The Point

Archive for the ‘Content marketing’ Category

Jun

Want to Know How to Make Your Written Content Great?

Great written content
You would think everyone and every company would want to know how to create great written content. You’d be wrong. They don’t.

I believe most companies simply want to create written content—blogs, for the most part—and don’t care whether or not it’s great. And I submit, as evidence:

  • The Internet at large: It’s polluted with dreadful blogs.
  • The blog graveyard: A shocking percentage of bloggers pull the plug.
  • The proliferation of content farms: Low-cost writer brokerages continue to thrive because marketers want more pages, posts, URLs, emails… Essentially, they want more web real estate.
  • The atrophy of writing fees: Now that everyone and their cousin-in-law provide content writing services, it’s become Walmart.
  • The bell curve: As interest, and activity, in content marketing continues climbing, a normal distribution curve suggests only a small percentage will achieve excellence.

Content marketing google trendsGoogle Trends data indicates interest in content marketing has risen steadily since 2011.
I suspect a line charting content quality would look different.

It not great, then why?

I wonder if the masses that produce low or mediocre quality content understand content marketing, and in particular, the purpose of written content. It’s hard to deny many companies simply feel it’s an obligation of doing business, perhaps like getting listed in the yellow pages once was.

“The competition has a blog, so we should too.” That sort of thing.

I may fail to deliver new revelations here, but I’m going to reiterate what you can accomplish with content marketing. Understand, first and foremost, the purpose is to help get and keep customers. (more…)

Jun

10 Top Digital Marketing Podcasts to Get Your Content Fix Fast

Top Digital Marketing Podcast

Have you been listening to the Content Matters podcast? 

Andy Crestodina and I team-up every other week to bring you a 20-minute program packed full of content marketing tips and tactics. Each episode focuses on a specific topic and ends with our soon-to-be-famous “mousetrap and cheese” segment.

If you like digital marketing podcasts, there’s no shortage of programs to choose from. Andy and I are excited ours has quickly garnered a loyal and growing audience along with some very flattering recognition from our peers in digital media.

This past week, Erin Robbins O’Brien of GinzaMetrics, posted a list of digital marketing podcast favorites on the Search Engine Journal blog. Erin writes, “If you’re not already a fan of podcasts, give a few of these a listen and they may get you hooked.” Her list includes podcasts of varying lengths and formats. Here, I’ll share with you the short-length programs that aim to give your content fix fast, including Content Matters.

Content Matters

This and every title is a link to the program’s listing on iTunes.

Best Digital Marketing Podcasts

Andy Crestodina, Barry Feldman

Andy and Barry started this podcast in November 2015 to help educate content marketers and provide specific tactics to improve content marketing efforts. Content Matters airs twice a month and focuses on things that “matter” for marketers.

“Your website is the mousetrap and your content is the cheese,” according to Andy and Barry. Each podcast addresses one bite-sized tactic with specific ideas and tips on how to execute the tactic immediately. (more…)

May

What is a Lead Magnet? (And 10 Ways to Quickly Magnify the Size of Your Email List)

 

What is a lead magnet

 

A lead magnet is a free offer you make in exchange for an email address (and possibly additional information).

Lead magnets are also called:

  • Signup incentives
  • Signup offers
  • Freemiums
  • Content upgrades
  • And many other terms

One well-respected digital marketer calls them “an irresistible bribe.” Sounds seedy to me. Lead magnets are above-board and have always been a powerful tool in the marketer’s arsenal. They’re especially golden in digital age because we can satisfy the reader’s request in an instant.

What’s the purpose of a lead magnet?

The purpose of a lead magnet is to inspire the people who are consuming your content to get on your email list. You’ll aim to convert them to customers in the future with lead nurturing tactics, most notably, email.

Offering lead magnets is a vital part of the content marketing formula that builds a more loyal audience, and in turn, effectively builds your business.

