1. Articles in category: News

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    1. Are Newsletters Good for a Content Marketing Strategy?

      Are Newsletters Good for a Content Marketing Strategy?

      Fake news, the ease at which unsubstantiated stories can spread on social media, and the generally low barriers to entry for any yahoo to create and publish content on the Internet has many struggling to find trusted news sources.

      As a result, people are finding that email newsletters are a quick and simple way to get the information they need.

      Keith Sibson, VP of Revenue at Sparefoot, advises that:

      The email newsletters publishers have long relied on to boost engagement and ROI are now being recognized as a means to hold onto these new subscribers. Though derided and routinely declared dead, email remains a favorite of audiences and publishers alike simply by playing to its strengths: delivering easily-digestible content that increases traffic.

      Here are four important characteristics of major newsletters to adopt at your organization:

      • Make important content easy to discover for your audience
      • Add in curated articles and contextual narrative to provide additional perspective for your audience
      • Use articles that are tangentially related to your audience's interests. Exposing people to new content they wouldn't otherwise find is attention grabbing
      • Create newsletters that are short and simply laid out, making them easy to digest and finish 

      For more on making newsletters a trusted source for news, read Sibson's full article below.

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    2. Change Your Social Media Marketing for 2017

      Change Your Social Media Marketing for 2017

      With the constant change in social media, it can be hard to keep your social media marketing strategies up to date. It often feels as though as soon as businesses are comfortable with basic social media marketing, new features, algorithms, and consumption preferences across platforms keep on impacting the way we market.

      Marketing Insider Group CEO Michael Brenner has this to say about not being overwhelmed by the latest social media trends:

      The secret is to embrace the change. After all, it is the rapid advancements and constant stream of innovations that have provided digital marketers with so much to work with in the first place.

      Here are some things you can do to optimize your social media efforts:

      • Customize your use of major and niche social media sites.
      • Update your video strategy to incorporate interactivity
      • Focus on influencers
      • Be sensitive to changes in the effectiveness of your social media ads

      Social media marketing isn't going away. By incorporating it into a documented content marketing strategy, measuring its effectiveness, and then revising your approach based on the results, your efforts will stay relevant throughout 2017.

      For Brenner's complete article, click the link below. 

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    3. How to Win with Content Curation (Even Before You've Started)

      How to Win with Content Curation (Even Before You've Started)

      From cutting down ideation to publication time to reducing costs to increasing overall content production and improving SEO, the benefits of content curation continue to grow.

      Prior to hopping into the curation game, consider the following to get the most out of your curation strategy.

      Balance

      Experts agree that content strategy is incomplete without curated content. The ratio of curated to original content is brand sensitive and should be determined based on engagement. Testing is important to gauge your audience’s interest in and consumption of curated content.

      Topic

      Since you want to position your brand as a thought leader, it’s good to select topics on the periphery of your topic areal. While these topics may not be directly relevant to your messaging, it could still help in creating loyalty and trust with potential customers.

      Sources

      It’s important to curate from a variety of websites and media outlets. Sherry Bonelli, of BrightLocal, explains why:

      “Having just one or two outlets to draw content from is all well and good but, it’s likely that competitors also turn to those same experts for their own curated content.”

      Contextualizing

      The general rule of thumb for ethical curation is to “give more than you take.” Provide more original commentary than borrowed text. Two ways you can do this is by editorializing or providing a prompt to your readers.

      Check out all of Bonelli’s reasons and tactics for content curation in the article below.

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    4. Boost Your Content Marketing With Company Engagement Tactics

      Boost Your Content Marketing With Company Engagement Tactics

      Employee engagement and content sharing boosts the reach of your content. In fact, according to MSLGroup, brand messages extend 561% further when shared by employees versus official brand social channels.

      Dan Steiner, technology entrepreneur, author, marketing consultant, and CEO of security firm Online Virus Repair Inc., shares the example of a company that successfully used employee engagement to optimize their marketing efforts:

      One of the most inspiring examples of a company using the creative power of employees outside of the content team is Johnsonville, the Wisconsin-based sausage maker. The company asked its employees to help tell the brand story, and more than 100 employees responded to an open call. One of the results: Several awesome commercials were created, such as “Regular Speed Chase” by Brett and “Jeff and His Forest Friends” by Jeff.

      Some things you can do at your company to start increasing employee involvement with your content include:

      1. Talk to leadership: Schedule a meeting with leadership to get them on board with the benefits of employee involvement in marketing.
      2. Email, meet with, or message other employees: Set up regular communications with your company's employees to encourage submitting ideas, sharing on social and creating new content. 
      3. Curate employee content: Check out employees' Instagram accounts as well as other social platforms. There might be a picture or post that's worth sharing on your company's social channels.

      Read Steiner's full article on how to use employee engagement below.

