1. Articles from Joshua Nite

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    1. How To Choose Scroll-Stopping Blog Images

      How To Choose Scroll-Stopping Blog Images

      A picture is worth a thousand words. There's certainly truth in that saying. With an ever-increasing flood of content available to your audience, they're looking for reasons not to read your content, including a bad (or missing) visual.

      TopRank Marketing Blog contributor Joshua Nite explains just how important it is to find the right image for your copy:

      The right visual does more than take up space. It captures attention, creates a little mystery, invites the reader to dig into your carefully-crafted text. Good visuals are doubly important for amplification, too: Your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn shares will all include an image. The visual alone can stop the endless, half-engaged scrolling people do on social media, buying you crucial seconds to compel a click or a tap.

      How can you find a disarming image for your next blog? It's all about personality - gone are the days of flat "professional" photos. Some guidelines:

      1. Ditch the crappy stock photos, particularly stark white offices, people with their arms crossed, and anything in front of a chalkboard.
      2. Make it weird...and beautiful. No one wants another obvious image. Take a cue from Instagram and look for evocative filters.
      3. Find a metaphor. Introduce that metaphor in your opening paragraph to give yourself options for a header image.
      4. Take your own photos. It's genuine and authenticity is key to getting eyes on your content.

      For more tips on finding the right image, check out the complete article on TopRank Marketing Blog.

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    2. Content Marketing World 2017 Must-Sees

      Content Marketing World 2017 Must-Sees

      If you're reading this, chances are your flights are booked and your bags are packed for Content Marketing World 2017. This year's conference is filled with grade-A speakers, networking opportunities, and vendors. 

      Top Rank Marketing's Joshua Nite rates this conference, despite any downsides.

      This trip is definitely worth the hassle. Just keep in mind how much you’re about to learn, how many amazing marketers you’re about to meet, and you can smile your way through the unpleasantness. 

      Top speakers this year include Global Head of Influencer Marketing at SAP, Amisha Gandhi. She's presenting on influencer marketing maturity. Attend this presentation if you want to bring your influencer programs to the next level.

      In addition, Tim Washer of Cisco and Erica Ayotte of Curata are speaking. They're presenting on spicing up "boring" B2B content and artificial intelligence in content marketing, respectively. 

      Want to get more out of your CMW experience? In addition to presentations, there are exciting networking events to attend and restaurants to try in Cleveland.

      We suggest attending the CMW 80s Dance Party at the House of Blues, enjoying some Midwest meat at Urban Farmer or Mabel's BBQ, joining the CMW running group, or heading over for some bowling at the Corner Alley.

      For more must-see presentations at Content Marketing World, check out Nite's complete article below.

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    3. How to Make Videos on the Cheap

      How to Make Videos on the Cheap

      Over half of people online watch videos daily. Fifty nine percent of executives prefer video to text. Fifty one percent of marketers name video as the marketing format with the best ROI. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch video compared to 10 percent when reading text.

      Unfortunately, a high quality video can be expensive and time consuming to produce. But video that works doesn't need to be either.

      TopRank Marketing blog's Joshua Nite elaborates on the importance of video:

      It’s extremely likely that your target audience wants video content. Brands that create useful, engaging video will quickly surpass their competitors who don’t. So whether your brand sells baby strollers or enterprise-level cloud-based SaaS solutions, it makes sense to get into video.

      To create successful videos for your marketing team, you need to incorporate video into your content marketing strategy. While this may seem obvious, it prevents you creating random or unplanned videos.

      Try creating videos where audiences don't mind low production values. This includes live-streaming videos, vlogs, and explainer videos for social. While higher production value videos are a nice-to-have, substance matters more for the above video types.

      For more on creating videos that work with little time and little budget, check out Nite's complete article below.

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    4. Is There a Formula for Viral Content?

      Is There a Formula for Viral Content?

      Creating viral content is the ultimate and often, most difficult achievement for a content marketer. Content that's expected to perform wonderfully can flop, while content created as an afterthought can perform beautifully.

