The Point

Archive for the ‘Content marketing’ Category

Jan

Content Marketing Talent: How to Fill Key Positions and Scale

Content Marketing Talent

 

Content marketing is about people.

Almost every company is doing content marketing. Why? It works. Done well, content marketing promises to increase traffic, leads and sales while reducing marketing costs.

But does it work for every company who does it? Definitely not. And so content marketing really isn’t for every company. Content marketing is for companies committed to employing the best talent and deploying effective tools.

This in-depth article focuses on cultivating content marketing talent, the asset you need most to achieve success in content marketing.

It takes a team

If you’re new to content marketing, you’ll quickly learn the practice demands serious resources. Try to do it as a one-man band and you’ll soon discover it calls for time and talents you don’t have. You need to assemble a team.

In late 2014, content development director Michele Lynn of Content Marketing Institute wrote:

Each year we track the challenges marketers are having with content marketing in our research. This year, one challenge was far more pronounced than it has been: finding trained content marketing professionals. This challenge has seen a 320% increase for B2C marketers over the past year.

According to research conducted by Kapost, fewer than 20% of content marketing teams comprise six or more people. Almost half of the respondents in their survey had teams of 2-5. The same research reports 83.7% of companies find hiring for content marketing talent difficult.

Content marketing is full of trials. First and foremost, you need the right people onboard. Let’s look at who they are, the talents they possess, and how to get the best in the business to join your team.

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Dec

32 Ways a Digital Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

A lot of clients—marketing professionals and business owners—get in touch and ask me to help plan, write, and create websites, eBooks, and blog posts. That’s far from a complete list, but three common requests.

On the other hand, a lot of clients reach out to me without a specific task list in mind. They know they want to grow their business. They know they want to produce traffic, leads and sales. And they think they need the help of digital marketing consultant.

They’re right, but their question is often oh-so-broad: “How can you help me?”

Shwew. My answer could be any number of things and at that point, not having the benefit of knowing where their digital marketing currently stands, I’m seldom able to quickly deliver a perfect answer.

I certainly don’t want to blurt out a specific digital marketing tactic… “YouTube is the answer” or “An email campaign will make rain for you.” That’d be reckless.

A digital marketing consultant should recommend tactics based on needs identified from a carefully considered audit. I’m a strategist. I’m a copywriter. But I’ve been doing digital marketing since it existed, so there are a substantial number of ways I can help you grow your business through digital marketing.

Here they are.

The list won’t magically nail an effective strategy, but my hope is it’ll provide some answers to the “How can you help me?” question and give us lots to talk about.

 

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Dec

How to Make Your Website More Effective

make-your-website-more-effective

Search “how to make your website more effective” and the winner of the search engine sweepstakes is…
5 Free Ways to Make Your Website More Effective NOW.

Good stuff. It’s a guest post on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income site by Sarah Peterson of SumoMe. She says to make your website more effective you should:

  • Reduce decision fatigue
  • Capture the audience’s attention with strong taglines, images, and specific language
  • Present social proof
  • Audit and optimize the technical stuff
  • Move your opt-in offers higher up on the page

These are good suggestions. Thanks Sarah and Pat.

Want to make your website more effective with design? A strong post from Peep Laja at ConversionXL recommends:

  • Create a visual hierarchy based on objectives
  • Make the things you want visitor’s to click bigger and easier to get to
  • Use great visuals that comply to the rule of thirds
  • Use white space
  • Simplify

More good stuff and lots of cool examples and explanations of design principles.

Now I want to share my suggestion—just one, one big one.

The way to make your website more effective is…

Make your website more generous.

Simple, right? Be like Santa. Make a list and check it twice.

What goes on that list? Like Santa’s list, it should contain the things your people want you to produce. They’re probably not going to write you letters or sit on your lap and tell you, but you need to find out what they want somehow.

You need to know precisely what challenges your audience face and give them solutions.

Give, give, and give some more and what you get is a more effective website. (more…)

Dec

A Lead Magnet Promotion Checklist to Build Your Email List Faster [Free Checklist]

lead magnet promotion checklist

Much has been written about creating lead magnets. This is not the case for promoting lead magnets.

In my post, What is a Lead Magnet?, I offer a definition of the phrase, explain the purpose, offer advice for creating them and detail ten types that have proven effective for helping digital marketers build their email list. Check out the lead magnet article here if you haven’t already.

And now, stick around for the much needed sequel about lead magnet promotion. I’m going to give you 30 ways to build your email list faster.

When is a lead magnet not magnetic?

I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years consulting clients on how to use lead magnets.

Sometimes clients engage me to promote them, but usually not. Usually, we move on to the next one. That’s a problem.

Your lead magnet, much like any content you create and offer, isn’t effective until the audience of prospective buyers you covet discovers it. Limited exposure equals limited magnetism.

I take great pleasure in delivering juicy lead magnets, eBooks especially, to clients. But sometimes a painful revelation follows. I’m told the results have been disappointing. The lead magnet isn’t converting as hoped.

Is the lead magnet, itself, to blame? I think not. Is the issue the landing page, pop-up or form where it’s offered? It’s possible, but unlikely. The problem is the promotion—or lack of it.

A vital part of your lead magnet strategy must be to increase its exposure. You need to put it in the path of potential buyers and make it clear you’re offering a solution to a problem they face.

In my lead magnet trainings, I offer a long list of ways to promote lead magnets. So here you go: a promotion checklist to ensure your lead magnet does indeed help you build your email list fast.

 

Promote lead magnets on your website

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Nov

Copywriter vs. Content Writer: Skills, Writing Fees and Expectations

copywriter-vs-content-writer-1

Need content? You could enlist the services of a content writer. It probably won’t hurt a bit. But it probably won’t help either.