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    5. Drive Customer Delight With Content Marketing

      Drive Customer Delight With Content Marketing

      Content marketing is necessarily becoming more sophisticated as customers become more exposed to it. "Good enough" content that fills a hole in your editorial calendar—is increasingly less so in this environment.

      More and more it's not enough to just answer your audience’s questions and help solve their problems; there's just too much competition for this to resonate any more. For content to stand out it needs to go further, to delight readers enough to have a measurable impact.

      Aaron Agius at the Content Marketing Institute has a handy primer on the principles of customer delight, which he argues should factor into every action, interaction, and piece of content you create:

      • Does this content solve a problem for someone?
      • Does this content teach someone how to solve problems in the future?
      • Is this content engaging and at least a little fun? 

      For Agius, delighting your customers is all about exceeding their expectations: 

      When I look for an answer to a problem, I’m happy when I finally find it. My problem is solved. If that same source provides additional information to help me deal with similar challenges down the road, then I’m blown away. When that source does it with a smile and enthusiasm, it might as well give me a fanboy shirt.

      When you create a better user experience, through better researched, more entertaining, better written, more relevant content—you create a happier audience. Which makes them much more likely to be interested in your products, and to become brand advocates for you after they've bought. 

      The key to creating such a user experience is to have a documented content strategy, so that you're consciously creating content with specific, measurable goals. Find out more about driving customer delight via Aaron's full article below.

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    6. Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      Engage Influencers on Social with Content Curation

      TopRank's Caitlin Burgess shares best practices for identifying, managing, engaging, and activating your social media community. Of the seven tips, one is particularly meaningful:

      Do some research and create a list of 10-20 people to start with. Connect with them on all of their social channels and subscribe to their blog feeds. From there, spend a few minutes each day interacting with them through sharing your own thoughts on their posts or sharing their posts with your audience. The caveat here is to make sure your interaction makes sense. Don’t force it. Look for an opportunity to add some value.

      This hack includes a few core steps in the process of content curation excellence. 

      Once you have a list of core people you want to get involved with, start engaging with them as Burgess suggests. But don't be afraid to go above and beyond with curation. Take some of their original ideas and go further: agree with them, disagree with themor maybe just elaborate on their ideas.

      By curating your influencers' content, it can take less time to achieve your goals; such as developing a working relationship with them and borrowing their audience. You can also promote this curated content to other channels to reap even further benefits from content curation.

      Read Caitlin's original article below for more ways to boost your social media community management.

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    7. 3 Grim Realities about Online Authority that Will Make You Smile - Copyblogger

      3 Grim Realities about Online Authority that Will Make You Smile - Copyblogger

      Sure, the internet is a vast sea of content. And the water level rises every day. But so does the discernment level of the average content consumer (read: all of us). We’re not satisfied with slapdash information anymore. We won’t waste our time reading if your page looks uninviting. You won’t get our clicks if your headline promises nothing in exchange. We’re not satisfied with junk content. Our content palates are more sophisticated than they used to be. This may seem like disheartening news.

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    8. 5 Top Types of Curated Articles for Social Media

      5 Top Types of Curated Articles for Social Media

      Generating enough relevant and engaging content for your audience can be a real issue if you don't have the man power. If this is something your content marketing team is currently facing, you're not alone. As it turns out, creating content is one of the top 6 challenges content marketers face. 

      Content curation can help fix this problem. In her blog post "The 5 Most Sought-After Types of Content to Curate on Your Social Media Pages," Jessica Davis explains which types of content are always good to curate. These involve curating:

      1. The Latest Content
      2. Content With Actionable Items
      3. Expert Opinions
      4. Content Resources
      5. Case Studies

      Whether you are new to curating or have plenty of experience disseminating high quality third party content, Jessica's article will help you learn (or reinforce) which content people like to digest the most.

      For more on best practices for curating, check out Curata's Ultimate Guide to Content Curation. Jessica's full post explains in detail why the aforementioned content types resonate on social media, available via the link below.

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    9. 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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    10. Agile Marketing: Be Lazier, More Productive

      Agile Marketing: Be Lazier, More Productive

      It's natural to always want to work more and faster, especially in America. Among some masochists, it's an actual badge of pride to take as little vacation time as possible.

      This behavior is driven by the belief that results inevitably follow hours logged. According to Workfront, 89% of marketers log into work outside normal working hours.

      But the vast majority of humans aren't built to work that way. Productivity takes a sharp nosedive when there's a relentless more-more-faster-faster approach. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports the number of B2B content marketers rating their efforts as effective fell 8% between 2015 and 2016.

      CMI's Andrea Fryrear believes those content marketers are missing the Agile marketing boat. Fryear defines Agile marketing as when:

      your marketing team agrees on a list of priorities. Based on those priorities, you decide which tasks–including content marketing tasks–are most important. The team agrees to focus on those tasks that it can expect to accomplish during the next “sprint” (typically somewhere between one week and one month)–and it puts all other tasks on hold (on the “backlog”).

