We were creating a new website and needed a copywriter who could understand our technical terminology. I contacted Rachel because I needed content for the Content Marketing ?Institute’s (CMI) blog. Challenge: Donovan wanted to bring more visitors to their website to listen to their Tweep in Profile podcast series. Solution: Rachel Foster provided press release writing services and a strategy to attract more listeners and media attention.
Results: The press release for the March 2011 podcast resulted in a record number of listens and media coverage.
Most of us know that achieving a viral hit is a crapshoot, even for the most skilled marketer.
So far, I’ve written this regular column on social media with barely a mention of the “v” word.
But strip away the myths and misconceptions of virality, and we may find a more useful truth worth exploring. If there is no agreed measure, no benchmark, and no clear definition of what even qualifies as viral content – except after the fact – then it’s not much use in any serious discussion of marketing strategy.
In September 2015, the Minerals Council of Australia decided to repair coal’s reputation with a campaign – a hopelessly one-sided video, seeded in social media with the hashtag #coalisamazing. If the goal was for the video to go viral, gathering views and web traffic, then the campaign was a roaring success. Any controversial brand, industry, or topic needs to develop ideas and arguments that take the critics seriously. There’s already a specific term to describe ideas that spread this way, one that predates viral by more than a decade – memes. Today, when people talk about memes they usually mean captioned images or other content that people adapt and share in social media, usually for comic effect. You’ve probably seen images of an exasperated Jean-Luc Picard, a passive aggressive Willy Wonka, or a million other images given new meaning with each new caption. Richard Dawkins coined the word “meme” in 1976 to describe the transmission of ideas or behaviors by imitation. If memes are viral by definition, constantly replicated, personalized, and redistributed through communities, does that mean marketers should develop branded memes instead of chasing viral hits?
If I may borrow the Lord of the Rings’ Boromir meme for a moment, “One does not simply launch a branded meme generator.
In April 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli as part of an allied campaign. In April 2015, Woolworths – a supermarket chain and one of Australia’s largest retailers – decided to mark the centenary of the World War I Gallipoli campaign with a hashtag and meme generator.
If you uploaded an image of a relative who fought in the war, the website gave you a version optimized for social media, captioned with the words “Lest we forget, Anzac 1915-2015.” At the bottom of each image was a second caption – “Fresh in our memories” – and the Woolworths logo.
Woolworths’ tagline is “the fresh food people” and the word “fresh” appears throughout all of its marketing.
People used the generator to make jokes, satirize local politics, and, above all, ridicule Woolworths. The Woolworths and the Minerals Council of Australia examples failed because they didn’t understand how the same sharing behaviors they wanted to exploit also could distort or undermine their message. If it involves putting words in a row with the occasional punctuation, then Jonathan has most likely given it a bash; from copy writing to screenwriting, blogging to journalism.
Join Over 150,000 of your Peers!Get daily articles and news delivered to your email inbox and get CMI’s exclusive e-book Launch Your Own Content Marketing Program FREE! According to recent Content Marketing Institute research, lack of time is the number one issue for both B2B and B2C marketers (69 percent and 57 percent cited it, respectively). Below are 10 steps you can follow to scale your content marketing strategy to fuel more efficient, effective, and plentiful content creation.
If you haven’t already done so, create a documented content marketing strategy that aligns with your organizational goals.
Address gaps in content proactively, whether related to specific keywords, buyer personas, or stages in the sales funnel.
A detailed yet adaptable plan is best, but even a basic content calendar of topics, company milestones, and industry events will help reign-in the chaos that can result from an unstructured content program. Next, make sure you’ve put the necessary processes in place to manage the flow of content creation, distribution, and measurement. What: Blog posts, eBooks, infographics, videos… what types of content is your target audience looking for, and what is your team capable of delivering to them?
Where: Your team should have shared access to both the content calendar and working drafts. Tip: There are a number of tools you can leverage to make content marketing processes even more efficient and strategic. Subject matter expertise is essential to efficiently written and technically sound content. If your team is small, invest in necessary training and educational resources, or pull in an agency to supplement content creation efforts. Each idea brought to the meeting should pass through a conversational filter to discuss the idea’s value, explore alternative angles, select topics for production, prioritize importance, and make sure all topics fit into your larger content marketing strategy. As my colleague Mike Kaput puts it, “Repurposed content reaches more leads in more places and extracts more value from content marketing investments. In addition to getting more mileage from each topic, repurposing challenges you to re-create valuable content assets for different buyer personas and verticals — making content highly targeted and relevant. One of the more straightforward approaches to scaling your efforts is to draw in greater budget.
When creating new content, make sure your time is spent on projects capable of delivering the greatest value.