Why ask for an email instead of credit card?

“Hello. Can I have some money? God bless you.”

Sounds more like panhandling than an effective approach to digital marketing, doesn’t it?

See, only 2% of first-time website visitors make purchases—and that applies to carefully crafted websites optimized for conversion.

What do the rest do? They leave. They were just browsing. Maybe, just maybe, they’re researching and considering your solution, or something similar.

So if the overwhelming majority of visitors to your website aren’t yet in buy mode, you’re likely to chase them away by pushing your product or service on them.

What do you do instead? You ask for an email address.

In doing so, you’re asking for permission to stay in touch. Your challenge, of course, is to build a relationship, to earn their trust. This takes time. And usually, repeated touches.

But you still have some selling to do

Though the people joining your list aren’t necessarily parting with their money, by merely handing over their email address they’re investing some level of trust in you. They expect you to reciprocate by delivering value.

First, you need to sell them an idea. (more…)

Apr

Is Your Homepage Doing Its Job? [Content Matters Podcast Episode 10]

Episode 10

Is your digital marketing in distress? It’s time to revisit your homepage design.

“Your homepage fills a lot of shoes,” says veteran website development professional Andy Crestodina. What are they?

In this episode of the Content Matters Podcast, Andy and Barry go through your home page left to right, top to bottom, and desktop to mobile offering smart practices for creating a homepage that accomplishes the objective.

Highlights from the episode include:

  • Understanding the role of the home page
  • Tricks and tactics to guide visitors deeper inside your website
  • A simple exercise to prompt you to put your best foot forward
  • Why the title tag is your single most important piece of SEO real estate (and how so many companies screw it up)
  • What goes in the navigation bar?
  • How mobile affects your home page design—why responsive design matters
  • A great list of ways to gain your visitors trust on the homepage
  • Tips for creating an effective call-to-action

(more…)

Apr

The Key to Planning an Effective Content Marketing Program [Content Matters Podcast Episode 9]

Episode 9

The Key to Planning an Effective Content Marketing Program:
A MISSION STATEMENT

Companies that struggle to achieve their goals with content marketing usually don’t have documented strategies.

In this episode of Content Matters Podcast, Andy and Barry discuss how and why to create an all-important mission statement, which will give your marketing programs the focus it needs to be effective.

(more…)

Mar

Content Marketing KPIs: An Easy-to-Understand Overview for the Analytically Challenged

CM KPIs

 

Do You Have a Handle On Your Content Marketing KPIs?

Content marketing is an enigma. When it comes to doing it, almost every company on the web is clued-in. But when it comes to measuring it, most are clueless—and the majority is willing to admit it.

Let’s unravel this sucker.

Research reveals the majority of companies plan to continue increasing their content marketing budgets. Good, I guess. All the while, an unhealthy chunk gives themselves low marks for effectiveness.

38% of B2B and 37% of B2C marketers rate their use of content marketing as effective.

Source: 2015 reports by Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs

Not so good. However, the problem above probably pales in comparison to this next one:

Only 21% of B2B and 23% of B2C marketersindicate they are successful at tracking the ROI of their content marketing programs.

Source: 2015 reports by Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs

It’s interesting to note when asked to rank their top challenges, the answers provided by B2B and B2C marketers stack-up a bit different.

According the to same research, the top three challenges of B2B marketers are:

  1. Producing engaging content
  2. Producing consistently
  3. Measuring content effectiveness

The top three challenges of B2C marketers are:

  1. Measuring content effectiveness
  2. Producing engaging content
  3. Lack of budget.

Clearly, tracking the ROI of content marketing isn’t easy. It’s a point of pain for most.

studioD-most-challenging-obstacles-content-marketing-success-data
Recent research from Ascend2 shows “inability to measure effectiveness” as the fourth most cited obstacle for content marketing success.

What to measure is a point of confusion too

So you want to take this challenge seriously. You want to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing programs.