      Teams reassess priorities every time they complete a sprint, and only address new requests during a sprint if they're more important than what's already been committed to. If they're not, they're put into the backlog for a future sprint. 

      An Agile approach makes you more effective without working more, because you're getting the right things done. It works best as part of a documented content marketing strategy, such as can be found in Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid. Fryrear goes into much greater depth about Agile marketing in her post via the link below; it's well worth investigating.  

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    11. Should You Use The Rio 2016 Olympics in Your Content Marketing?

      Should You Use The Rio 2016 Olympics in Your Content Marketing?

      The 2016 summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro combines the spectacle of a beautiful tropical seaside backdrop with some of the world's most attractive people. Many of the athletes aren't too hideous either.

      These sorts of images—let alone the worldwide attention devoted to them, should offer a goldmine of marketing potential. Shouldn't they?

      Possibly. But should you want to newsjack the event, beware that referring to any names, logos or images associated with the Olympics, if you aren't an approved sponsor or partner, will be considered ambush marketing, and poses serious ethical, let alone legal risks. 

      The Cyber Alert blog warns:

      While seemingly harmless, [ambush marketing] diminishes the value of corporate event sponsorships. Olympic organizers look unkindly on the practice and strive to squash it – and the law is on their side.

      This means it's going to be very difficult to market promotional content without incurring the wrath of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the form of a nasty cease and desist letter—or worse. 

      Knowing what is ethical content marketing requires strong knowledge of both law and industry norms. You can find out more about both by downloading Curata's eBook: Content Marketing Done Right. For more about using the Rio Olympics in marketing, read the rest of the Cyber Alert blog via the link below. 

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    12. Which Are The Most Important Content Marketing Metrics?

      Which Are The Most Important Content Marketing Metrics?

      The single most vexing question for anyone in content marketing today is still, "How do I measure the effectiveness of my content marketing?"

      Aaron Agius at Search Engine Journal believes there ten key metrics worth focusing on to determine the overall performance and health of your content marketing program. He writes:

      Being able to measure the success of content should be a priority for any marketer, but determining the success of content isn’t as simple as looking at a single conversion point.

      There are a lot of metrics you can dig into, but there’s no single set of metrics that offer all the answers.

      Agius believes the ten key metrics to pay attention to are: social shares, engaged time (beyond time on page), total lead attribution, CTA click-through rates, direct post engagement, content traffic, retention metrics, referral links and natural inbound links, cost metrics, and ramp up time and longevity. 

      He's right that there are almost too many metrics to be able to keep track of these days, but a helpful way of conceptualizing them is to order your metrics into a four part framework:

      • Consumption metrics
      • Sharing metrics
      • Lead metrics
      • Sales metrics

      Aaron's post delves into why the ten metrics he's outlined are so key in the link below. For an in-depth examination of everything to do with content marketing metrics, read The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics.

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    13. Why Your Content Isn't Engaging Your Audience

      Why Your Content Isn't Engaging Your Audience

      We're spending more time and money on creating content than ever before, with B2B marketers spending $5.2 billion on content creation in 2015. Frustratingly, studies show most businesses waste about 25 cents of every dollar they spend on content—$1.3 billion hard earned dollars down the drain.

      Understanding why audiences are ignoring your content and then retooling to make it more engaging is crucial to ensuring maximum ROI. Helpfully, Anna Talerico at Marketing Insider Group has outlined some of the top reasons she finds that content gets ignored:

      • I never saw it.
      • I couldn't share it.
      • It didn't stand out.
      • It wasn't relevant.
      • It wasn't interactive.

      Talerica goes into detail about each point above and advises, "don’t let your content get lost in the shuffle by simply wishing for more engagement!" (Click on the link below this article to find out how Anna expands upon the above bullet points.)

      The best way to ensure readers see your content, it stands out, they can share it, it's relevant to them, and is interactive—is to start off with a well documented content marketing strategy. 

      Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid is one method for implementing such a strategy, explaining how to establish clear goals and priorities, how to increase production capacity by making more efficient use of valuable resources, and how to create a predictable stream of content that engages buyers and drives pipeline activity for marketing and sales. 

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    14. Secrets of Backlink Building Revealed

      Secrets of Backlink Building Revealed

      Link building is the single greatest key to improving your website's position in search engine results.

      How does it work? When Google sees a page getting links for a particular keyword, it infers the content must be relevant for the keyword and ranks that content in the top search results for that keyword.