      Determining what's causing a piece of content to perform a certain way is confusing. Despite this, there are a few things you can do to significantly increase your content's chances of success. Joshua Nite, contributor to TopRank Marketing blog, shares his opinion:

      Instead of counting on going viral, take lessons from widely-shared content and use them to build content that will succeed with your target audience, whether or not it hits the zeitgeist and ends up on Ellen. Telling stories with data, taking a stand, and adding humor and human interest are all fundamental building blocks of great content marketing.

      One way you can succeed with visual data is going beyond the idea of an infographic. Making data visual is important for your content marketing's success. Think beyond the typical infographic to create something more interesting and creative.

      Another strategy is to create content that has a strong opinion. Like REI's #OptOutside campaign or Always's #LikeAGirl, content with a strong stance is interesting and inspirational to its advocates.

      For more ways you can improve your content's chances of going viral, check out the complete article in the link below.



       

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    5. How to Fix Your Social Media Engagement

      How to Fix Your Social Media Engagement

      For many marketers, social media has become a let down. Starting as a medium that allowed organic interactions between a brand and their audience, social media is now almost purely a pay-to-play endeavor

      According to Joshua Nite at TopRank Marketing, this could actually be a good thing:

      You’re free from having to post on Twitter three times a day, Facebook 1.5 times, and so on. Now you can focus on quality and relevance over everything else. Even with engagement rates in the single digits—even when they’re below single digits—quality content is always the path to the light side of the social media world.

      Other than producing high-quality social content, there are other factors to keep in mind when publishing to social media.

      Instagram is the number one platform for engagement, no matter the industry. Brands that don't have products typically considered to be visual like GE and Dell perform well on Instagram.

      Facebook has a huge audience but engagement is low. Twitter has become more about broadcasting than conversing, if used traditionally. For success on Twitter, focus on doing what others are not. Interact with other people's content and start direct conversations with them.

      For more on social media engagement, check out Nite's complete post below.

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    6. Tips and Tricks for Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh

      Tips and Tricks for Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh

      With a constant stream of new content being thrown at us, a post's usefulness often doesn't last much longer than a few days after creation.

      Usefulness declines for the reader as well as the marketer creating it. A piece of content's contribution to marketing analytics often dwindles or shrinks to nothing over time. 

      Joshua Nite at TopRank Marketing says to consider that:

      On one level, what content becomes evergreen is up to your audience. There will always be a blog post or two that get a surprising amount of sustained attention—posts that just happen to meet an ongoing need.

      While this is true, there are a few things you can do to help your content make an impact. Writing about something specific to an event, season, or something else that is otherwise frequently changing might be helpful to your audience at the time—but it's unlikely to have a sustained impact. Content should provide a top-notch solution to the question it's answering, and be made highly visible to your audience. 

      Identify pre-existing evergreen content by looking at your site's best performing content, or content that is still performing several months after publishing. Optimize this content by refreshing, gating, reformatting, or promoting it. When updating evergreen content, consider removing the date from the post and optimizing it for SEO.

      For more of Nite's advice about evergreen content, read the full article below. 

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    7. Keep Your Audience Interested with a Full Content Calendar

      Keep Your Audience Interested with a Full Content Calendar

      Most marketers recognize it's difficult to build an active and engaged audience without producing enough content to fuel their interest. 87 percent of B2B marketers surveyed by Forrester say they struggle to produce content that truly engages their buyers. 

      Joshua Nite of TopRank Marketing also believes a full editorial calendar is one of the keys to engagement. Here's how he suggests you keep your editorial calendar full:

      A blank content calendar can be daunting. But don’t fill it in with random acts of content. Start with your goals in mind, then match them with the topics your audience most wants to hear about. Plan for a good variety of content types and formats to keep things fresh, and make sure to fill the top of your funnel as well as engage the lower part.

