1. Articles in category: Content Marketing

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    1. You Have a Marketing Qualified Lead: What Do You Do Next?

      You Have a Marketing Qualified Lead: What Do You Do Next?

      You've worked to increase traffic to your website. Your target audience has interacted with and enjoyed your content. Now you have marketing qualified leads. Once leads are in this stage, it's crucial that you engage them to help them through the sales funnel.

      Caitlin Burgess at TopRank Marketing blog weighs in on why lead nurturing is so important:

      Simply put, MQLs are warm prospects who are not ready to make a purchasing decision yet—and lead nurturing can help you turn up the heat. And most of you are probably doing some form of lead nurturing already. According to DemandGen Report’s 2016 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study, 89 percent of marketers use lead nurturing programs as part of their demand generation strategy.

      Here's how to maximize your lead nurturing activities:

      • All Marketing Qualified Leads Are Not Created Equal: Understand where your MQLs are in the sales funnel and if they're part of your target audience. Develop a plan for each type of lead.
      • Start Small: Don't get caught up in giving each lead and persona a custom experience. Start by testing small lead nurture campaigns and fine tune from there.

      For more on improving your lead nurturing activities, read Burgess's complete article below.

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    2. Content Distribution Tactics Beyond Social and Email

      Content Distribution Tactics Beyond Social and Email

      It's no secret that a content promotion and distribution strategy is integral to content's success. For many, it's also the greatest challenge.

      Beyond obvious solutions like sharing on social media and sending emails to your lists, there are other actions you can take to amplify the reach of your content and improve your site's traffic. 

      Some useful options include:

      • Syndicate your content to other high traffic websites to increase the amount of people reading it.
      • Experiment with new formats. Videos, infographics, and slide decks are visually engaging ways to share your content. Try a variety of formats to determine what resonates with your audience most.
      • Offer rewards for referrals. This isn't always the best option, as it can encourage people to share your content with an audience that isn't necessarily your target, but in certain circumstances it can prove very beneficial.

      Brian Lang at Web Developers Etc offers examples of companies that have been successful using giveaways to increase distribution and engagement:

      Joshua Earl grew his email list to over 60k in just two weeks using giveaways. Bryan Harris from Video Fruit tried this strategy too and was able to generate 2,239 subscribers in just 10 days. You can even use giveaways to sell products. Greenbelly generated a list of 4,100 subscribers on a budget of just $75 by partnering with other known brands in their market to do a large giveaway.

      For more ways to improve your content's reach, check out Lang's full article below.

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    3. Expect More with an Integrated Content Strategy

      Expect More with an Integrated Content Strategy

       Marketers who use an integrated content marketing strategy see significantly better results than those who create content alone.  Here are four key steps to form a successful integrated strategy:

      1. Vision and Roadmap

        Marketers often debate the most important element to a successful content strategy. Paul Buckley of D Custom captures why a documented strategy has a strong claim for this title:
        It informs everything, from the content types you create to the channels you promote them on. And like a road map, charting the most effective path starts with answering two questions: Where are you now, and where do you want to end up?
      2. Creation

        Your written strategy will help you determine what content you should create. Your next step is marrying the ideas and needs of your content funnel to your in-house creators or freelancers.

      3. Promotion

        The final draft of a content masterpiece has no value if your audience doesn’t see it. This is why content promotion needs to be done right. Your documented strategy research from step one should reveal where your audience is and how they like to consume content. Share your  content across your promotional channels, including email, social, SEO, paid media, and more.

      4. Meticulous Measurement and Optimization

        Performance measurement is a must in any marketing role. This includes content and related content activities. Not only are you determining which decisions are successful, you’re building a better business case to present to stakeholders for continuing and expanding your content marketing.


      Want to build or refine your integrated content strategy? Check out Buckley’s original piece below.

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    4. Improve Your SEO Strategy: Link Building for 2017

      Improve Your SEO Strategy: Link Building for 2017

      Gaining backlinks is one of the most effective ways to improve your site's SEO. Though the name of the game is still link building, content marketing hasin some waysmade gaining links from trustworthy websites more difficult.

      Olga Smirnova at SEMrush outlines how content marketing creates a unique problem:

      Authors, businesses and publications are given attribution in the form of quotes and maybe links to one's social media, but they are not always given actual in-content links. As great as a shout-out is, without an actual link, you won’t get any SEO or traffic benefits.

      The quality of your backlinks are more important than the quantity, so creating high-quality content and getting it in front of the right people is crucial. While many content marketers already understand that creating high-quality content increases the likelihood of gaining backlinks, there are a few other factors to consider.

