The Point

Archive for the ‘Content marketing’ Category

Jul

How Publishing Crappy Content Ruins Your Rankings

content farm

Lessons from (and confessions of) a former content farmer.

This is a guest post from Erik Devaney of HubSpot, aka @BardOfBoston, pictured above ;-)

Ever stumble across a poorly written, vaguely comprehensible article with a title like, “How to Cook Atlantic Pygmy Octopus on a Weber Grill” or “The Best Types of Blue Flowers for Japanese Rock Gardens”?

Chances are, an article like that came from a content farm: a website that publishes thousands upon thousands of crappy articles, all for the sake of ranking for as many keywords (and keyword combinations) as possible.

If you want to think about them in terms of actual farms, content farms are like giant, multinational agriculture corporations. Corporations like these can have thousands of employees, hundreds of different products, and they often use genetic engineering in order to optimize those products. Likewise, content farms can have thousands of writers, hundreds of different verticals, and they often use black-hat SEO tactics (especially keyword-stuffing) in order to optimize their content for search engines.

Of course, genetic engineering is a tad different from SEO. Yet both are frequently viewed as ways to “game the system,” and often carry with them negative (and unnatural) connotations.

It should come as no surprise then to learn that Google is not a big fan of content farms. And just a few years ago, they made these feelings known to the world with the release of their Panda update.

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Jul

Hey Marketers, No One Needs Your Nontent [and the ingredients for making the good stuff]

nontent

Who the hell needs nontent? No one. So why make it?

I mean, sheeshe, for every quart of content, there must be a gallon of nontent diluting the media and keeping buyers from finding the good stuff.

Look at this shit. Penis nicknames. Hands drawing words on a whiteboard to spell out what the announcer guy is saying? Forty-five-minute infomercials posing as webinars?

It’s so nonsensical. Such a waste of everyone’s time. Though officially content can be anything, we commune here today to talk about marketing. Content marketing. And nontent marketing.

Please agree, it’s really not content marketing if the majority of it is disposable garbage. Useless babble won’t help you make any real connections. And you can just forget about conversion.

Nontent. Nonnection. Nonversion.

My spell checker’s freaking out. These are not really words. But they should be. And you don’t need a dictionary, do you? Each definition is the opposite of what it would have meant if it started with a “c.”

Let’s get into some nontent now.

Here you go. My thoughts on the subjects are presented as slides and written about below. You’ll hate it.


Nontent – This is not content marketing from Barry Feldman

Please click along now.

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Jun

Slideshare: A Content Marketing Imperative

SlideShare home

Three breeds of content marketers walk among us.

There are those who haven’t discovered the content marketing dream-come-true that is SlideShare. Sadly, most fall into this first category.

You have those who are hip to SlideShare, but are making a bit of a mess on the mega-content hub.

And finally, you have SlideShare stars. They’re rocking on the SlideShare dance floor, but may choose not to shout about it for fear things could go south if the whole world joins the party.

SlideShare is a content hub where users share presentations, infographics, videos and documents. Acquired by LinkedIn six years after its inception, SlideShare is the world’s largest content sharing community for professionals. Though it remains 117 notches below Facebook for traffic rankings, SlideShare is clearly an arrow going up and to the right.

Why care about SlideShare?

A couple years ago, I heard Todd Wheatland, the author of “The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare,” speak at Content Marketing World. I’m paraphrasing here, but recall his attention-getting opening went something like this:

“Why would you want your content on SlideShare? The site averages 60 million unique visitors a month. Yours doesn’t.”

Visitor envy? It’s only natural.

Not long before that conference, Column Five Media created an infographic, which revealed SlideShare has 5X the traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

SlideShare traffic is driven largely by search and social. Visitors tend to be at work, doing work. I believe I mentioned it’s a content marketer’s dream.

And you can generate something more important than eyeballs with SlideShare. You can generate leads. (more…)

May

30+ Need-to-Read Resources on Online Marketing

online marketers need to read

 

You’ll want to check these blogs, authors, resources—all top notch.

My Google Alerts alerted me to a resource list for online marketers produced on ExploreB2B by Dr. Susanna Gebauer, an internet marketing and energy regulations expert (fun combo, no?) hailing from Germany. I’m flattered the list included yours truly. It’s a strong line-up of marketers that I’d recommend you check out. It even introduced me to some writers in the field who are worth getting to know. I’ve republished it so you can get to know them too.

Bragging rights? I’ve actually written for 10 of these awesome marketing leaders. 