Start by mapping existing content to specific personas across the sales cycle, then prioritize topics that will fill the gaps. Building on Step 8, track performance through quantifiable metrics, and leverage this data to allocate resources toward top-performing subjects and formats. Monthly, quarterly, and annually: Record KPIs, looking for trends and potential contributors. As needed: Plan for spot-checks into your analytics now and again to evaluate the performance of new content initiatives or particularly innovative content projects.
You may be creating content successfully now, but in order for your strategy to scale as your content efforts expand, you should also be prepared to leverage that content to its fullest potential. Deploying marketing automation to deliver content at key touchpoints in the buying process.
As content marketing matures, strategy and execution will become increasingly sophisticated. Your brand is vying for visitors, subscribers, leads, and sales, and content should be an ever-growing piece of your marketing strategy. Transform your content marketing from a subservient service to a strategic, enterprise-wise partnership for greater business success.
I agree with you Fred—The more defined a piece of content’s purpose, success metrics, place in the larger content strategy, etc., the better!
Small businesses should consider finding someone who already has the skills and connections they need. For the past three years, we have released our annual Content Marketing Benchmarks and Trends Research for Business-to-Business (B2B). What social media channels do B2C marketers use — and how does this differ from what B2B marketers use?
Similar to their B2B peers, B2C marketers are not confident they are using these tactics effectively. On average, B2C marketers use four social media networks to distribute their content, compared to five for B2B. On average, B2C marketers are spending 28 percent of their marketing budgets on content marketing, compared to 33 percent of budgets for B2B.
I always browse through benchmark reports (and love the hard work the CMI team puts in), but they have to be taken with a grain of salt. This type of information is probably more beneficial to people trying to sell things to content marketers than to actual marketers. Hi Joe, the information is certainly useful and I applaud all of the ridiculously hard work you and your team put in to elevating the industry!
In the 2013 the ratio of b2c marketing was very high and now in 2014 it is getting little down because of new changes in writing.
If so, download this free report now or view the Zmags digital version from Junta42 and MarketingProfs to get answers to these questions and many more. Nine in 10 organizations market with content, with marketers using eight content tactics on average. B2B marketers allocate approximately 26% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing initiatives. While content marketing is mainstream, marketers are unsure of how effective various tactics are. While marketers certainly need education around content marketing, this isn’t the only thing needed for content marketing success.
If you are in B2B marketing, there are many other things you will find out by downloading this report, such as how content marketers measure success, what distinguishes self-described best-in-class marketers and much more. Thanks Gang…yes, I like the fact that B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. I was also wondering if creating content regularly is part of the content marketing challenge marketers face.
I’m glad I ran into your activities, though too late to join your conference next week. In the last 12 months—particularly in the United Kingdom—there’s been a greater focus on analytics. Now that we are “always on” and “always connected,” we’re moving from the idea of a pond (do it once and pray that Google picks it up and indexes it) to a stream (always on, always moving).
AJ Bombers (a restaurant chain based in Wisconsin) is a great example of a small company that uses content marketing with incredible sophistication. We are perplexed that the form factors for publishing haven’t changed, even though we’ve become such a mobile world. I recently interviewed 57 content marketing experts and practitioners from major US brands, most from the Fortune 500, and asked what they plan to do in the future related to content. The biggest hurdle marketers face is this: You need to recognize no one cares about you, your company or your product. So much content today is tailored to the US market, even though a lot of revenue growth is coming from other regions, such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Obviously there is an ever-increasing focus on measurement and monitoring, to ensure that we are tying results back to our business objectives (and more specifically, revenue). In the future, I see the intersection of two big ideas: The massive demand for content, that by its scale just can’t be created and managed in-house.
The big change ahead will be the new technologies that allow marketers to achieve seamless integration of existing content systems and labor. I talk with a lot of people who are frustrated with the fact that their content marketing strategy doesn’t seem to be working.
There are some common trends that characterize many of these “failed” content marketing strategies.
Content marketing is something that everyone is doing, but not many people are very confident about it. What we’re facing is an industry in which “strategy” – whatever that is – is either not working or nonexistent. This is an issue that I covered in depth in my Kissmetrics article, 10 Common Reasons Why Content Marketing Isn’t Working for You.
I’m also concerned about this statistic: Only one-third follow their documented strategy “very” closely, with 57% following it “somewhat” closely. Ironically, after years of books, articles, and MBA programs dedicated to strategic thinking, that’s the danger with how strategy is used in business meetings. People conflate business strategy with the aggregation of tactical plans … Studies show that a big problem with strategic planning processes is that the resulting ‘strategy’ is a bland compilation of capital budgets that, in turn, are a compilation (not integration) of separate functional initiatives. The kind of goal-setting that I suggest is a simple tried-and-true technique called SMART goals. If businesses would forget about “strategy,” and instead pick real goals, I think that content marketing would explode in effectiveness. The ways that I see companies lose their strategy can be tied back to shortcomings in the SMART goal-setting process.
