1. Articles in category: Best Practices

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    1. Use Events to Leverage User Generated Content

      Use Events to Leverage User Generated Content

      User-generated content (UGC) is popular with content marketers because of both its economy and authenticity. UGC refers to when an audience (users) create content around your brand. You can then share, repackage, and repurpose this content to further your marketing goals.  

      The benefits of UGC include increased brand awareness, lowered content creation cost, and the credibility that comes from external, (presumably) unbiased people singing your praises. There are a number of ways you can encourage valuable UGC at conferences and events.

      Content marketing author Heidi Cohen elaborates:

      Done well it builds your brand and your community by creating real life engagement. Even better for attendees, it helps you to connect with influencers in your category and to get some glow from their reach.

      Creating user-generated content from events is not only beneficialit's easy and inexpensive. Ways you can inspire user generated content at an event include:

      • Bring a video camera and ask questions to attendees 
      • Ask people to take a picture with a prop
      • Create your own custom hashtag for the event
      • Host a scavenger hunt that incorporates social posting

      Find out more ways to create UGC at your next conference in Cohen's complete article below.

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    2. Make Your Blog Title Better Than This One

      Make Your Blog Title Better Than This One

      Creating an attention-grabbing title is no easy feat. Your title directly impacts the success of your blog post. It determines social engagement, email click-through, and unique views. Unfortunately, creativity can only get you so far in the world of headlines. Data can take you further in ensuring your content gets the views it deserves.

      Marketer and keynote speaker Heidi Cohen advises:

      After investing precious resources into lovingly crafting content and social media shares, don’t just slap any headline on it that pops into your head at the last minute.

      Here are suggestions to improve your blog post titles.

      Upworthy recommends thinking of at least 25 headlines before choosing the best one. While this might be effective in creating a standout title, most marketers don't have the luxury of that much time. For a blog cranking out new posts a couple of times a week, coming up with five or so titles and then whittling it down is fine.

      There are also specific words and phrases that improve your blog post's clickability. According to BuzzSumo, these are the top phrases to include in your title for Facebook engagement:

      • Will make you

      • This is why

      • Can we guess

      Another tactic for successful headline creation is emotion. Try telling your audience the emotion the blog post will evoke with words like cute, heartwarming, or amazing in the title.

      For more on using data to create a great title, check out Cohen's complete article below.

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    3. For the People, By the People: User-Generated Content

      For the People, By the People: User-Generated Content

      As an audience member, you understand the interests of your peers. This is what makes user-generated content (UGC) so effective. Beyond the innate understanding of you audience, UGC is a preferred-content type for businesses for other reasons. B2C contributor, William Comcowich, explains:

      User-generated content can be an enormously effective – yet affordable – marketing strategy. Some leading brands post almost nothing but user-generated content. Since people place little trust in brand advertising or marketing, amplifying photos, videos or recommendations of other consumers offers a superior strategy. The key is to solicit positive brand mentions or uncover them through social media listening.

      You're probably not stockpiling audience-created content today, so here are some tips to help establish a flow of UGC.

      Incentivize: Budget might not be available to encourage your brand advocates to create content- but you don’t necessarily need it. People are motivated by different things, so find a group that cares about individual recognition and compensate them with praise. 

      Keep it Simple: As with anything, asking people to jump through hoops to complete things is going to result in a lower engagement rate. Iterate down to the most frictionless process possible and stick with that.

      Don’t Go Blind: While big brands can benefit most from listening for mentions, all companies can and should use Talkwalker, Google Alerts, or a similar tool to find where you’re company is mentioned. Surfacing positive brand mentions is the ultimate low-hanging fruit for UGC.

      Want to dial in a better user-generated content program? Check out Comcowich’s original post below.

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    4. Things to Do Today to Improve Your Content Marketing Efforts

      Things to Do Today to Improve Your Content Marketing Efforts

      Create a video, start influencer campaigns, publish high-quality long-form content.