      Producing regular content is important for audience engagement. But there are other factors around content creation that are just as, if not more important to your content's success. 

      In order to create content that truly engages, content marketers need to split their focus. Don't just look at the amount of content created. Examine your promotion strategy, social shares, and measure the results to ensure your content is optimized for engagement.

      Nite has more on how to plan content for a full editorial calendar below.

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    8. Top Tips for a Mobile Marketing Strategy

      Top Tips for a Mobile Marketing Strategy

      Google reports more mobile searches than desktop searches. While mobile devices account for 60 percent of online traffic, they contribute to only 16 percent of online purchases. With these figures in mind, it's easy to understand why content marketers need to focus on their mobile content marketing strategy.

      Joshua Nite at the TopRank Marketing blog has this to say about the importance of mobile to your content marketing strategy:

      It’s clear that the future of content consumption will increasingly be on mobile devices. There’s definitely still value in long-form content for users to settle in with on desktops. But your content strategy should include a healthy dose of mobile optimized content.

      Here are some things to consider when creating content with mobile in mind.

      • Your audience is between activities. People check their phones while they're on the subway, cooking dinner, or waiting in line at the store. This means they have limited time and attention span. Combat this by providing value in your content early, keeping it short, and including a CTA near the beginning of your content.
      • Your audience is restless. Include headers and eye-catching images for easy scrolling.
      • Your audience wants to be entertained. Make sure your content is engaging. Some great ways to differentiate include animated video, interactive quizzes, and infographics. 

      For more tips on reaching a mobile audience, read Nite's complete article below.

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    9. How to Build a Written Content Marketing Strategy

      How to Build a Written Content Marketing Strategy

      Nearly 40% of successful B2B marketers use a documented framework to develop their content strategy. A written strategy provides a concrete vision for all stakeholders that ultimately ensures more efficient and effective execution of corporate goals. Joshua Nite of TopRank Marketing advises that:

      “...it starts your content initiative with measurable goals and a plan to achieve them. It just makes every aspect of creating content and distributing it easier and more effective.”

      Use the following steps to develop a structured content strategy.

      1) Why: Use the knowledge you have of your audience to develop the business case for your content strategy, and a mission statement to support it.

      2) Establish Goals: Create objectives that your content efforts can meet. Without overwhelming yourself, establish business goals for relevant departments such net new leads, or revenue influenced by content.

      3) Document Your Audience: Using the research from step 1, develop personas—but only as many as your resources can support. Keep it simple.

      4) Plan Content for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey: For most businesses you need content for each stage of the funnel: Awareness, Consideration, Decision. Be cognizant of the priority marketing challenges.

      5) Define Goals for Content at Each Stage: This will support the broader goals from step 2. Attach KPI’s to each goal to quantify success.

      6) Content Promotion Strategy: Buyers like to consume content differently. Use the research from step 3 to know where your audience is, and which channel(s) to leverage to reach them.

      7) Create an Editorial Calendar: This step keeps you on-pace for achieving your micro and overall goals. Mapping content projects to goals ensures you are not creating more (or less) content than you need, helps manage resources, and keeps management in the loop. These are the key fields to have in your content calendar.

      Have a look at Nite’s take on building a content marketing strategy in the link below.

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    10. 11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

      11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

      Despite the industry rapidly maturing, there's still no shortage of bad content marketing out there. We're only human, and as a professional discipline, content marketing is still relatively young. But the way to get better is to learn from your mistakes.

      Learning from other people's mistakes is the even smarter way to get better. Joshua Nite at Top Rank Marketing has helpfully compiled a zinger-worthy collection of common clangers, entertainingly explained with memes. They include:

      1. The Random Act of Content

      2. The Lightweight

      3. The Island
      4. The Enstuffening
      5. The Sloppy Joe
      6. The Great Wall of Text
      7. The Eye Exam
      8. The Post and Pray
      9. The Authority Gap
      10. The One and Done
      11. The Maze of Gates

      Some of the mistakes Nite identifies will be obvious to any experienced practitioner, others of them not so much. But the single most helpful way to avoid the majority of them is to take the time to invest in a documented content marketing strategy such as the Content Marketing Pyramid. Doing so helps you pre-empt many potential blunders before they arise, and react quickly and flexibly if something is going wrong. 