      Authoritative content with original research is a great content type to increase backlinks. Also, consider your content's distribution method. Building relationships with influencers is extremely important. Having them promote your content builds your credibility and increases the likelihood of backlinks.

      Another tactic is to track website mentions and reach out if someone hasn't provided a link. This tactic could be considered a bit pushy. However, it can be hugely beneficial to increasing backlinks with minimal extra effort, and can lead to building longer lasting brand partnerships.

      For more information on how to increase backlinks to your website, check out the rest of Smirnova's article below.

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    5. 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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    6. Slowing Your (Content) Role

      Slowing Your (Content) Role

      Content is the backbone of most marketing departments today. Now there are 30 times more blog posts published a day than there were ten years ago, because it yields terrific results. So marketers are eagerly creating content at an unprecedented rate. But in many instances, they’re doing so in a thoughtless way, leaving marketers and consumers alike to suffer from content overload.

      The solution? A minimalist strategy.

      A minimalist content strategy begins with identifying a clear vision for content that is aligned with  overall business and customer goals. This gives purpose to every piece of content attached to your brand. When it comes to pioneering the strategy, Jacob Warwick of Convince & Convert stresses the importance of placing a strategic thinker at the helm:

       They set ground rules, outline distribution channels, understand performance measurement, consider budgetary needs, and build repeatable processes for more tactical producers. A strong strategic foundation is critical for scaling in a cost effective manner.

      Because results may not be furnished in the short-term, having a sound means of performance measurement is a must. If you’re feeling underwhelmed by content quality, performance, or efficiency—don’t panic and double-down on volume. Do the opposite. Sit a few plays out, hedge the cadence of your creation, and evaluate the process that may be driving ineffective content.

      Check out Warwick’s original piece for building a minimalist content strategy below.


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    7. Are You Investing Enough in SEO?

      Are You Investing Enough in SEO?

      Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important factors in successful digital marketing. According to Search Engine Journal, the first organic search result will get nearly 33 percent of clicks. And 75 percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

      Despite these numbers, many marketing teams struggle to get approval for an increase in SEO budget.

      Kevin Cotch at TopRank Marketing blog weighs in:

      There have been multiple times in my career that I needed to create a compelling argument for more budget for an SEO campaign. These types of recommendations are often challenged, yet thousands of dollars for PPC [pay-per-click] can be spent without blinking an eye. Some marketers would say it’s easier to see the ROI on ad spend compared to the SEO campaigns and initiatives that we are also running.

      In addition to struggling to prove ROI with SEO, a common perception of SEO could be impacting your ability to increase your budget. This is because while PPC has the notion of paying to play in the name, SEO is built around the idea of ranking organicallyor for free. 

      Use data and the investments in PPC to your advantage when arguing for an increased SEO budget. Create an SEO strategy around the keywords your company targets for PPC. Show how ranking number one in SEO is more valuable than showing up for PPC, and your long-term plan for getting to that point.

      For further tips for getting more SEO budget, read Cotch's complete article below.

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    8. Your Brand Needs Marketing Automation to Succeed

      Your Brand Needs Marketing Automation to Succeed

      Marketing automation is a $1.65 billion dollar industry. Over 142,000 business use it to optimize their marketing efforts. Though marketing automation is a big part of marketing today, many marketers aren't taking full advantage of what it offers.

      Johanna Rivard at PureB2B points out that the modern digital landscape gives marketers an advantage that lends itself to better automation:

      The traditional channels of television, radio, and print media have seen a decline in usage as more users start looking at online platforms as their primary sources of media. This is great for marketers because online channels allow for better targeting, tracking, and analytics. 

      With the ability to target and track potential customers better than ever before, here are some ways to consider automating your efforts. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software such as SalesForce is integral to most marketing teams' success. As is a marketing automation platform (MAP) and email marketing. In addition to traditional marketing automation platforms, a content marketing platform (CMP) will extend your efforts and support your CRM and MAP.

      While these forms of marketing automation are important, they should be baseline for your organization. Other things to consider about marketing automation before implementing include:

      • Find a way to ensure the data you're collecting is clean. Marketing automation databases typically contain up to 25 percent erroneous data.
      • Consider the reporting and insights on top of what can be automated. Many automation platforms allow for A/B testing. Check to see what the resulting report looks like and if the software is capable of automatically serving the most successful option after testing a sample group.
      • Look at templates. If your marketing automation software isn't allowing you to use visually appealing templates that convert, it might be better to choose a different option.