Reorienting your content marketing strategy around these five guidelines will revolutionize the way you approach marketing. Measuring the ROI of content marketing is one of the most common frustrations among marketers. If your business uses AdWords, then you might want to try the technique used by David Meerman Scott, which includes measuring your ROI based on AdWords equivalency. Brand awareness or reinforcement – This is a strong goal for businesses that may not sell a product online. Lead conversion and nurturing – The types of leads vary according to business, but this is a common goal. Customer conversion – Many e-commerce sites simply want their content marketing strategy to drive up actual purchases. Keep in mind that a real strategy – one that is built on SMART goals – has an attainable outcome.
Content marketing is such a widespread marketing method that many organizations simply do it without taking the time to integrate it with company-wide goals.
For those webinars to possess explosive power, they should contain calls to action that drive attendees to sign up for the SaaS. If content marketing is going to continue into the foreseeable future, we need to know when we’ve reached our goals. As you crystallize your content marketing goals, make sure that each goal has a point at which you know for sure if you’ve finished or not.
If your goals are too vague, you’ll keep spinning your strategic wheels, hoping for a conclusion, but never seeing one. The explosive growth of content marketing is one of the best things to happen to the marketing world. If you replace the vague idea of “strategy” with some crystal-clear goals, you’ll see your content marketing advance.
Nice post Neil, Strategy is a mode that drive you to your goals in a way so that you can quantify it and in presentable way.
Small quantified goals can have boundaries but when it comes to broad goal for any organization then I think it is infinite and never ending process.
A documented content marketing strategy ensures that your content is differentiated, fills a specific need and is viable in the market as a media property. Ricky, having solid benchmarks is vital — I always test and test again to see how I can improve. Neil: I completely agree that brands today struggle with how to document a content marketing strategy, which research has consistently shown.
It’s surprising how many marketing leaders have no clear strategy, there is definitely a lack of rigour compared to more established methodologies and practices for example in enterprise architecture and business transformation for example. The day has come: Your boss signed off on your proposal to get the help your marketing team needs from a content strategist. Here’s advice from some of the experts who spoke at the 2016 Intelligent Content Conference. First, look for people experienced and skilled in content – marketing, technical, instructional, any type of content – and then look for user experience design and engineering skills.
After you’ve identified some candidates, sift out those who can think both abstractly and analytically, who are excellent problem solvers, who dig for root causes, who understand the goals and needs of other roles on a cross-disciplinary team and can influence them.
How would you get the input you need for each inflection point: Content, person, place, time? How would you develop a content strategy if you had no product strategy, no market data, and no user data for input? How have you created content strategies and content experiences that have helped achieve marketing or sales goals (revenue, customer advocacy, etc.)?


You need a content strategist who can complement your strengths so that you can address both the editorial and technical sides of content. I often distinguish between editorial and structural content strategists (also known as front-end and back-end content strategists). Editorial content strategists might have a background in copywriting, journalism, or brand strategy. Structural content strategists might have a background in library science, information architecture, or data modeling. Rather than simply partnering with someone with the title of content strategist, first define which subset of skills you need. While content strategists must have big ideas, they must also have enough love for detail to create a realistic road map for implementation. While the ability to create an effective content strategy – the ultimate deliverable – is important, it’s not enough. What are some memorable lessons you’ve learned on both successful and unsuccessful projects? If they talk about branding, messaging, and personas, you understand their (front-end) focus.
If they talk about content models, intelligent content, and content attributes, you understand a different (back-end) focus. The best content strategists understand that content has a continuum between strategy, marketing, and engineering, and they know how to integrate the worlds. I favor people who create content outside of work since it gives them the opportunity to experiment with ideas and techniques. Marketers need to seek content strategists who have these three key traits (aside from solid content strategy skills, of course). Editorial management: How do you get a team to create, manage, and deliver the right stuff, when it’s needed? Content structures and metadata: How should content be shaped, tagged, and modeled so that it’s ready for all your channels and adaptable for all your personas, touchpoints, formats, and audience scenarios? Content process and governance: How can we not only get content out the door but also make sure that the assets remain useful and compliant with the automatic rules we set for them over the content’s life cycle? I wanted to expand our pool of writers, as I knew that a lot of content would be needed to sustain the blog over the long term.
