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Make Content King in 5 Easy Steps

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Over the past decade, one of the biggest marketing trends has been the shift towards content marketing. The world of content marketing is constantly evolving. Staying up to date with latest marketing trends is a crucial part of running a successful marketing campaign.

By releasing valuable and engaging content on your website and through social media, you can build trust and establish a consistent customer base.

contentThe driving factor behind most internet marketing campaigns is the content. As businesses began to take notice of the power of content, it became essential to release content that is relevant & engaging. Yet, the quality of the content often suffers at the expense of quantity.

The lack of quality is generally the result of spreading yourself too thin by trying to reach out to a huge audience instead of a targeted niche where you can reach out through blogs, videos, infographics and more.

The lack of quality is most often the result of trying to target the largest audience possible through multiple marketing channels, you should think about simplifying your strategy. Narrow your focus and limit the scope of your campaigns. This way, you will find yourself spending less time dealing with your marketing campaigns while still getting the same rewards. The concept of focusing on quality over quantity is also referred to as the 80/20 rule. Basically, a small portion of your content could be responsible for a large portion of the results that you get. The inferior content that you release could be doing nothing for your business.

1. How You Can Improve Your Content Marketing Campaigns Read more

8 Tools to Help You Evaluate Your Website Content against Your Competitors

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Whether you want to build trust among your customers, drive sales, or become recognized as a thought leader in your industry, content marketing is essential to building a successful online presence.

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A big part of producing and publishing information that builds authority and a community around your brand is watching your competition. After all, you’ve been doing it from the time you were in school or on a sports team. The value of watching your competition is twofold.

  1. You want to keep up
  2. You want to know where the marker is set so you can outperform your competition

In the world of online marketing, the same principles apply. Competitor analysis is essential to finding opportunities and setting goals based on thought leaders and competitors you aspire to beat.

Keeping an Eye on Your Competitors

As a content marketer, it is valuable to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience. One of the ways to do this is to keep an eye on your competitors. In particular, you want to analyze the types of content they are producing because competitive marketing strategies are strongest when:

  1. They position your strengths against your competitors’ weaknesses
  2. Or when you choose positions that pose no threat to competitors so that you are no longer competing for the same

This, in turn, can help you write opinion pieces. You also gain valuable insights into reader expectations.

4 Ways to Evaluate your Content Marketing Strategy against That of Your Competitors

  1. Set up an Alert to Get Notified Whenever your Competitors are Mentioned Over the Web

While knowing when your competitors are mentioned over the web does not directly help you compare your content marketing strategy vs. your competitors’, it can help you keep a tab on what’s happening on and off their website. This can help you identify the keywords and types of content that are likely to increase any return on your investment (ROI). Read more

How to Create Content That Your Audience Wants

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Market research was once a concept only big companies grasped; if you weren’t a Fortune 1000 brand, customer research was something either you didn’t have to worry about or you couldn’t afford. But with advances in digital marketing over the last decade or so, even the smallest businesses now have access to market research technology to routinely test ideas before they take them to the market. This is particularly helpful for businesses to develop products and services that won’t fall flat and will steer the growth of a business and its impact in a favorable direction.

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The Definition of Market Research and its Application in Content Marketing

According to Entrepreneur, market research is the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting intelligence pertaining to a market before a product or service is pushed to potential customers. This information looks at the past and present characteristics of a business’s target market and establishes whether or not a particular product or service will fall flat in the market or drive business growth.

In content marketing, a solid market research campaign does two things:

– It decodes what kind of content your target audience wants

In content marketing, understanding your audience is key to creating content that will resonate with potential customers. Market research helps you answer vital questions such as:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What are their most pressing concerns?
  • What do they look for in a business before making a purchase?
  • What are they saying about you to their peers?

– It helps you create more valuable content

Knowing what your audience wants can help you focus more on your content. You can produce more of the kind of content your potential customers want and less of what they won’t read because it’s not pertinent to their needs or problems.

All in all, market research can clearly have a profound impact on the way that you do business.

4 Ways to Research What Your Target Audience Wants

1. Stalk your Competitors

A ridiculously simple way to do audience research to steer your content marketing in the right direction is to see what your competition is doing. Both business and SEO are competitive activities so it does not matter whether you seek to drive your business sales or move your website rankings up the SERPs; looking at your competition to see if you’re doing it right and tapping into their deficiencies is the one of the best ways to drive click-throughs, traffic and conversions.

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6 Companies that are Getting Content Marketing Right

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The web is home to over 60 trillion individual pages. For a typical query, there are thousands (if not millions) of webpages with helpful information. As such, marketing today is about relationships. The way to do this is creating content that stands out.

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By definition, content marketing is the science and art of producing content that builds trust and authority in your industry.

Standout Examples of Good Content Marketing

1. Lush Digital Media’s LTV video series

The LTV- Leadership-Thought-Vision video series by Lush Digital Media is content marketing that stands out. Every fortnight, interviews with some of the biggest “Thought Leaders” today from a wide variety of industries including government, technology and healthcare, are published on the agency’s YouTube channel. There is no pitch there! It’s just great information to inspire motivation. The fortnightly dose becomes addictive!

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The take-away: Provide value content. It’s not all about selling.

2. ‘The Epic Split’ by Volvo Trucks

A live test aimed at demonstrating the stability and precision of Volvo Dynamic Steering, the Jean-Claude Van Damme stunt video from Volvo Trucks is majestic, powerful and visually spectacular to watch. It was the season finale of a series of 6 stunt videos by Volvo Trucks last year to test the quality of its trucks. Compared to its previous video ads (which have been documentary-style), last year Volvo Trucks invited several guest stars including World Champion slackliner Faith Dickey and Hollywood legacy Jean-Claude Van Damme to realize the ultimate ad for Volvo Trucks.