      Sound tips that will help optimize your content marketing efforts. But while these are great tactics, most of us only hit two of content marketers’ top two priorities for 2017. That would be creating more engaging content (72 percent), and getting a better understanding of what content is effective and what isn’t (65 percent).

      Alex Jasin at the SEMRush blog explains one strategy for optimizing your efforts:

      One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is neglecting to clearly connect their content marketing strategy to their sales funnel. They treat content as if it’s a magical pill that will instantly generates mountains of new sales and passionate customers. Effective content marketing requires a clear vision for how new content will move potential customers into and down the sales funnel.

      Here are a few things you can do to start tying your content back to sales. Use technology to start tracking your content directly to revenue, and use that data to inform future creation decisions. You can either purchase marketing software to do this for you, or you can make the calculations on your own.

      Another solution is to set up regular meetings between marketing and sales to determine what content your team needs to create and get feedback on what is and isn't working. 

      For more fast, effective options for improving your content marketing efforts, check Jasin's full article below.

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    5. Your Content Marketing is Outdated - Here's Why

      Your Content Marketing is Outdated - Here's Why

      Content marketing best practices constantly change with new technology and audience preferences. In the past few years, organic social reach has waned, personalized content and account-based marketing have risen, while video and visual content forms are now the norm.

      Priyanka Desai, founder of iScribblers, describes how self-centered content marketing no longer works:

      Your content should be valuable and customer-centric. As a brand owner, you might be tempted to focus on topics that interest you the most. However, they might not interest your audience or might not be useful to them.

      While this is good advice for content marketers, selfish content marketing isn't something that's outdated. It's never been a best practice. According to a LinkedIn Marketing Technology report from 2014, the top three things that make content effective are:

      • Audience relevance (58 percent)
      • Engaging and compelling storytelling (57 percent)
      • Triggers a response or action (54 percent)

      Another changing best practice is the idea that more content is better. Organizations should publish consistently enough to remain front of mind, but content quality and usefulness are more important to your audienceand Google—than volume. 

      Check out Desai's complete article on outdated content marketing practices below.

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    6. Templatized, Easy-to-Produce Content, Yay or Nay?

      Templatized, Easy-to-Produce Content, Yay or Nay?

      Everybody has read blog posts with titles like: 3 Ways to Improve Your (noun) or 6 Best Examples of (tactic you're using to Achieve your goal). Templatized, easy-to-produce content  is rampant and often scoffed at in content marketing. Despite the overuse and negative sentiment around this kind of content—it might actually be beneficial to create.

      Heidi Cohen, President of Riverside Marketing Strategies advises that:

      Using the same content format can help you build your audience and amplify your content reach. While it may not work for every content marketing plan or blog, one-trick pony content can be a viable content option that yields results.

      Among other things, posts that are easy to create allow you to ramp up creation and create enough content to support your content strategy. Here are some pros and cons of creating this kind of content:

      Pros

      • Improve relations with influencers
      • Become more creative within the templatized constraints you set for yourself
      • Plan and create multiple posts at the same time

      Cons

      • Not enough variety in your content offering
      • More work at the beginning reaching out to influencers and doing background research
      • More support for other forms of content creation such as images or videos

      While this kind of content isn't for everyone, most organizations can benefit from having a combination of easy-to-make, templatized content and time-intensive content like thought leadership pieces or in-depth informative articles.

      For a deeper dive on when to use template content, click the link below.

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    7. 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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    8. Content Curation: Just Do It

      Content Curation: Just Do It

      Regardless of how mature your content strategy is, relevant third-party content should be a part of it. Strategists include curation for one or more of the following reasons:

      • Thought Leadership: Exposing your audience to the best thinking in your subject area—regardless of where it’s from—positions you as a neutral, objective expert in your field.
      • Bandwidth: You or your team are short on key resources (time, money, people) which prevent your organization from creating enough timely, original, high quality content.