      However, it's gotten much harder to build links than it used to be, partly because of vastly increased competition for backlinks—but partly because you're probably doing it wrong. Influencer Neil Patel has comprehensively examined the top five things to analyze and fix for optimum link building: 

      1. Your content is not on the mark

      2. You don’t try (enough)

      3. You request the wrong blogs

      4. Your way of asking for links is flawed

      5. Your request email is ineffective

      Neil gives thorough explanations for each of the five headings here, which you can read all about via the link at the bottom of this post. And if you have a documented strategy for every content marketing campaign you execute, backlinks will be built up systematically, rather than in an ad hoc fashion.

      Neil summarizes his advice thus:

      Email outreach is one of the best ways to get backlinks. But, to be successful, you’ll have to personalize your efforts. Just creating linkworthy content is not enough. Template emails will also just take you just so far.

      But, it all starts with creating great content. Use length, a unique spin, data and visual assets to create something that a blog’s readers will want to see.

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    15. The Power of Personalizing Content Marketing

      The Power of Personalizing Content Marketing

      Content personalization involves getting content that's tailored to people's needs and interests in front of them at the right time, through the right channels, so you can more effectively engage and convert an audience into customers. It's a way to cut through the noise in a content-saturated world.

      Michael Brenner at Marketing Insider Group acknowledges that personalization can be difficult when it comes to content marketing—but that doesn't mean it can't be done. 

      Brenner advises:

      • Understand your target audience. Talk to people who work at the companies you’re targeting.
      • Start small and scale. Develop some template content which you can use to customize based on insights gained about a specific customer.
      • Leverage data and technology. Data can predict future trends and behavior patterns in order to personalize content and deepen engagement throughout the buyer journey.

      Personalization also goes beyond the content marketers produce. As the Founder and CEO of Curata Pawan Deshpande suggests, personalizing curated content is often easier and can be just as valuable for prospects and customers.

      (For more on curation, read The Definitive Guide to Content Curation.) Account based marketing's rapidly rising popularity is part of a broader industry move towards content personalization. Developing an effective personalization strategy now means being well positioned for content marketing's future.

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    16. Use Content Marketing Technology to Be Smarter, Not Just Faster

      Use Content Marketing Technology to Be Smarter, Not Just Faster

      It's easy to love what technology can do for us: when used correctly it can bring many helpful efficiencies. However, it's when technology is used strategically that it really helps content marketers work smarter—i.e. to develop and implement a more successful content marketing strategy.

      Guillaume Decugis writes about this imperative at the Content Marketing Institute in "7 Ways Technology Can Make You a Smarter Content Marketer." He quotes CMI founder Joe Pulizzi:

      I look at technology for content marketing being used right now as putting out fires, solving very small issues. Before buying technology for content marketing, you need a strategic vision that makes sense for the organization.

      Strategy is crucial to not wasting time and resources! Decugis's seven tips include:

      • Audit your content library

      • Maximize your keyword research to identify your content sweet spot

      • Use editorial calendars to improve collaboration and project management

      • Curate content to supplement your own and add credibility to your editorial

      • Optimize your content systematically

      • Automate social distribution based on audience profile

      • Focus paid social promotion on top-performing content

      A documented content strategy is vital to keeping all this together according to the 2015 CMI/MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Benchmark report. It shows marketers with a documented strategy are much more effective than those who do not document their strategy. For a look at Curata's industry leading content marketing software click here. For an in depth guide to content marketing strategy, download The Content Marketing Pyramid eBook. And for the rest of Guillaume's tips, click on the link below. 

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    17. The Value of Content Curation and How To Effectively Use It – Pam Didner

      The Value of Content Curation and How To Effectively Use It – Pam Didner

      Content curation, if done effectively, can save a lot of time and money while providing results. Of course, original content will generally perform best and help reinforce your brand, but don’t knock curated content just yet. Finding relevant articles to share and post can help to boost your SEO rankings, increase your posting frequency and save you time and money.

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    18. Why You Should Invest In Content Curation

      Why You Should Invest In Content Curation

      When it comes to creating content, marketers and publishers face a number of challenges. For example, the of B2C content marketers had some trouble with everything from creating engaging content to lack of budget. How do you fill your editorial calendar with quality content without sacrificing quality? One good answer is . As a marketer, you already know that creating high-quality content isn’t easy, cheap, or quick.

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    19. Content Curation - 9 Top Tools To Boost Your Online Influence, Authority And Visibility

      Content Curation - 9 Top Tools To Boost Your Online Influence, Authority And Visibility

      Content Curation - 9 Top Tools To Boost Your Online Influence, Authority And Visibility Written on the 22 June 2016 by Charles Allen The easiest way to create content? Curate it. And in the process, build your online influence, authority, and visibility. Content curation is becoming an increasingly essential component of effective content marketing. The truth is, it's nigh on impossible to create all the content yourself that you need in order to sustain and build your online visibility.

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    How to Feed the Content Beast (without getting eaten alive)

    Download this great resource to learn some new tips and tricks on optimizing your content, curated or original. Foreword by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs.

     

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