When I came across Rachel’s guest posts on the Content Marketing Institute’s blog, I knew she could help me bring the kind of content-focused approach I was looking for to our blog. It also helped that Rachel had published extensively on content marketing: sharing her content with Allstream gave them confidence in the strategy we were proposing, as well as her ability to execute.
I also needed someone who would ask the right questions during the creative process, so they could get all the information they needed to create the best copy.
I saw their styles, how much research they put into their writing and how long it took them to complete an assignment. Not only does she understand technology at a high level, but she also asks the right questions when she interviews subject matter experts. I was looking for a seasoned B2B copywriter who had a successful track record working with technical copy.
She also had a repeatable approach that gave me a high degree of confidence in her ability to deliver on time and within budget.
And in all those years, this was the first time the client had no significant edits whatsoever. She remains calm under deadline and is not afraid to ask my clients the tough questions in order to deliver a first-rate finished product. We had hired another copywriter, but she got overwhelmed with the technical aspect of our project and couldn’t finish the copy. After speaking with Rachel, I saw that she understood our products and had lots of experience writing copy for technology companies. I work with many writers, and after following Rachel ?for some time online, I was impressed by her writing and knew she would be a good fit to blog for the CMI. Summaries of the Roundtables are posted to our website and put in our newsletter, which goes out to subscribers within the Toronto and GTA marketing community. I have to be very careful about who I recommend to them, so there are not many people I refer. I’ve owned agencies for 15 years, and Rachel is the second person I’ve met who has the level of writing that when you get something back, it only requires a few minor changes. However, I need Rachel to help me to organize my marketing into well written material that speaks directly to my target audience. Not only does she write and edit for her clients, but as a talented entrepreneur, she creates marketing campaigns for her own business that get results – this is extremely important to me, because I want to work with someone who walks the walk.
They hoped to raise awareness of both their business and the people featured in the interviews. She quickly sent us well-written copy that only required very minor updates on the first draft. She was very professional and wrote in a language that sounded like us, reflected who we are and didn’t seem like a made-up marketing piece. After looking at templates online and trying to write the bio myself, I couldn’t seem to get it the way I wanted it. She helps B2B marketers improve their response rates, clearly communicate complex messages and generate high-quality leads.
One element we have seen many bushinesses miss out on is tracking how many phone calls were generated via the online medium. Your content is subject to the capricious, anarchic, unforgiving, cat-loving whims of the Internet.
This is particularly true in Australia, where mining interests are lobbying hard to increase local coal production, despite global pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Before long, almost everything posted to the hashtag WAS satirical, lampooning the video, sharing anti-coal facts, and criticizing the industry. But the content and hashtag had been repurposed to say the exact opposite of what was intended, fueling criticism instead of mollifying it. So the message has to be palatable and persuasive enough to be adopted, adapted, and advocated by your audience. But he’s not concerned with how the Internet has appropriated the word, as he told Wired magazine in 2013: “The meaning is not that far away from the original. The original image, video, hashtag, etc., is just the medium that allows each person to express his or her own idea or message. The campaign website invited people to commemorate Anzac Day with a custom profile picture or cover photo. Someone probably thought it was very clever to come up with a campaign tagline and hashtag with such strong brand alignment. So you’d better be sure your message will survive when you release it into the merciless wilds of social media. He has won awards for his articles on digital marketing and his over-opinionated blog, Atomik Soapbox.
If bandwidth is already compressed, how will content marketers find time to address splintered reader attention spans, the ever-expanding landscape of new publishing platforms, and the near-constant shifting of content consumption patterns? Keep in mind that good process creates guardrails, not roadblocks, allowing your team to run with the content marketing strategy you’ve created. On an individual level, what buyer persona and buying cycle stage will each content asset address? Too much time is wasted hunting down the latest version or trying to remember whether a post was finalized for publishing.
Bring others into the process of content marketing, including sales, product experts, and even your customers. Combine, reuse or rethink content in new and unexpected ways to generate more with less effort. To earn buy-in from budgetary gatekeepers, be proactive and prepared in conversations, and regularly share current performance and wins to build trust and bolster support. Throughout each stage of the customer journey, figure out which specific pieces of content will cater best to your personas’ current needs. Create integrated content strategies that combine best practices in blogging, SEO, social media, PR, email marketing, lead nurturing, and marketing automation for maximum impact.
But in order to scale to a level where your content can continually adapt to the challenge of breaking through the ever-increasing digital clutter and noise, you’ll need to prepare your team with efficient processes, integrated technology, and an intelligent strategy that can rise to any occasion.