(more…)

Mar

Interviews: Game Changers for Content Marketers [Content Matters Podcast Episode 8]

Content Matters Episode 8

In this episode of Content Matters, we come out of the gate claiming interviews can be a game-changer for content marketers. Why would we make such a bold statement?

Because Andy and I have learned that conducting interviews is a powerful double whammy.

  1. You’re able to generate more credible and highly compelling content.
  2. You build meaningful relationships with influential voices in your industry.

Take 20 minutes to take-in our best tips for capitalizing on the power of interviews and collaborating on content marketing initiatives.

(more…)

Feb

Content that Converts: A Simple 2-Part Formula

Content that converts

 

Including:
46 Expert Tips for Creating Addictive Content – INFOGRAPHIC

Content worth creating is content that converts. Simple, eh?

“Businesses can’t afford to waste time and resources on content that doesn’t achieve its marketing goals,” writes Sara McGuire, at Venngage, a company I’ve been collaborating with recently.

She continues… 

“In order for your content to stand out from all the background noise, it needs to be addictive. Addictive content pulls readers in over and over again and can generate plenty of backlinks, shares and organic traffic.”

Ooh. Suh-weet. 

But how do you create addictive content?

Venngage asked successful content marketing professionals, “What makes for good content?” and “What is your #1 SEO tactic?” They compiled answers from 46 experts into an ebook (offered here) and an infographic (below).

I was happy to be involved in the project and responded with:

“Good content is not enough. Your content needs to be great—great enough not just to garner traffic, but to win loyal subscribers. My formula’s a two-parter:

  1. Make content that solves a real problem you know potential customers grapple with.
  2. Make the experience of consuming that content fun.

We’re all misers with our time, so we tend to give it to content creators capable of educating and entertaining us.”

(more…)

Feb

SEO Blog Post Checklist: 21 Ways to Crank How You Rank

21 Point Blog Post Checklist

 

This “SEO blog post checklist” gives you:

21 tips, organized in three lists, to cover:

  1. 5 ways to optimize a blog post for SEO
  2. 10 tactics to help engage readers and realize greater success with social media
  3. 6 elements that will embellish your blog posts and inspire readers to spend more time on your site

By applying these techniques, you’ll make serious progress toward getting your blog posts discovered via search and social media—and read and shared more.

5 steps to optimize your blog post for search

All credit to Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media, the author of the web content checklist, the source of these tips. Andy begins with five elements you need to optimize to indicate the relevance of your blog post to the search engines. These are the key places to use target phrases and increase the likelihood your blog post or page will rank. (more…)

Feb

Types of Branded Content: A Guide to 11 Popular Formats [Infographic]

Content types

Do you know what types of branded content to create?

An overwhelming percentage of companies now do some form of content marketing. We know this from the annual research that Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and their partners conduct for both B2B and B2C, and present annually as Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.

Companies are pursuing content marketing more voraciously than years past: 76% of B2B and 77% of B2C marketers are creating more content than they did a year ago.

Half of all marketers will increase spending. The average number of tactics (or types of content) used by B2Bs is 13. B2Cs average 12.

Whoa.

Suffice to say, content marketing battles are in full force.

The effectiveness ratings of branded content vary widely (see below).

Interestingly, infographics is the tactic that had the greatest increase in usage (from 51% last year to 62% this year) for B2B marketers. Equally interesting, in the B2C spectrum, the use of blogging declined from 72% to 67% in 2015.

Determining the kinds of branded content your brand should create can be perplexing. Contently’s Sam Slaughter suggests you begin by considering:

  • Theme
  • Length
  • Volume
  • Format

Content marketers exploring their options also might want to know…

  • What are the leading benefits of the most popular content types?
  • Where are their sweet spots in the digital marketing world?
  • What will it cost to outsource production?
  • How difficult is it to produce the content?
  • What can you do to make your content type perform more powerfully?

(more…)