      For more on various types of marketing automation software and how they make your marketing more effective, read Rivard's full article below.

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    9. How to Upgrade Your Interviewing Skills

      How to Upgrade Your Interviewing Skills

      With nearly 50 percent of companies looking to increase content marketing staff, hiring interviews are aplenty. The success of outsourced agency or freelancer work is often predicated on the quality of the interview that sets project expectations. So whether it’s interview-style guest posts, podcasts, hiring freelancers, or growing your content marketing team,it’s worth developing a killer interview skill set. Here are several ways to refine your interviewing acumen.

      Say No to Yes or No 

      Open-ended questions create the chance for your interview to furnish interesting and surprising information. Yes or no questions tend to only fit into your immediate narrative (which may be biased). They also remove the opportunity to collect deeper insights that, as a writer, could be used for additional content later down the line.

      Hedge Your Bias

      Raw interview responses make for the best responses. Asking a leading question can route the mind of an interviewee away from their true disposition. This can damage the credibility of the interviewer, the interview itself, and/or the quality of any related projects.

      Let it Soak

      A seam of silence during an interview is a good thing. Provide a pause after each question and response. This allows the interviewee a moment to make sure they’ve cleared their thoughts, and provides a chance to develop note and thought indexing. Additionally, this tempo helps facilitate the first two tips, as explained by Katie McKenna of Portent:

      Pausing also slows down the rate at which you ask questions. Having this extra time will help you be more mindful of the types of questions you’re asking, which should help you reduce bias and avoid close-ended questions.

      Have some interviews coming up? Check out the rest of McKenna’s tips below.

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    10. Matching Content With Purpose to The Buyer’s Journey

      Matching Content With Purpose to The Buyer’s Journey

      In the past, content marketing success was achieved by creating and sharing valuable knowledge with a brand’s audience.. On the heels of a high-volume content trend, success in today’s content marketing landscape requires something more.

      Content strategist Amy Wright outlines how to drive results:

      Content marketing is about more than blogging. Content marketing is about scrutinizing your entire online presence through the eyes of your customers because every single touchpoint will impact your success. This includes every page of your website, every resource or blog article and every post on social media.

      Instead of looking at goals through the traditional marketing funnel, content executives dictate their strategy based on the buyer’s journey. This framework examines the process a buyer goes through and the challenges they have at each stage. With this methodology, your question answering content will facilitate prospects further down the funnel.

      Matching content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey creates organization and transparency regarding gaps in content. With a strategy dedicated to the buyer’s journey, each content item has a purpose. It caters to lean vision and more thoughtful resource use.

      To better understand content and the customer experience, check out Amy’s original article below.

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    11. 3 Ways to Make Your White Paper Stand Out

      3 Ways to Make Your White Paper Stand Out

      Ninety six percent of B2B buyers want more information from industry thought leaders, and 78 percent of buyers used white papers in the last 12 months to research B2B purchasing decisions.

      PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard believes white papers can help differentiate brands from their competitors:

      Whitepapers hold enormous potential for B2B marketers. First, a well thought out whitepaper can pave the way for blog posts, discussions, and other accompanying content pieces. Second, a well-written whitepaper also differentiates you from competitors in the eyes of your reader.

      When creating a white paper, keep in mind some of the primary elements that differentiate it from an eBook. Take care to make sure the design and tone are more formal, and that your statements are backed up by facts and statistics. 

      While the tone of voice and research in the white paper are important, it's also important to create an aesthetic that is polished and professional. This approach will help establish your brand as a thought leader.

      For a graphic on the ideal white paper as well as more helpful tips, check out the full article at PureB2B below. 

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    12. Use Storytelling to Inject Emotion into Your Branding

      Use Storytelling to Inject Emotion into Your Branding

      Great storytelling can do wonders for a brand. It helps establish what your brand is about, creates an experience for your audience, and motivates your reader to become a part of that experience. 

      According to Griot Digital, storytelling can increase lead generation by over 16 times.

      Marketing Insider Group CEO Michael Brenner believes it's not just choosing a story, but choosing the right story that matters to the success of your branding.

      Why does the story matter? It is what makes your brand significant. It’s the inspiring copy, the well-thought-out Instagram posts and website design, and the compelling video that turns mashed peanuts into Peter Pan peanut butter.