Interesting that although the tools have changed, the steps to creating great content are the same steps traditional publishers have used forever. Your entire team can immediately see connections made, what is in process, and what has been completed. Even content marketing agencies reach out to others when they want to gain new connections. Content is the soul of digital marketing and we should put all our focus in it before stepping ahead. This year, we decided to see how business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing, as well. The most popular of these tactics include social media (84%), articles on a company’s website (84%), and eNewsletters (78%). However, compared to their to B2B, B2C marketers are more confident in their use of social media and print. Fifty-five percent of B2C marketers are planning to increase their content marketing spend over the next 12 months. This is an issue for 52 percent of B2C marketers, and it is the biggest single challenge as identified by 23 percent. Founder of the Content Marketing Institute , Joe evangelizes content marketing around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books, including best-selling Epic Content Marketing (McGraw-Hill) and the new book, Content Inc. Before I read a benchmark report I already know whats working for me, have my finger on the pulse of what the competition is doing and know which tactics I want to try next. As an agency guy maybe that’s not great news, but if you can build the right internal team, I see the benefits from keeping it in house.
They continue to rise in popularity every year and have become integral to any content marketing strategy.
You have provided great information in your post and some things I have not seen in other content I have read by others. The most popular tactics are social media (excluding blogs) (79%), articles (78%), in-person events (62%) and eNewsletters (61%). 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spend in content marketing over the next 12 months.
For many tactics, there is a large “confidence gap” in which marketers use tactics but are unsure of how effective they are. Very interesting finding that marketers have the most confidence in good, tried and true in-person events.
You’re spot on with content marketing, always a pleasure to read your stuff, great value! But what surprised me is that companies continue to rate blogging activities way down the list – after event marketing, newsletters and case studies.
The content marketing ninja of 2012 and beyond is someone who knows what great is, but also understands through analytics how to measure it and optimize it. We do see small changes, such as the new Twitter IOS5 integration, Twitter is trying to wrap as much meta data in to the iPhone and iPad operating systems as possible, allowing you to publish more easily.
Every single company we spoke to plans to increase its investment in content, going deeper to explore new channels, recommit themselves to existing channels and understand how content marketing can support its other marketing activities. Video is the number one activity marketers plan to expand in the future, which we see as a commitment to visual storytelling. Mobile is more and more within the reach of marketers, technologically speaking, and more and more within the reach of consumers.
We marketers tend to come at things from an egotistical perspective, but customers don’t really care. Over the last five years, marketers have figured out that content is the core engine that drives search on the web. I hope that this will help us get away from producing crappy “click-bait” that might drive short-term traffic and eyeballs but doesn’t result in any revenue. At the same time, there’s the massive change in how Google search is ranking you based on what it considers relevant. That means researchers, writers, editors, subject matter experts, legal—all the in-house and out-sourced inputs needed for content—interact seamlessly and finished content flows back into your content management system. Which leads to one of the biggest challenges in marketing: How to measure performance from a comprehensive perspective?
This post inspired us to dig deeper into the fact that content marketers need to start embracing relevant, high quality, and measured content. If content marketing is such an important marketing method, has proven success, and is used by nearly 90% of businesses, then why do so many businesses feel like their strategy is useless and ineffective?
You may have read CMI’s industry survey, which explained that only 9% of B2B marketers think their organization’s use of content marketing is “very effective.” That leaves the vast majority of the industry in a situation where they are not totally confident about their efforts.
If content marketing is the wonder technique that we think it is, shouldn’t we have a bit more confidence in it? If the organization’s individuals are holding some nebulous strategy in their minds, that’s not really a strategy at all.
Why document your content marketing strategy if it’s not valuable enough to follow closely? It’s fundamentally the movement of an organization from its present position to a desirable but inherently uncertain future position. It’s easy to toss out recommendations like “make SMART goals!” What I want to do is explain exactly what SMART goal-setting looks like in the field of content marketing.
Depending on where the customer is in the purchase cycle, certain forms of content can help nudge them further down the funnel. For one, many marketers get so caught up in the daily tasks of producing content that they lose sight of this outcome.
To make that outcome as attainable as possible, you need to focus it as best as possible on metrics that matter.
Often, a business’ marketing department has a different mindset than the remainder of the company. Once you create your marketing funnel, make sure that your content marketing strategy aligns perfectly.
Their argument stems, in part, from the fact that there is simply so much content being produced and proportionately less content being consumed by the target audiences.
At the same time, we’re still in the early stages of defining, understanding, and making sense of its digital application.
SMART goals are powerful, unstoppable, and ready to push your marketing efforts to new heights of success. Any strategy goes with a lot of initial brainstorming and refinement processes because it is necessary to understand which one is working for you and then keep your strategy refined to get to your goals. As with any business strategy you really have to plan and prioritize when it comes to content.