Given the immense demand for content, millions of freelancers, small agencies and writer brokerages have crawled out of the woodwork to offer cheap, quick-turn content writing services.

The writing they deliver seldom accomplishes much as measured by marketing objectives, but no one’s guilty of anything. The client placed an order for content. The vendor delivered it. End of story?

Yes, usually that’s the story in its entirety. However, it’s just the beginning of this one. You see, I wrote this article to answer questions I often get when asked to quote writing fees by prospects and new clients for creating content.

To simplify, it usually amounts to: copywriter vs. content writer—what’s the difference? However, it may not be quite that simple. A number of posts have been written as attempts to tackle the question. Usually, they say something like:

  • A copywriter writes ads or marketing material to sell products and services or raise brand awareness.
  • A content writer writes educational content without promotional messages.

I’m not close to satisfied with this overly polarized answer. You might have some noble goals in mind for your content marketing, but it’s not a public service. You do it for the reasons listed above in the copywriter definition. Those reasons are marketing objectives and to accomplish them you need a copywriter—and more—someone with marketing skills.

What an average web content writer does

An average content writer for the web writes content, usually blog posts. As you might expect, the writing’s usually average.

Average content writing fees: < $100.

Average research: 10 – 20 minutes.

Average marketing experience: Minimal.

Average results: Words on a page. Zero links. Zero traffic generation. Zero conversion. Zero sales. (Read more about how most content badly underperforms in research published by Buzzsumo and Moz.)

You can probably guess the number of reasons I can think of to hire an average content writer.

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Oct

You Can Use Content Marketing to Grow (Even in a Boring Business)

Content marketing boring industries

By now you’ve heard all the reasons why you should be utilizing content marketing to grow your business: it’s scalable, provides a high ROI and allows you to provide helpful information to your target audience (which gains their trust).

However, most people think they have to be in a “sexy” industry such as entertainment or travel to create content worth marketing to your demographic. That’s not true. Content marketing can be leveraged by businesses, big or small, in any industry.

This is a guest post by Dan Scalco of Digitalux.

Here are some tips to help you start using content marketing even if you’re in a “boring” industry. (more…)

Oct

Smart Strategies for Effective Blog Design [Content Matters Episode 19]

Content Matters episode 19

At the top of the episode, I say, “Make reading your blog a chore or a bore and it’s bye-bye baby.”

Listen to this edition of Content Matters to pick up a long list of tips you can easily apply to design a more attractive and reader-friendly blog and get more from your content marketing efforts. 

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Oct

Digital Marketing Failure: Why the Glass is Half Empty

digital marketing failure

Creating content is a huge part of your digital marketing, yet most of it’s a waste of time.

Ouch. Why?

Did you catch the “Content, Shares and Links” study from Buzzsumo and Moz? It examined 1-million blog posts. Two alarming findings include:

  • Over 50% of posts earned 2 or less Facebook interactions
  • Over 75% achieved zero external links

The report’s author, Steve Rayson, writes, “The majority of content published on the Internet is simply ignored when it comes to shares and links. The data suggests most content is simply not worthy of sharing or linking, and also that people are very poor at amplifying content. It may sound harsh but it seems most people are wasting their time either producing poor content or failing to amplify it.”

Once more for emphasis: most people are wasting their time.

That is harsh—and definitely worth trouble-shooting. It seems safe to say the factors behind unsuccessful digital marketing campaigns can be vast. In this post, I’m going to explore the reasons that stand out to me, especially on the content marketing frontier where so much time is invested. (more…)

Sep

Finding Topics for Your Blog and Content [Content Matters Episode 17]

Content Matters episode-17

In the course of the episode, Andy explains, “Whatever people want to know—that’s what you need to publish.” It might not be immediately obvious to you what your audience wants to know, but after listening to this episode you’ll have a complete bag of tricks for finding the ideal content for your blog and website.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why you shouldn’t avoid popular topics
  • The secret to finding the topics that are being shared on social media
  • Simple keyword research tools that overflow with ideas
  • The sites that make it easy to uncover the questions people ask about your field of expertise
  • How to mine your analytics and onsite search for topic ideas
  • The many ways to “listen” and learn from your prospects and peers
  • How to extract content ideas from books, courses, and Wikipedia
  • The answer file that lives in your sent mail
  • How events and original research serve you some of the best possible content ideas

original-topics
What can you learn from these studs?
Listen this episode for a fun tip from the world of traditional publishing.

In the cheese & mousetrap segment:

  • Barry explains how to make great content from roundup posts somebody else created.
  • Andy suggests you can plug every possible “hole in your bucket” by adding a live chat feature to your website.

On the next episode of Content Matters:
What to put on your homepage

Content Matters on iTunes

Listen to any or all of the Content Matters podcast episodes andshare your thoughts about the program on iTunes. 

Aug

The Business Blogging Plan: 50 Best Practices

50 best practices

I must admit: I’m a latecomer to business blogging. I joined the party in 2011 and got off to a rocky start. Nearly all bloggers do.

Five years later, I know what works. I’m working the strategies to great effect—on my website, for a long list of top marketing blogs, and for many clients. And regardless of where you are in your business blogging journey, I believe this collection of ideas will help you publish an even more effective business blog.

Here, now, are my top ideas organized as 50 best practices. But first…

I present a quick history of business blogging from the historical point of view of yours truly. And then… Grabba’ cuppa’ something tasty and enjoy The Business Blogging Plan.

a brief history of business blogging

Here you go… 
The Business Blogging Plan:  50 Best Practices

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