      Marketers can learn a lot about storytelling by learning from successful marketing campaigns. Here are some top lessons:

      • Use a Medium That Speaks to Your Audience: When Marriott started a hotel chain catering to millennials, they chose visual mediums like Instagram and video over written articles.
      • Create Meaning Behind Your Brand: Tell a story that puts purpose behind your products. Example: rather than selling soda, Coke sells happiness.
      • Be Different: Whether this means using humor, leveraging influencers, or trying a format that's outside the norm for your audience, it's important to take risks and try things that will differentiate you from your competitors.

      For examples on how other brands are excelling at storytelling, check out Brenner's complete article below.

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    13. How to Help Your Sales Team Close

      How to Help Your Sales Team Close

      In the world of B2B marketing, lead generation, nurturing, and qualification are key to helping your sales team and company succeed. Unfortunately, these efforts sometimes fall short.

      Johanna Rivard at PureB2B shares this advice:

      Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste! Identifying and anticipating potential warning signs will help your sales teams counter potential sales objections and focus their efforts on accounts with the highest likelihood of following through.

      While identifying potential warning signs is important, it's just as important that you come up with solutions for those warning signs. Here are some common issues for sales professionals, and what you can do to help:

      • Leads are Avoiding or Postponing Sales Calls: While there's no way to avoid this entirely, this is probably a good sign that the leads you're passing over aren't ready or interested enough in your product to talk to sales. Come up with some suggestions to help your sales team manage these scenarios, or create a nurturing campaign to move these leads back into if they're not responding. 
      • Prospects are Objecting to Price: This is very common in the world of B2B sales. It doesn't necessarily mean the leads you're passing over are unqualified. Just in case, consider reevaluating industry and company size constraints to make sure the leads you're passing over have the budget to make the purchase. Create a battle card for your sales team to help them make a case for your pricing.

      For more on how to help your sales team, check out the rest of Rivard's article below.

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    14. Which Is More Important - Design or Content?

      Which Is More Important - Design or Content?

      Design and content are two cornerstones in building trust and growing an audience. While both are obviously important, smaller brands are often forced to allocate more of their resources to one over the other. 

      Mallee Blue Media founder David Trounce argues that design is the more important category:

      We all agree that content marketing is vital to online businesses. However, content marketing doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It occurs within a framework of design and technology. Beauty may only be skin-deep, but oh boy, what influence it exerts on the onlooker.

      He argues that most consumers distrusted websites primarily due to their design. In one study, 94 percent of respondents cited design elements when questioned about why they didn't trust a website.

      While this is a compelling statistic, this study was specific to online health sites. It's definitely important to have quality website navigation, professional design, and fast page loading. But ultimately, your content marketing efforts should be the focus of the lion's share of your resources. 

      Seventy eight percent of consumers will trust your brand more if you create more customized content. Ninety five percent of B2B buyers are willing to consider vendor-related content as trustworthy, and 47 percent of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson. 

      While design creates a frame and exterior for your content marketing efforts, content marketing is the rest of the house. Sure you need a solid frame and foundation, but you invest more in floors, walls, electricity, plumbing, appliances, and furniture.

      For more of Trounce's argument about why design should be considered the more important element, click on the full article below.

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    15. How to Create A Written Strategy to Succeed in Social

      How to Create A Written Strategy to Succeed in Social

      Social media is, undoubtedly, and important part of most marketer's digital strategy. According to Social Media Examiner, 91 percent of marketers believe social media is important to their strategies

      There are, however, some road blocks. Most marketers (59 percent) don't know how to measure social media ROI. Social media is changing rapidly and consequently, creating a succinct, written strategy is difficult.

      Caitlin Burgess, contributor to TopRank Marketing Blog, believes creating this written strategy is the first place to start in creating a successful social media marketing program.

      As any successful marketer will tell you, the road to success begins by physically documenting your strategy. As for what needs to be included, below you’ll find some essential elements to consider.

      The first few steps in creating a successful social media marketing strategy are very similar to creating a successful content marketing strategy. Look at your brand's value proposition, define your goals and analyze your audience. Having a clear vision and understanding of who your marketing to is the key to successful social media marketing.

      From there, you can develop a clear strategy including your posting frequency, channel mix, content variety and more.

      For more details on how to figure out your posting frequency, channel mix and other details behind your social media strategy, check out Caitlin Burgess's complete article in the link below. 

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    16. Finding Your Sweet Spot: Fun vs. Stiff Content

      Finding Your Sweet Spot: Fun vs. Stiff Content

      Finding a balance between fun and professional is often a challenge for brands driving marketing and sales through content marketing. With other things to balance—including curated vs. original content, content formats, and keywords, the professional vs. fun content debate often falls by the wayside. 