      Those are two broad reasons to curate, but curating solves challenges and delivers benefits in many areas. Content strategy best practice is to balance roughly 65 percent original content with 35 percent curated and syndicated content.

      Curation is a resourceful way to power content channels, but Jennee Rasavong of AtomicBlog suggests an important distinction:

      “The key to content curation is knowing the difference between curation and aggregation. Essentially the biggest difference is that aggregation is automated, while curation is more like being the information gatekeeper.

      When it comes to being the best “information gatekeeper” you can be, consider the following two practices.

      Stay Fresh

      Stand out by serving content that isn’t already trending. Continuously broaden the scope of where you curate content from. Use tools to pull together RSS feeds and don’t overwhelm yourself with an unmanageable queue of content. It’s fine if curated content isn’t directly related to your product or services—as long as it adds value to your audience.

      Highlight Content in a New Way

      Use your industry knowledge to build around someone else’s idea. Challenge a claim using your own data. Make their content your own; but do so ethically. There are well-established best practices for getting maximum value from curated content— follow them.

      Read more curation insights from Rasavong below.

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    9. Make Twitter One of Your Content Promotion Channels

      Make Twitter One of Your Content Promotion Channels

      Social media is a valuable tool for identifying influencers and activating and converting members of your audience. Twitter in particular is one of the most influential content and social media channels, blending a dynamic of your personal life and professional persona. Polish your profile, plunge into the Twittersphere, and marketing results accumulate over time.

      Prior to sticking your neck out though, make sure your Twitter profile captures everything you want visitors to know about your personal and/or professional brand. Your pictures and description should align with what you, or your corporate mission stand for, as these things are the only constant when visitors check out your regularly updated page.
       
      Once you’re happy with your profile, begin promoting content. Share your original content, curate other people’s content, and retweet trending topics. Important points for social media content promotion: 
      • Use visuals: Tweets with visuals get more engagement.

      • Find the right time: The endgame is to get as much exposure and engagement as possible. Analyze the most happening time for your audience to maximize results.

      • Stay consistent: You are only as good as your last tweet. Businesses with inactive or spotty accounts will be interpreted as dead or dying. Results take time, so stay active over the long haul. It takes commitment, but you wouldn’t expect to go to the gym for a week and lose thirty pounds.

      There are many free tools you can use to help with your social promotion. And don’t underestimate the importance of personalization. Make it a priority to put a human touch on engaging with influencers and your audience. Holly Chessman at Maximize Social Business argues,
      More important than the number of followers you gain is the volume of interactions you have with relevant people. That’s how you stand out from the fire hose stream of updates.
      Regularly interacting with others may throttle some basic KPIs such as followers, likes, and retweets, but it gives you a much better perspective on who your audience is and what they discuss. You can also get a better feel for your influencers’ audience—and eventually borrow their audience if you manage to catch an influencer's eye and get them to engage with you.

      Maximize Social Business does what it says it does. Go read and retweet Chessman’s original piece below.

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    10. 10 Technical and Tactical Tips to Improve Your Business Today

      10 Technical and Tactical Tips to Improve Your Business Today

      There are many ways to improve your business, both technical and tactical from changing your tools to changing your outlook and approach. Here the small business community shares changes in tools and techniques both large and small that will make a big difference in how your company performs. Images are so important to any website or online marketing content. But you need images that are actually optimized if you want them to have the biggest possible impact. That’s where Imagify comes in.

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    11. Should Curated Content Have a Larger Role in Your Content Strategy?

      Should Curated Content Have a Larger Role in Your Content Strategy?

      Content curation is a powerful marketing practice that is sometimes overlooked by some marketers. Original content is important, obviously, but should it make up the totality of your content strategy?

      A content strategy has essentially two goals: 1) to provide value for your audience, 2) to do so in such a way as to achieve measurable marketing goals, such as improved traffic, leads, and SEO, etc. 