      For the full list of Nite's amusing memes (and their helpful explanations), click on the link below.

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    11. Easy Ways to Stretch Your Content Marketing Investment

      Easy Ways to Stretch Your Content Marketing Investment

      As marketers, we always have to be thinking about how to get more mileage out of limited resources, and repurposing content is a great way to do that. In fact, based upon a recent study of 1,030 marketers, only 21% of marketers have a specific process in place to ensure optimal content reuse and repurpose. 

      Joshua Nite of TopRank Marketing offers five suggestions to "turn undervalued content into content marketing gold". I'm especially intrigued by his third suggestion: 

      #3 – Combine Thin or Repetitive Content

      ... take your thin content (related 300 word posts) and combine it, Voltron-style, into one strong Power Page.

      Here at Curata we use the Content Marketing Pyramid framework to help us be more process-oriented about content reuse. We'll create one big piece of content at the top of the pyramid and then atomize it into smaller, more digestible pieces of content as we move deeper into a content pyramid (e.g., infographics, long form blog posts, SlideShares, social media content).

      Check out Joshua's full blog post at the link below to see his other tips for repurposing your content.

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    12. Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program

      Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program

      What’s a marketer to do? We heard that influencer marketing was the next big thing. We heard about companies getting amazing results with it. But it seems you can’t go anywhere online recently without seeing headlines like this:

      And this:

      Note the social shares on those two articles: 242,000 for the first one and nearly 50,000 for the second one. If influencer marketing is burning down, that’s a lot of people standing by with marshmallows to roast.

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    13. 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

      8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing

      Imagine if the Nigerian prince—you know, the one spamming your email—really did have millions of dollars he needed to smuggle out of the country. Imagine he was legitimately offering you a generous portion of the cash to help you out. Think how sad and baffled he would be as yet another email went unanswered, even unopened. His motives are pure—but he lacks credibility, and so he cries himself to sleep on a mountain of landlocked money.

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    14. Don't be a Marketing Monologuist

      Don't be a Marketing Monologuist

      In today's world, if marketing is too egocentric—when it's all about your company and what you're trying to sell—customers tune out, fast. So for those who feel they're constantly reaching out with content and aren't getting a response, maybe it’s because they’re monologuing, rather than trying to create a dialog.

      Joshua Nite has a few suggestions for putting the conversation back into content marketing:

      If you really want to start a dialog with your content, snap shut your flip phone and shut down the brand-centric talk. Find out what your consumers want to talk about, craft content that invites conversation through a strong point of view, then share it in a way that encourages discussion.

      Try to avoid writing in the first person and using lots of 'we' and 'our' pronouns. It doesn’t include or draw the reader in, and can be a real turn-off. Consider your customers' pain points and speak directly to them, using plenty of 'you' and 'yours' to engage and show empathy for your customers' needs. Ditch the hard sell.

      Best-in-class marketers understand that egocentric content marketing is a relic of a bygone era. They seek to create a genuine dialog with their audience, strategies for which can be found in the eBook Stop Egocentric Marketing. Or for a quicker take, Joshua outlines five useful steps for putting the conversation back into marketing below.

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    Don't be a Marketing Monologuist 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing Influencer Marketing Is (not) Dead: How to Breathe New Life into Your Program Easy Ways to Stretch Your Content Marketing Investment 11 Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid How to Build a Written Content Marketing Strategy Top Tips for a Mobile Marketing Strategy Keep Your Audience Interested with a Full Content Calendar Tips and Tricks for Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh How to Fix Your Social Media Engagement Why Are Smart Brands Investing in Content Curation? Here's the Secret to Employee Advocacy