      Established organizations can look to what they’ve done in the past to inform their direction, but emerging brands can face confusion when deciding what type of look and feel they want for their content. When determining the guidelines for your future content, consider the following variables before finalizing:

       Market Response

      Data matters. Regardless of how an organization views itself, it’s important to double down on content that engages your audience, rather than content that establishes who you want to be.

      Content by Function

      Workfront Content Marketing Manager Marcus Varner outlines the importance of aligning feel with function:

      Content at the top of the funnel can be a very different animal than content at the bottom. Without a little fun or edginess, you won’t last long in the realm of old media and social media. But the closer you get to the point of sale, especially in B2B, the more corporate and authoritative you may need to become.

      Be Yourself

      Regardless of intent, it’s always important to humanize your content. Your audience can sniff out disingenuous content easier than you think. Be authentic. 

      Use Branding Guidelines

      Marketing teams like to have a process. This is what birthed branding guidelines. It’s important to maintain a strong workflow and meet requirements—but not to a fault. An internal agreement with your team regarding flexible branding guidelines creates a margin of creativity that allows you to create content that fits your audience personas

      Create content that balances fun and business with the rest of Varner’s original article below.

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    17. 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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    18. How to Make Your Content More Bingeable

      How to Make Your Content More Bingeable

      With over 98 million subscribers, Netflix is at the top of the digital content game. On average, subscribers watch over 90 minutes of Netflix a day.

      With membership and engagement like this, smart content marketers are trying to parrot Netflix's content tactics. Digitalist Magazine explains some of the reasons why they believe Netflix is so successful:

      Consumers want control over their content, but that doesn’t mean give them everything and make them sort it out themselves. By learning as much about their customers as possible and utilizing personalized rankings, Netflix is able to package up tailored recommendations to each viewer. They want control, but they need you to provide them with ample, relevant, binge-worthy content that they can then consume on their own time, at their own pace.

      The evidence supports the theory that creating easy-to-consume content with personalized recommendations helps increase subscriber engagement.

      Seventy five percent of TV viewers admit to binge watching. Netflix encourages this by creating regular calls to action like "Keep watching?" and "Recently added" sections.

      In addition, Netflix gives all their viewers a personalized content experience by including a "Recommended for you" or "You might also enjoy" section. Seventy five percent of Netflix views are a result of these content recommendation functions.

      Rather than gating content behind separate forms, Netflix allows readers access to all content after one login, simplifying the consuming process. 

      For an infographic with more information about how content marketers can use Netflix's tactics to succeed, click the link below.

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    19. Snackable Content: Ideal for Today’s Lifestyle

      Snackable Content: Ideal for Today’s Lifestyle

      Snackable content refers to short, easily digestible content that caters to a modern audience’s consumption tendencies. A reader can absorb a quick-hitting, snackable piece of content more easily than a long-form blog post. It’s easier for them to share across their own networks and increases the likelihood of virality.

      Because reader attention span has diminished to 12 seconds as of 2016, bite-size content items have emerged as one of marketers’ best means to stand out from their competition. 

      Another issue for the busy reader is their increasing consumption on the go. Atomic Reach explains this challenge and suggests ‘quick content’ is a great solution:

      The modern Internet user tends to spend a lot of time on their handheld devices, particularly smartphones, to consume content. The limited real estate on smartphones makes it challenging and, at times, discouraging, for the consumer to engage with lengthy content. However, the limited space on a smartphone doesn’t pose any disadvantage to the user while engaging with bite-size content. 

      Infographics have become a familiar snackable content format. A key trait of successful snackable content is rich, eye-catching media. With all major networks now providing means for in-app video viewing, marketers can take advantage of video as an effective avenue for snackable engagement as well.

      For more on developing effective bite-size content, check out Atomic Reach’s original article below.


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    20. Artificial Intelligence: Friend, Not Foe

      Artificial Intelligence: Friend, Not Foe

      After decades of digital platforms indexing data across industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to use this data to improve insights and efficiency for businesses. AI is already leveraged in day-to-day consumer uses such as navigation tools and newsfeeds. Now businesses are increasingly tapping into AI’s full potential.

      Suhash Talwar of Atomic Reach explains the impact of artificial intelligence on content marketing:

      According to Gartner’s predictions, 20 percent of all business content will be machine-generated by 2018. By analyzing the search history and emails of customers and prospects, AI-driven content writing software can generate newsletters and other relevant content for companies, thereby saving a lot of time. 