The take-away: Think outside the box.

3. Google Doodles

Doodles are fun and spontaneous variations of the Google logo to mark holidays and other special events such as anniversaries and the lives of famous people including scientists, artists and pioneers.

Google-Doodles

The first Google doodle was produced for Bastille Day in 2000. It was so well received by users of the search engine that over years, Google has created over 2000 doodles. And while for the most part, a team of illustrators and Google engineers are behind every doodle we see, users can email their ideas to proposals@google.com.

Google Doodles has turned into a much-loved tradition and makes an outstanding example of engaging content marketing.

The take-away: Ask and you shall receive. Your audience wants to feel like they belong.

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How to Optimize Content Length for Maximum Engagement

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Blog Posts

One thing bloggers are often conflicted about is this: How long should my blog posts be? The answer is: It depends. The blogging community is divided on the issue and with good reason. At the end of the day, it depends on what you hope to accomplish through your blog.

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The Case for Short Blog Posts

Short blog posts (posts with 200-400 words) have many supporters. In truth, these are perfectly acceptable for a blog aimed at selling a particular product or service. These short blog posts are effective because you get straight to the point with a clear call to action. And because people tend to have short attention spans, you want to get to the point before they forget why they are on your blog.

If you need inspiration on how to properly construct a short blog post, the flawless approach of Seth Godin and David Vandagriff might be of great help. Conveying high quality and valuable information that will inspire interest and trust in 300 words or less can be deceptively challenging.

The Case for Long Blog Posts

In contrast to people who endorse short blog posts and make them work are those who are of the opinion that longer blog posts are meatier. We’re talking about 1,000 words or more here.

The question is: If short posts work, why would anyone sit down and write content with 1,000 words and above?

The answer is simple: It’s good for search engine optimization.

According to a research by serpIQ, for most SERPs, at least 1500 words for blog posts is a good target.

The reasoning: For some years now, Google has been trying to favor fully fleshed out site with a lot of quality content. With longer posts, you have more flexibility with keywords. So in a typical 1,500-word blog post, it’s highly likely that you’ll include a lot of keywords that may not be specific but still related to the theme of your post as compared to limiting yourself to one or two specific keywords. To Google, this will qualify as content designed to provide valuable information to users rather than please bots.

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3 Brands That Are Getting Content Marketing Right

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Since the beginning of time, businesses have wanted to build relationships with customers.

1. The press gave rise to print advertising.

2. The radio enabled radio advertising.

3. Television allowed 30- and 60-second spots.

4. The web yielded banners and popups.

With each invention and new communications medium, businesses reached more and more customers piggybacking on content that people would pay attention to.

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The Internet was by far the most important invention making it possible for brands to become publishers and to publish without the prohibitive fixed costs of presses and antennas while the next medium, dubbed “social” brought about a revolution allowing commercial brands to reach audiences with their messages in a much easier fashion. The challenge, however, was that social media gave distribution power to the people. This meant that brands had to start telling stories that inspire and provoke consumers’ attention and willingness to share.

If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably heard of the following:

1. Red Bull’s magazine that circulates to 2 million people a month.

2. American Express on OpenForum.com

3. Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” video

Because of social media’s new powerful influence, “publish or perish” is no longer just the dreaded axiom of academics. Commercial brands are also embracing the concept.

So Which are the Brands that are Getting Content Marketing Right in 2014?

1. American Express

If there is one brand that knows how to do rock content marketing, it’s American Express. One of their most booming endeavors is American Express Unstaged or AmexUnstaged. American Express Unstaged is a program that live streams concerts by high profile music celebrities. Fans from all over the world get to view, not only the event in live performance, but also exclusive videos before and after the event.

American-Express

According to Walter Frye, Director of Entertainment Marketing & Sponsorships at American Express, “Content is an important piece in all of our marketing efforts. Extending our messaging through content is a great way for us to continue to convert our customers from simply seeing a message to considering our brand.”

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The Most Critical SEO Elements for 2014

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These days, many webmasters are finding it difficult to figure out what’s still relevant for SEO and what’s no longer important. Two of the main components of a strong SEO strategy remain the same: 1) to publish high-quality content that gets read and 2) get linked to by as many people as possible. Translation: Quality content and inbound links.

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But this year, a third key element joined the ranks of these two components and that’s social media! Social media wasn’t around when SEO first developed into an industry; it only became a factor in the ranking algorithm in recent years. Today social media is a means to increase shareability, distribution and reach of content and this, in turn, provides readers and search engines alike with new data to assess quality.

So the 3 key elements to building a strong SEO campaign in 2014, irrespective of industry include:

1. Content strategy

2. Inbound links

3. Social media

Is Content Really King?

“Content marketing” is beginning to replace the term “SEO”. It’s no longer enough to simply have an SEO strategy. In the wake of Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, many of the once-popular SEO tactics that used to work no longer do.

“Content is king” is a mantra that is probably repeated more often than any other in the world of SEO. As such, business owners should continue to focus on creating high-quality content guided by solid keyword research. A solid content marketing strategy not only aims to build your business exposure and visibility for many keywords, it also aims to build brand awareness, authority and credibility as well as social media awareness and conversion rates.

Are Links Still the Primary Ranking Factor?

With Google stepping up its efforts to penalize link networks and those who buy and sell links, how important are backlinks to Google’s search algorithm? Have backlinks lost their importance for ranking purposes?

In his Webmaster help video published on May 5, 2014, Matt Cutts shared:

“I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them”

Cutts said links help Google figure out the reputation of a site or pages. But Google also wants to give more weight to pages written by experts. So this means that authority will become even more crucial for websites and in the coming months and years, website owners are going to see an even greater emphasis in the value of authorship.

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