***

Dr. Susanna Gebauer wrote:

Recently I was asked to recommend some German blogs on Content Marketing. As I myself mainly read English blogs I admit I had to search around – and failed miserably as German blogs worth reading on this subject seem to be few.

Today I present the best English language blogs and outlets I know about Content, Social Media and Online Marketing – feel free to tell me what I missed.

This is a list of blogs I read and would recommend. The list is in no particular order and the numbering implies no rating.

1) Copyblogger:

They do not only talk about content marketing – they live it. That is one of the best recommendations you can get: people who successfully use content marketing to market their own business. Meet Brian Clark of Copyblogger on Twitter or Google+.

2) Marketo:

Marketo offers a Marketing automation software, they help you sort through all your contacts to always have the right message for the right people to turn prospects into customers. On their blog they write about Marketing Automation, Social Media, Content Marketing, Email Marketing and Sales.

3) Marketing Profs:

Ann Handley of Marketing profs and her team provide you with vast collection of information on all things marketing.

4) Hubspot:

Hubspot itself is an inbound marketing software that “helps to attract customers and convert them into customers”. On their blog they publish about a variety of marketing topics including content marketing and social media.

5) Kissmetrics:

Kissmetrics was one of the first blogs I followed as they provide us with a good mix of content around different marketing topics. They focus on providing helpful information: tips, how-tos and studies.

6) Content Marketing Institute: (more…)

May

Influencer Marketing Ideas from Influential Marketers – INFOGRAPHIC

social media experts

 

Influencer Marketing is…

An approach to marketing and public relations where you target the people your prospects turn to for information. (According to OpenView in “The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing”)

The process of identifying, researching, engaging and supporting the people who create the conversations impacting your brand, products or services. (According to Traackr in its “Guide to Influencer Marketing’)

The name we give to the process of developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service. (According to The Moz Blog in “Influencer Marketing – What it is and why you need to be doing it”)

You get the idea. Influencer marketing is getting in the good graces of the big kahunas and making the kinship work for your company. From the definitions above, you gather it happens in the form of conversation, relationship development, and information creation.

Why is “influencer marketing” such a big buzz?

Influencer marketing is bleeping big on the radar screen of the i-world because we’re creating exabytes of data faster than we can pause to learn what the hell an exabyte actually is. And, of course, we not just going gangbusters creating content. It gets distributed at the speed of gigahertz in googols (which is 1 followed by 100 zeros).

Something like that.

The crux of the matter is this: while everyone’s capable of making ripples, an elite few actually have the power to make waves. They’re influential. Readers care what they think, are more prone to buy into their points of view and act on them.

These influential types, which we conveniently call “influencers,” serve as a proxy to the online universe. They amplify the messages they choose to. They point the way. They help the common man focus his limited time and resources on the most powerful channels and conversations.

Let’s cut to the kill. They sway purchasing decisions.

Here’s why you should care.

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May

12 Content Marketing Tips Every Small Business Must Know

cmsmallbiz cartoon

Garrett Moon of Todaymade is one of my favorite bloggers. I loved the tips he offered in this post and he agreed to let me republish it here. 

Ahh.. the life of a small business owner. So peaceful, so serene, and so little stress. Am I right?

Of course not–your life is crazy! But you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

Being a small business owner has many benefits and many job titles. In the course of a single hour, you can easily jump from Chief Executive Officer to Chief Financial Officer, from Chief Operations Officer to Chief Marketing Officer. In small business, you are in control of your own destiny. You are also in control of your own content marketing.

Every day, I hear from small business owners like you asking about how they can get the most out of their content marketing. They simply want to promote their business to best of their ability, and who can blame them? For that reason, I decided to compile a list of my top twelve tips for content marketing for small businesses.

1) Listen To What Your Customers Ask You

Small business content marketers struggle with what they should be talking about online.

It is easy to get into sales pitch mode and push our products and service on our customers, but that isn’t what they want from us. They want the same thing that they want in the store – advice. One of the simplest tips for small businesses that are using content marketing is to simply answer the questions that your customers are asking.

Take a poll in your business and figure out the top ten questions that your customers ask most frequently. What do they want to know about? Make a plan to write a blog post (or several) answering each question one by one. Do this regularly, and you will soon build a library of practical content for your future customers.

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May

What Can a Content Marketing Consultant Do For You?

content marketing consultatn

I know a lot of content marketing experts.

Most of them run (or work on) content marketing programs for companies and collect a paycheck for their efforts. Some focus on speaking or hosting events. Many work for software companies in the space. Some specialize in web development, search, social media, or research. A few sell online training programs. A few others own, run or work for digital agencies.