Content strategists need to rally a team to implement a vision, so they need to not only have the vision but also communicate it to get buy-in and build enthusiasm. If you get a hint of the engagement being about them, thank them for the coffee and walk away. These people might help define the tone and messaging for the site, maybe even serving as a managing editor.
These people might help plan a CMS implementation or define structured content, metadata, and taxonomies. They identify the needs of the users so that they can create the right messaging AND they work with content engineers and technologists to make this content nimble, agile, and deliverable to any place at any time. They underscore the importance of working across silos and departments to deliver a good customer experience. Then, look for someone who understands the range of tasks that are required to plan, execute, measure, optimize, and govern content across multiple channels. LinkedIn is a good place to start – as long as you ask the right questions and filter out people who are just using the keywords. You want someone who understands and appreciates the role marketing plays in the organization and the way marketing interfaces with other functions, like sales and customer service. Subscribe to Content Strategy for Marketers, our weekly email newsletter for forward-thinking marketers.


How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs (And Everything You Build from Them) and You Can Say That Again: 750 Redundant Phrases to Think Twice About. It’s a lucky company that finds content professionals who brings all these skills and characteristics together. What I think would make for a great follow-up article is what to look for in the answers to some of the questions listed above, particularly in sections like Look for realistic planners, Hunt for big thinkers and Stretch beyond the strategy deliverables. Would you think a person who mentions keywords is out of date or is a person who only mentions keywords when optimizing content for SERPS is out of date. The very day you posted this question about the changing role of keywords in SEO, CMI published an article on this topic. I liked Rachel, because she incorporates a lot of research into her writing while keeping good timelines. I can also tell that she puts a lot of thought into her writing, as her work requires little to no editing on our part. She takes the lead on the phone and helps us drive to the end result, which is the vision that I have in my head. I had worked with other copywriters before but needed a reliable go-to resource for heavy B2B copy work.
She also connected us with a great translator, so we could cover both the French and English sides of our website. When she started her own business, I continued to use her services because I knew she did a great job and I could count on her. I particularly liked that when I sent her something, I would get it back the way I wanted it without a lot of input on my part. After meeting Rachel, I decided to hire her because I liked how professionally she presented herself and her work. If you do not track and calculate the calls generated, it is a significant number of leads that are missed out or rather not counted into the digital metrics.The power of pushing a phone number on your landing page, social page, or website is dynamic. How should I fill the remaining word count after stating the obvious in the first 100 or so words? If you think there is, I can point to hundreds of other pieces of content that use exactly the same techniques and go absolutely nowhere. Since 2007, this meme has spawned thousands of variations, each adding new subtitles to a particular scene from the movie Downfall. Australia’s biggest military tragedy is marked by an annual public holiday and the Anzacs have become mythologized to almost sacred levels in Australian culture. But the wider community just saw a weak pun that placed war heroes on a par with iceberg lettuce. But it was likely easier, internally, to sell the Exec suite to spend the money for this concept if they plaster the brand carelessly and selfishly onto the message.
It’s a bad habit that stifles creativity, causes burnout, and allows low-quality ideas to slip through. Keep the latest status and file name of each content piece in a centralized location for ubiquitous access. Make the most of employee-generated content, user-generated content, and customer advocates. Added budget can be used to build up internal resources or fund wish list content marketing projects, like a video or infographic.
Evaluate your content’s performance — revamp the least successful assets, and better promote the most successful.
Reuse original research and ideas from one post – reshape it into SlideShare presentations, video content, imagery, or audio. You’ll spend hours producing something you think is great, only to get little engagement, traffic, or leads.
This information is helpful for the content creators AND for those who request the content.
It is much easier to get content on major sites if the person asking knows a contributor or editor already.
I have seen that a lot of marketers make mistakes in content by not following the effective guidelines and just throwing balls everywhere.
We’re thrilled to release 2013 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, sponsored by Pace. Other challenges include producing enough content and producing the kind of content that engages. For instance, of the 79% of B2B marketers who use social media, only 31% of users think they use this tactic effectively.
This is a shocking and exciting statistic to me, 51% of B2B marketers plan to increase their spend in content marketing over the next 12 months.
Do you see that trend changing any time soon, where blogging will become one of the top 3 content marketing strategy?
Currently about 80 percent of our clients are using tools like Marketo and Eloqua, whereas in 2008 only 10 percent were. Social over the next few years is going to be about the transition from searching to discovery—specifically, discovery through friends.
AJ Bombers doesn’t have time to create beautiful blog posts, so its digital center is FourSquare. It gives you the ability to grab, react and curate a piece of media from where ever you are on the iPhone.
