1. Articles in category: Trends

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    1. Building Long Term Influence on Influencers

      Building Long Term Influence on Influencers

      Influencer marketing is a staple practice for marketing teams of all shapes and sizes. Marketing teams that achieve the best results from these programs have an ongoing process to keep their influencers involved. Ask yourself, “How can I regularly leverage the benefits of borrowed influencer stardom?” Consider these best practices when launching or fortifying an influencer marketing program.

      Look Beyond the Most Prolific Social Media Mavens

      Writing for a niche audience is an effective strategy for growing a loyal audience. To that end, influencers with large social followings typically appeal to a more general audience. Working with them may yield quality, short-term traffic results, but may not help significantly increase your targeted following.

      Mo’ Money, Same Problems

      As with most paid efforts, when the cash flow stops, so do the returns. A pay-to-play influencer strategy can be circumvented in a few ways. Ultimately, the key is to avoid ad-hoc “Can you help me?” interactions with influencers. (More on this in the next tip.)

      Think of an Influencer as a High-Value Sales Prospect

      Working with influencers should never be a “flash in the pan experience.” To build a more fluid relationship, consider this advice from Emily Hinderaker of Top Rank Marketing:

      “Keep the communication channel open and use an ongoing approach to your influencer marketing program. Share the co-created content and send pre-written messages to your influencer so they can share it with their networks on various platforms including social media. Thank your influencer for their contribution and continue to nurture the relationship, even after the campaign is over.”

      To learn more best practices for an ongoing influencer marketing strategy, check out Hinderaker’s original piece below.

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    2. Your Social Media Strategy For Today

      Your Social Media Strategy For Today

      Despite the high number of users, social behemoth Facebook is officially not the best platform for consumer engagement. Instagram blows its competitors out of the water. This is somewhat concerning considering 55 percent of marketers say Facebook is their most important platform.

      Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, shares his opinion:

      Appealing to all demographics, including older adults, Facebook is ideal for health awareness campaigns and posting announcements about health classes, services, and general health tips. Also, this is an industry that tends to be very community-driven, just like your local pizzeria and coffee shop, which meshes with Facebook’s local business appeal.

      So, even though Instagram has the highest engagement of all social platforms, it's not necessarily the best option for your company. When developing a social media strategy, it's important to note that engagement isn't the only factory that should play into your decisions on spend and priority. 

      To optimize your social media strategy, pick platforms that resonate with your audience and optimize for those platforms. Make sure the content you're sharing is visual, has an interesting headline, and customized for the platform. Also, take into account when you're sharing, how frequently, and whether or not you're paying for engagement.

      For more on which social media platforms should be a part of your marketing strategy, check out the full article in the link below.

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    3. Artificial Intelligence Now as Important as Mobile for Marketing

      Artificial Intelligence Now as Important as Mobile for Marketing

      Artificial intelligence (AI) is the next big thing in the eyes of many marketers. AI is permeating everyday life from car navigation to Google search to Netflix and Pandora, and it's starting to become a fixture in the marketing landscape.

      Ipseity co-founder and Search Engine Journal contributor Cynthia Johnson equates the importance of implementing artificial intelligence to that of mobile several years ago:

      Luckily, we’re used to adjusting, pivoting, and expecting a change of any kindand quickly. The use of AI in our digital marketing strategies is no different. We have to think of AI as we thought of mobile years ago. If we don’t learn about it and apply it, then we are destined to be out of a job.

      There are several options for you to start including AI in your marketing strategies. These include:

      • Content creation and curationTechnology that helps you find and create content relevant to your audience
      • Chatbots: Helps you answer customer questions without a full-time human behind the computer
      • AI for image and video tagging: Tools that automatically tag your images and videos
      • Content intelligence: Technology that helps content understand itself, automates some functions, and transforms data into actionable insights for content strategy and tactics

      For more ways to add AI to your marketing systems, check out Johnson's complete article below.

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    4. 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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    5. How to Make Influencer Marketing 2.0 Work for You

      How to Make Influencer Marketing 2.0 Work for You

      In an age where a marketer's tech stack is often just as, if not more important than the strategies built on them, a human approach to marketing stands out from the pack. According to a report by Traackr and TopRank Marketing, 63 percent of marketers want to improve customer satisfaction through influencer marketing.

      According to influencer and TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden, influencers are increasingly important in the digital marketing space.