      Curation provides your audience with relevant, valuable information from different perspectives. When done right it delivers against all your traditional marketing goals—and saves you time and money. Curata research shows top marketers use roughly 25 percent of curated content in their overall strategy. 

      Matt Curtis, of Business2Community, thinks the split should favor curated content even more heavily :

       ...firstly, you content should be relevant to your audience no matter where it’s coming from. Secondly, you should be posting more curated content to interest your audience than original content.

      Curation is a great means to power content channels and deliver against other sales/marketing goals. If you're not relying heavily on curation as a component to your strategy—such as the way Verne Global does—you should be.

      Read more about curated content versus original content below.

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    12. Tag, You're it! How Tagging Adds Value to Content Strategy

      Tag, You're it! How Tagging Adds Value to Content Strategy

      Content marketing strategy is often interpreted as, 'create as much good content as possible with some degree of consistency.' While this sentiment isn't wrong, too many marketers lose an edge by not executing this mantra with a commitment to organization. 

      "A stitch in time saves nine," is a phrase generally thought of after the fact. It should be applied immediately to your day-to-day content strategy work.  

      Case in point: tagging content with appropriate data. While it's possible to be creative and add endless tags that can generate some interesting insights for content reporting, focus on a few key fields to start. Not only does tagging make it easier to navigate to specific content, it does wonders for performing a content audit. Gary DeAsi of SmartBear Software understands what it takes to build a content strategy that keeps on giving, and gives two GREAT reasons why tagging and auditing are critical.  

      Conducting a content audit and making this a regular part of your content planning process can not only improve your understanding of where you need to focus future content creation efforts most, but also help you discover ways to get much more value from your existing assets.

      Tagging content becomes second nature. Then when you perform a content audit, identifying gaps in your content strategy or campaigns/pyramids is no longer a guessing game.

      This pivotal step in an organized content strategy can take place in an editorial calendar (check out some free templates here), or in a more advanced technology such as a digital asset management (DAM) tool or content marketing platform. For more of DeAsi's content strategy insights, click on the link below.

      Happy tagging!

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    13. How To Prevent Your SEO From Taking A Hit When A/B Testing

      How To Prevent Your SEO From Taking A Hit When A/B Testing

      Most marketers are all too familiar with A/B testing of campaigns and assets to see what drives user engagement. Measuring content's impact is one of the top 6 challenges content marketers face today. What makes it more difficult is when you're A/B testing a page layout for an asset. Why? These tests are actually hurting your site's SEO.

      You may be thinking "How is this possible—the same content is being displayed, so how could it be hurting my SEO?" Allow Khalid Saleh to explain in "How to Split Test Without Harming Your Site’s SEO":

      Let’s say that Google’s bots land on your site and start indexing its pages. After it’s done indexing, the Googlebot beams the data to Google. Google now runs its algorithm to determine where to rank your site’s indexed pages. However, while going through this exercise, Google notices a problem: multiple pages on your site seem to have the same content with minor differences... Google might construe the similar pages as duplicate content and penalize you in the SERPs. This is how split testing affects your SEO. It confuses search engine bots and can trigger duplicate content warnings.

      So does this mean no more A/B testing pages? Fret not. Khalid provides helpful tips and tricks to address the issue via the link below, from not SEO-optimizing your pages to directing a Google bot which pages to index. If you're looking for other great tricks for your marketing strategy, check out these 10 Facebook and Twitter hacks

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    14. Successfully Launch and Promote Gated Content With These 6 Steps

      Successfully Launch and Promote Gated Content With These 6 Steps

      It's an all-too common scenario: you've just finished creating an incredible piece of in-depth original content. You want to let the world devour what you have to offer, but you're not just going to give it away! You make it gated content so you can capture lead information and track how leads convert.

      Only for some reason you're not seeing the number of downloads and shares you expected; in fact they're much lower. What went wrong? It may be related to the fact that promotion is one of the top six challenges content marketers face. So how to rectify this?