I see so few content marketers who truly understand the power of an instant blog post, an out-of-the-gate video, a fast update to a website. But as more companies become publishers, there’s a real need to ratchet back the volume and increase quality.
They need to refine their ability to look at data, extract what matters and “pivot table” it. Content marketers face a challenge in that purchase cycles are different in China, the sales ecosystem is different and the tools that people use online are very different. The “strategy,” whatever that is, wasn’t clear enough to guide the business to achieve its goals. The path from here to there is both analytical (a series of linked hypotheses about objectives in a market, where we do and don’t play among our opportunity spaces, and what this means for the customer value proposition, sales tasks, and other activities) and behavioral (the ongoing coordinated efforts of people who work in different functions but must align for effective strategy execution).
I suggest that we stop trying to come up with an innovative “strategy,” and instead focus on goals.
SMART goals have a clear method of progress, and real numbers that demonstrate whether that progress is happening.
There are dozens of content varieties and for your specific business some of these may be more effective than a blog. Often, a single and focused tactic works better than a dozen tactics that are poorly executed. Instead, they simply are producing more content, more content, more content, and don’t stop to realize that more content isn’t going to get them anywhere unless that content is directly tied to an attainable goal. Webinars are a powerful way to drive traffic, build thought leadership, expand influence, and produce all kinds of wonderful results. If those webinars aren’t designed to improve the sale of SaaS, then they are a waste of time and money. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he has created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. You might also consider hiring a content strategy consultant or consulting company who could help you hire someone. If you can find people with a lot of experience creating content in your field – even if they’ve never held the title of content marketer or content strategist – they can almost certainly give you what you need from a strategist: Insight into how best to reach your audience systematically over time.
These folks may be measured by their ability to grow and win awards instead of by your ability to execute their strategy.
This is table stakes for delivering sustainable, scalable content experiences that serve the needs of the total customer. All types of content must adhere to the same core content strategy, the same messaging, the same tone of voice, the same overarching approach to content planning, production, workflow, and governance. To read what likely looks to many like an ungodly or impossible amount of requirements, skills, and experiences for one person to posses—and recognize every one of them as something you excel at is an awesome feeling! Rachel also understands Softchoice’s tone and is able to speak to our audience, which is very important to us. From an editor’s perspective, there is little to no editing needed on her pieces, as they are very clean.
The spoofs capture Hitler’s rage against everything from Xbox Live to Donald Trump’s election bid.
In the original introduction to the word meme in the last chapter of The Selfish Gene, I did actually use the metaphor of a virus. Consider using project management software, such as Podio or Basecamp, which enable teams access to a calendar, to-do lists, and files. Not only can their involvement lessen the burden of content creation, it can also lend greater authenticity to your content, help your team get executive buy-in more easily, and add richer detail to the stories you tell. In 2008, the career path of a senior marketer was getting further and further away from execution. Many marketers think of a content marketing strategy as blogging or video, but it can be as simple as Twitter and FourSquare. In my experience, most content marketers still have a campaign approach to content marketing.
They need to be able to say, “When I talk about topic ABC on my blog, it generates three times the traffic and two times the leads.” This is not a natural step for marketers—especially those who have been marketers for a long while. Those customers have different problems and the purchase cycles are different, therefore the content we need to deliver to them will be different. You need to create content that’s engaging and unique, and ultimately shareable and linkable. Marketers need to be able to say, “this entire program is effective,” rather than “this particular piece of content drove this number of click throughs.” It’s about managing the entire buyer experience, not just adding up the activity. As content marketers, we can continually set the bar higher, but we ought not to allow the endless pursuit of a somewhere, somehow, someday endpoint. Some specialize in the editorial aspects of content (writing, messaging, tone of voice), while others specialize in content choreography and content engineering (making sure your content travels unencumbered through a maze of systems to reach its destination). Model your job descriptions on other companies’ job postings in content strategy and information architecture. Find someone looking for innovative new ways to discover, create, target, distribute, and deliver value with content. Strategy (of any kind, content strategy included) is only as good as an organization’s ability to execute it well. The Online Marketing Institute listed Rachel as one of the top 40 digital strategists of 2014.
The success of the Downfall meme is incredible when you think of the effort involved in producing each one.
I am certain that these 10 tips are more than enough to play with the content and get lucrative results out from it. And recently Barnes & Nobles announced that subscribers to the New York Times and People will receive a free Nook. If you have measurable goals (a strategy), then you are usually measuring the return on investment.