      A more human approach to marketing means attention to empathy and a focus on customer experience. Influencers are credible, trusted individuals with active networks and the value exchange of their engagement with the community is where influence originates. Brands can tap into that influence to expand brand reach, create better customer engagement and even improve specific marketing goals like lead generation and increased sales conversions.

      Consider the following when implementing an influencer program at your organization. The maturity of your program will impact other departments, and should be examined before implementing new programs. Influencer marketing impacts content marketing the most.

      Lead generation is a common goal for influencer marketing, but it's not the only positive benefit. Influencer marketing can also benefit SEO and branding. Take this into account when developing a strategy for your brand. 

      For more on key insights into influencer marketing today, check out Odden's complete article below.

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    6. Should You Create A Podcast?

      Should You Create A Podcast?

      Podcast listenership has grown 71 percent since 2013 and continues to rise. Though podcasting has been around for over a decade, only recently has it become a more popular form of content consumption. 

      Two things are magnifying podcasts' popularity: mobile and an improvement in podcast quality. Mobile listening allows people to easily consume podcast content in a variety of situations. Marketer and journalist investment in high-quality podcasting meanwhile, have made podcasts more engaging. 

      Marketing Insider Group CEO Michael Brenner expands on why podcast quality has improved:

      The major brands who are jumping into podcast marketing are clearly well aware of the ad-weary consumer. They realize they aren’t going to get anywhere with a long commercial. People may watch a minute-long promotion video if it’s good enough, but no one’s going to tune into a half-hour audio episode if it even smells like an ad.

      The solutioncreate audio content that begins with answering the question, what do they want to hear?

      For a podcast to be successful it needs to be informative and entertaining. An example of this is The Message by GE. This sci-fi podcast collaboration with Slate Magazine is a series following a storyline in an alternate universe. This podcast's standout storytelling saw it reach number one on iTunes.

      Learn more about whether or not a podcast is right for your brand in Brenner's complete article below.

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    7. Have You Started Chat Marketing Yet?

      Have You Started Chat Marketing Yet?

      Chatbots and messaging apps are part of the next wave in marketing. Marketing thought leaders from Dharmesh Shah to David Cancel have identified one-on-one messaging as the next biggest thing in content marketing. So messaging apps are a big opportunity for content marketers.

      Today, over three billion people have a messaging app on their phone. As these apps become more popular, they're opening up new ways for brands to interact with their consumers.  

      Daria Kasatkina at SEMRush discusses some of the challenges with marketing on apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger:

      Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion MAU. That is a lot of people to reach out to! Unfortunately for my fellow marketing specialists, Messenger doesn’t have many marketing opportunities just yet, although the general trend seems promising and Facebook has been testing out new advertising features recently.

      There are several ways chat apps are evolving to help marketers connect with their audiences. Public chats allow brands to publish conversations to your messaging inbox that you can read but not write to. 

      Other apps such as Facebook Messenger allow for public accounts that people can message directly.

      Other features to keep an eye out for are paid promotion stickers or bumpers, personal shopper or check-out bots, and carousel ads.

      For more on using messaging apps for marketing, check out Kasatkina's complete article below.

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    8. How to Improve Influencer Relations With Content Marketing

      How to Improve Influencer Relations With Content Marketing

      Influencer marketing is increasingly trendy in 2017. Articles on the topic are increasing in popularity, and there are many theories on the best way to create an influencer marketing program that works. 

      Lee Odden, influencer and CEO of TopRank Marketing, gives his opinion:

      The most practical and useful way to engage influencers in a way that creates value for everyone involved is through content. In fact, 80 percent of marketers say content marketing is what working with influencers has the greatest impact on. Accept that truth and your path to influencer marketing ROI will be much shorter, painless and enjoyable. 

      Here are a few things to consider when making improvements to an influencer marketing program:

      • Approach influencer marketing with the idea of building relationships in mind. Suggesting co-creation, taking time to interact with influencers on social media, and exchanging tasks for assistance all help improve your relationship with an influencer.
      • Look internally for subject-matter experts to build your own influencer within the industry. This is an inexpensive way to leverage influencer marketing while further bolstering your brand.
      • Observe active networks to find new influencers.
      • Track your influencer marketing to measurable goals in the same way you track other marketing tactics.

      Read Odden's complete article via the link below.

