The Point

Archive for the ‘Content marketing’ Category

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…)

Dec

12 Content Experts Point the Way to Better Marketing in 2016

12 content experts, better marketing

Epic content. Meaningful content. Revenue-generating content.

You read about how to do better marketing day and night. You get it. Earning an A in digital marketing demands creating effective content. The best of the best do it consistently. You?

Did you get an F this year? Fuuughh! 

You got a D? Damn.

Wait. You give yourself a C? Is that OK?

Maybe you’re above average? Can you do better than a B?

Did someone tell you it’d be easy? Boycott that bonehead.

Digital marketing CTA banner

Will you become a better marketer in 2016?

Whether you to participate in the content marketing studies or not, you’re familiar with the research. The outcomes change slightly from year to year, but the areas marketers struggle with have held fairly steady.

We mostly have the same pains. We mostly long for the same prescriptions. This year’s top priorities lay it out for us once again…

(more…)

Dec

Blog Trends: Writing Time, Post Length & Publishing Frequency [Infographic]

 

BLOG TRENDS

Are bloggers spending more time writing? Do they write longer or shorter posts? Has publishing frequency changed for the typical blogger?

In an effort to identify the business blog trends of 2015, my friends at Orbit Media asked 1074 bloggers 11 questions. They concluded the business of blogging is changing. Some things are consistent from the prior year, but a trend has emerged.

What follows an infographic I helped create for Orbit Media focusing on blog trends such as writing time, post length and publishing frequency.

If you like what you see, keep reading. I’ve included more findings from the study as well as insights from content marketing experts on what’s trending in business blogging and where it’s headed in 2016 and beyond. (more…)