She taught technical writing in the Engineering School at Cornell University and studied literature and creative writing in the Syracuse University Masters program under Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff. The most successful senior marketers are rolling their sleeves back, diving in and experimenting. Right now the push is all about creating content, but is all that content being created really addressing your customers? Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for example are inaccessible in China but Weibu, RenRen and Youku offer many of the same features and are hugely popular in China. But there’s a big opportunity to take advantage of what’s going on right now, this instant. There is a huge opportunity for content marketers who have a deep understanding of the Chinese market to take advantage of Chinese social media to reach customers. Configuring the Google Analytics event tracking code while easy, requires some technical know how. Being able to create a piece of content (a blog post, for example) that drafts off the news that’s breaking at that moment—it’s a tremendous opportunity and few companies do it. So do involve your technology or web team to help you get this done. This google analytics event tracking code is used to record a user’s interaction with the website elements and in this use case we tracking the number of people who clicked on the phone number to call the business. On smartphones and other high-end mobile devices, these phone numbers are often clickable and cost the same as a standard CPC would demand.Click-to-call ads also help you to gain insights about the calls.
These stats help you understand which keywords and ads are driving the most phone calls, which results in the optimization of these ads to make the graphs better.
To activate these you will need to go to the Ad Extensions Tab.On Google+ Google+ provides the easiest steps towards gauging the call metrics. Fortunately there are a lot of free SEO tools online that can help you assess the work done thereby helping you achieve your SEO (and business) goals.Tools for Keyword ResearchGoogle keyword plannerThe keyword planner tool in Google Adwords forms the basis of most SEO strategies today.
This free tool from Google can be used to search keywords, ad group ideas and also get an understanding of how a particular keyword might perform. You can also get help in choosing competitive bids and budget to go with your SEO campaign. When searching for a particular keyword the suggestions provided by google gives an insight as to what users are looking for in the particular field. Simple shortcut to Incognito is Ctrl + Shift + N.ContentSitelinerThe site helps identify duplicate content within the site, be it in the meta-tags or content within the site.
In today’s scenario where Google algorithms strictly check for duplication Siteliner is very beneficial.CopyscapeA special tool to check for copied content from other sites. More often than not bloggers are seen referring content from other sites and using them without any modification which is strictly against SEO rules.
Copyscape can help detect any copied content to be placed within the site.Anchor Text Over Optimization ToolOnce you have created your meta-tags, it is important to check the optimization levels of the keywords used in them. Apart from this the tool also provides insight on website traffic patterns, reach, visibility, speed-metrics and authorship statistics.Moz open site explorerMoz is considered to be one of the pioneers of SEO and their open site explorer sites will help you understand the various off-page SEO techniques.
With Moz open site explorer ou can gauge site’s influence, view subdomain, inbound links to the site, root domain and analyze the link pages.Google Developer PageSpeed InsightsThe tool helps analyze the performance of a webpage. Based on the speed at which the site loads you can quantify and estimate the performance on all devices.Pingdom Website Speed ToolPingdom Website Speed Tool helps check the time your website takes to load. Apart from generating the file you can also enter pages that you want the search engine to not crawl without having to do manually.Ahrefs – Backlink CheckerAhrefs is a site explorer and backlink checker and is probably one of simplest yet effective tool available. Can be useful in analyzing online strategies to compete with your competitors.Majestic SEOA complete SEO service tool that shows results specifically on link building and domain-based metrics. The free services provided include Site Explorer, Backlink History tool and Keyword checker.Schema CreatorThis site will help you create a schema based on which Google and other search engines make sense of content in your HTML. For people new into SEO creating a schema might be difficult to grasp and Schema Creator will turn out to be a huge help for them.SEO ChatUseful in developing new SEO strategies. You can look into our article on Google Analytics for more insight into using the tool.Are there any other free SEO tools you use that you feel should be on this list? It was only in 2014, that there was a focus on measuring business results (online orders, lead generation, sign ups etc).
This trend is likely to get more entrenched in 2015, with even small businesses focussing on achieving their business goals via the digital medium.
With free tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, brands can now track how many leads or online sales or signups they had and as to which digital medium helped them get these results.For example, for some of our ecommerce companies close to 30% of revenue comes from Facebook and upto 5% from emailer campaigns. Powerful CRM tools are going to enable brands to build a single view of the customer and to see what kind of targeting communication can be given to them. So superman t-shirt ads are targeted to users who like Superman and fit into the age & location demographic relevant to the brand. This level of granular targeting is possible only in social media.Content creation based on analyticsSocial media listening tools and content analysis is starting to happen where brands can predict what kind of content will help in engaging with their audience. Brands like Red Bull have kept content at the core of the digital strategy and that’s the approach many brands are starting to take.



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