I probably haven’t covered all of their roles, but my point is this:

Though the experts I know have the know-how required to help get content marketing programs cranking, they’re not available to you. They’re not consultants.

The few I know that are consultants are hired by large enterprises, through large consultancies, largely to assess and refine strategic initiatives.

I’m none of the above.

I’m an independent content marketing consultant focused on helping small and mid-sized business—those that are getting started or struggling with content marketing—realize the benefits of the booming discipline.

Given the immense demand for building and practicing content marketing programs, I suspect I’ll soon be joined by a lot people that call themselves consultants. Today, I can honestly say, I don’t know anyone that does what I’m doing.

In recent months, almost daily, I’m asked, “What can you do for me as a content marketing consultant?” I want to answer the question—honestly—and thoroughly. It’s incumbent on content marketers to answer questions from prospects and customers.

So, fair warning: if you’re to continue with this post, you’ll have to tolerate my supreme subjectivity. I don’t mean to be writing an ad or brochure here, but I’m going to tell you—in detail—what I do for clients as a content marketing consultant (and can do for you, if you believe my services address your current needs).

I focus on four areas.

  1. Teach content marketing tactics
  2. Assess content marketing efforts
  3. Plan content marketing programs to support inbound marketing initiatives
  4. Execute content marketing and related online marketing programs to generate qualified leads

I’ll expand on each. Grab a beverage.

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May

Why Most Content Marketers Will Drown in the Content Deluge

CONTENT deluge

Do I sound like a doomsday predictionist up on his soapbox?

Hang with me. The future’s bright. But here and now, I want to impress something important on you…

Content marketing is not your secret weapon anymore. You might be podcasting, publishing newsletters, offering eBooks, posting videos, etc. Surely, you’re blogging and sharing your stuff with social media.

Good for you. These are smart strategies to get discovered online and build relationships. You get that.

But do you get this? Everyone else is doing it too. Seriously, in the recently published research report by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, it says 93% of B2B companies are active in some way, shape or form in content marketing.

Apr

In Loving Memory of a Blog [A Eulogy]

EULOGY

Dearly Beloved,

We gather here today to honor the memory of our friend, Web Log.

That was his birth name.

Most knew him simply as Blog.

Blog’s life was tragically cut short at a very young age. I’m saddened to say, he never really hit his stride or had the chance to grow up to enjoy what might have been his prime.

When Blog was born he was full of hope and vigor. He dreamed of being an educator. He loved having an audience, though our friend Blog had to settle for a very small one.

Those of us who knew Blog well, knew he was not a patient man. Though many admired Blog because he was a self-starter, he was often cautioned about rushing into things.

I suspect if Blog were here today, he’d tell you he would have been wise to have been more deliberate about planning.

Again, though we honor Blog’s spirit, like all of us, he was deeply flawed.

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Mar

Pick the Brains of 5 Top Content Marketers for Brilliant Strategies

Entrepreneur - brilliant strategiesThis article by Eric Siu Entrepreneur.com features great insights from marketing leaders including Rand Fishkin of Moz, Neil Patel (he’s kind of a big deal), Heidi Cohen, and Scott Abel. I have to share it with you.

 

The post originally ran as “The 5 Brilliant Strategies You Can Learn From Top Content Marketers.”

***

Ready to get started with content marketing?  Although the process might sound daunting, there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel.  Instead, take a page out of the playbooks of the following five industry-leading content marketers.  Adding these strategies to your own content campaigns can take your 2014 marketing initiatives from zero to 60 as easily possible — helping you to avoid common content-marketing speed bumps along the way.

Philosophy of Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of marketing site Moz

1. Philosophy of Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of marketing site Moz: “Over-invest in big content.”

Rand Fishkin

Image credit: Nakeva via Flickr

In an interview given with Marketing Land, Rand Fishkin, the ex-CEO of Moz, comments on how the rapid pace of content-marketing adoption means that the bar for content quality will grow higher in the future.  As a result, what works today might fall below the minimum barrier entry just a few years from now.

Fishkin’s strategy is to invest in big content, rather than spreading resources too thin producing smaller, less valuable pieces.  Your company can adopt this strategy by reallocating funding and human capital away from run-of-the-mill marketing pieces in order to concentrate on big content, including mini-sites, videos, interactive infographics and other show-stoppers.

Related: The Moz CEO’s Wonderfully Refreshing Reason for Stepping Down

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