      Marketers can expect to see mundane creation tasks eliminated or mitigated. By understanding consumption trends, AI allows marketers to hone in on audience interests with laser focus. This is a powerful tool in the battle against writers creating for the sake of creation, which often results in content that is uninteresting to the audience and unsuccessful for its creator.

      Marketers that take pride in their creative intuition shouldn’t be too concerned. AI merely creates another tool for producing, and intelligently promoting content their audience will love. 

      Check our Talwar’s original article below to learn about the impact AI is having across the globe.


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    21. Try These 5 Minute Lead Generation Hacks

      Try These 5 Minute Lead Generation Hacks

      From content marketing to email marketing to social media, marketers across B2B industries invest significant time and resources in lead generation. Fifty three percent of marketers say half or more of their budget is allocated to lead generation. Yet 80 percent of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective.  

      PureB2B contributor Johanna Rivard explains that many lead generation efforts are ineffective because:

      Everyone receives marketing emails, and we get bombarded with advertising constantly. It’s getting increasingly difficult to cut through the noise, so the demand for innovative new tactics is at an all time high.

      Here are some quick tactics to try that are outside the box and can produce immediate results.

      Include a CTA in you and your coworkers' work emails. This can generate extra eyeballs on content and ultimately more leads at no extra cost to you.

      Another tactic is to answer questions on topics related to your industry on Quora. If done well, this positions you as a subject matter expert. And if you add a related, valuable link in your response, it's likely to bring more people to your website and increase your leads.

      You can also try encouraging your audience to create and share user-generated content. This is a low-cost way to improve lead generation efforts, build brand awareness, optimize SEO, and more.

      For more ideas on increasing leads, check out Rivard's complete article below.

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    22. Content That Leads to Leads Explained

      Content That Leads to Leads Explained

      Some marketers use tools that attribute revenue directly to content marketing. Others are not so lucky. They have to track correlating metrics to determine whether or not their content is driving revenue. Both groups however, can credit at least one of four key characteristics of their content and community for generating leads and ultimately, revenue.

      Trust Building

      If your audience were to land on one of your content channels to find little or no content, they will likely assume your business is dead or dying. Alternatively, having viewers land on a site lush with content and information builds confidence, brand trust, and ultimately, leads.  81% of businesses reported that their company blog is useful to critical for their business.

      Community Building

      Having a strong, growing community can be huge asset to lead generation efforts. If you’ve done your research, you will have a good understanding of your audience and the type of content they’re seeking. This unique group will eventually come to rely on your content as the trusted resource for all things related to your product, service, or industry, and begin to recruit other advocates as members of your following.

       Exposure Building

      The best content you create will have legs. Among other redeeming benefits of great content, it tends to have much greater shareability. This is one of the most popular benchmarks to look at when determining quality of content. If your content has separated itself from the pack, then congratulations, your idea has been validated, your content has “worked,” and is likely generating leads.

      Content Builds Proof

      Marketers frequently create content that serves as testimony to the idea your product or service is built on. Christina Coons at Atomic Blog suggests taking it one step further and leaning on those who have already happily converted:

      Featuring your current or past customers can provide social proof of the benefits and value of your product or service. 

      Coons outlines more on the key success indicators of content in the original article below.

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    23. The Buyer’s Journey Doesn't Stop After Sale

      The Buyer’s Journey Doesn't Stop After Sale

      The idea of the buyer journey has evolved drastically over the past decade. Initially conceived of as a linear path from education to purchase, the journey has evolved into a fragmented, non-linear path. This is largely a result of the amount of content increasing online.

      Now, marketers focus on relationship building between their brand and potential customers. Content plays a huge part in that process. 70 to 90 percent of the buyer’s journey now occurs before first contact with sales. Most buyers consume an average of 11.4 pieces of digital content before a purchase.

      Lorraine Maurice, Senior Director of Global Indirect Channel Marketing at SAP, talks about the importance of altering your content strategy to accommodate the new buyer journey:

      Altering your trajectory to match emerging buyer habits may seem difficult at first, but it is essential for ensuring business success in the long run. Learning how to join the new buyer’s journey creates value for your business by creating long-term relationships with invested customers.

      The key to the new buyer journey is building out relationships digitally and continuing to create value after a sale. Post-purchase communications not only delight your customers, they position you to ask for reviews and case studies, and even to up-sell your customers. 

      Discover more about building digital relationships and how to alter your content strategy post-sale in Maurice's complete article below.

      Read Full Article
    24. 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. 

      Read Full Article
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