you have two options: pay for stock...
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