      Liz Bedor examines the necessary steps for launching and promoting gated content in "6-Step Checklist to Launch and Promote Gated Content." Bedor proposes the following elements to consider:

      1. SEO-Optimized Landing Page
      2. Email Announcement
      3. Download Email Confirmation

      ... amongst others. Liz gives a great overview of each step and why they're important to ensuring a healthy number of downloads and shares. It's possible to build out an entire content strategy from a single gated asset if you use Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid eBook. Start by reading the rest of Liz's full post via the link below.

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    15. Maximizing the Social Media and Content Marketing Synergy

      Maximizing the Social Media and Content Marketing Synergy

      Social media and content marketing have become synonymous with each other in marketing. Which should be no surprise really—you need to promote your content in some way, and your promotion needs some content with it. As black and white a concept as this may seem, many marketing teams still struggle with executing both. A recent study shows promotion is one of the top six content marketing challenges for marketers.

      So how does a marketer reconcile the two? Pam Didner has written an excellent post about "5 elements to maximize the synergy Between Social Media and Content Marketing." Pam explains how she recommends her clients go about maximizing this synergy, with the trick to take care of what she describes as the "4+1" at a strategic level. Pam describes 4+1 as: 

       ...honing and aligning 4 elements with the central marketing team through 1 collaboration process.

      These 4 elements being: 

      1. Objectives
      2. Personas
      3. Messaging
      4. Editorial

      Successfully aligning these elements makes everything related to copy writing and execution come naturally. Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid eBook takes a comprehensive look at how to effectively implement your content marketing strategy, and have all these areas covered. Learn more about Pam's 4+1 concept via the link below.

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    16. Expand Your Content Marketing On A Global Scale

      Expand Your Content Marketing On A Global Scale

      Content marketing is expanding at an incredible rate, with new content being added by companies you would never think even had a content marketing department. Curata recently did a study showing 75% of businesses are looking to increase their content marketing investment in the next year. Some companies are trying to scale their content marketing globally—a huge challenge.

      Rebecca Lieb has some interesting examples of key things she's learned to take into account when scaling globally. She advises:

      The need for content is universal, but each region, country and locality in which a brand operates has specific needs that are unique to their language and culture, and often other requirements, such as legal. You can divide these needs into three buckets that are core components of any content marketing strategy: teams, tools, and channels

      This is a strong breakdown of what any content marketing campaign should focus on, as these three things determine the speed and quality with which you create content. A great resource for establishing an effective strategy is Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid, which takes these three components into account. Read the rest of Rebecca's post below to see how you can scale your content marketing up to global domination.

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    17. Crucial Steps For Creating a Digital Measurement Plan

      Crucial Steps For Creating a Digital Measurement Plan

      Measurement is one of content marketers' top challenges, according to a recent Staffing & Tactics Survey of 1,000+ marketers. In particular, tracking the impact of online content and other digital efforts is difficult due to the overwhelming amount of data available across disparate systems and teams. 

      Stephen Roda of Vertical Measures identifies four steps you shouldn't miss when creating your own digital measurement plan:

      1. Determine your digital goals and align them with business goals
      2. Establish baseline metrics
      3. Create an automated dashboard 
      4. Create monthly insight reports

      Today's marketing technology solutions enable us to create automated dashboards for monthly insights, as well as insights that can drive immediate change in our marketing plans. For example, here at Curata we've been able to instantly identify which types of content generate the most leads. Using the analytics in Curata CMP, we found out long form blog posts were responsible for nine times more leads generated and eight times more page views versus short form blog posts (find out more with Generate More Leads with Data-Driven Marketing). This modified our focus to rely more on long form blog posts for lead generation.

      This eBook contains a comprehensive list of metrics to help determine the full impact of content at every stage of your pipeline, while Stephen Roda's full post below has more on how to develop your digital measurement plan. 

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    18. 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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    19. 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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    1-24 of 373 1 2 3 4 ... 14 15 16 »
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