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    9. Three Key Considerations for Running a Great ABM Program

      Three Key Considerations for Running a Great ABM Program

      Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a methodology that’s here to stay. When done correctly it delivers prolific results and is being eagerly adopted by companies across the globe.

      The underlying objective of ABM remains the same as inbound marketing: to deliver a sales ready _____. Where inbound marketing focuses on an individual lead or title, an account-based approach looks holistically at the makeup of all parts of an account.

      Scale is the biggest hurdle facing marketers. It’s not impossible to operate a larger scale ABM program—but it is extremely challenging when the most common mistake is choosing accounts.A meticulous approach is critical when defining what a successful, sticky customer looks like. It will be the boilerplate profile for future target accounts.

      Having carefully curated a list of target accounts, your team should understand their composition, making it easier to deliver them a great experience. Apply what you know about your target accounts to every point of exposure between the two organizations. Tailor, if not personalize, every customer facing experience.

      Convince and Convert contributor Ray Kemper suggest each of these “experience” touch points should work in tandem with the other touch points:

      “Given the number of channels and touchpoints in play with ABM, your sales reps must understand how to nurture and convert your prospects. Just like bread alone does not make a sandwich, teams that are comfortable only with one channel or tactic won’t be effective, given that they must know how to drive synergy across all the ingredients of the channels.”

      Kemper discusses ABM in greater detail in the original article below.

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    10. ABM or Artificial Intelligence? Here's What You Should Focus On In 2017

      ABM or Artificial Intelligence? Here's What You Should Focus On In 2017

      ABM was the marketing buzzword in 2016. According to Sirius Decisions, more than 70% of companies were focused on ABM programs. Those that executed saw a 171% lift in their average annual contact value when using ABM strategies. 

      While ABM continues to be an important marketing strategy, artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over as the marketing trend for 2017.

      Peter Isaacson, CMO for DemandBase, predicts AI won't replace ABM as a key focus for marketers but rather, will enhance it. 

      As AI continues to advance, we can expect to see the recommendation engines used by companies like Netflix and Amazon develop specifically for the B2B market. This will start to pave the way for a B2B business concierge—a completely automated and customized buyer’s journey throughout the funnel that is driven by AI.

      With supporting AI-driven technology like the B2B business concierge, in 2017, marketers will be armed with even stronger ABM solutions to move the needle and drive revenue like never before.

      Artificial Intelligence will also allow for improved personalization capabilities for ABM tactics that might otherwise have been slow and manual. AI will allow marketers to understand pain points, goals, and more about potential customers and engage in custom, one on one conversations with a brand.

      AI will also give access to more data around the success of ABM and integrate it with overall marketing metrics. This view of marketing programs will help marketers strategize for better results.

      Read more from Peter Isaacson about AI's impact on marketing below.

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    11. The Hottest Content Trends for 2017

      The Hottest Content Trends for 2017

      42.5% of companies planned to increase their content marketing staff levels in 2016. With an increased focus on and production of content in 2016, 2017's content marketing programs will be all about finding a more nuanced, fine-tuned methodology for creating and executing content.

      Content will become more "on the fly," more personalized, and virtual reality-centered content will become more commonplace. As technology and media evolve, content marketing will evolve with them.

      Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, and a keynote speaker, podcaster, and the author of five books including Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, argues:

      All brands must map all places and ways customers can interact and engage with them, and then provide optimal content – in multiple formats, ideally. This gives prospects and customers the information needed to take the next step, even in 2017’s crazy, non-linear “funnel” (which really isn’t a funnel at all but more like a bowl of behavioral spaghetti).

      In addition, as the amount of content marketing continues to grow, marketers will increasingly target quality over quantity. This means less focus on mapping to a funnel or creating a large amount of content, and more focus on testing and creating powerful content that resonates with current and potential customers alike.

      For more of Baer's thoughts on the top content trends of 2017, click the link below.

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    12. 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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    13. Three Indicators You Need a Content Marketing Platform

      Three Indicators You Need a Content Marketing Platform

      For every challenge content marketers face, there is a relevant tool available. One particular tool addresses the core issues that hinder content production, making efforts more seamless and scalable: the content marketing platform.

      Here are three key indicators your team could be a fit for a content marketing platform:

      1) Existing Content Strategy

      Your organization has some semblance of a content strategy, and considerable existing content. Content marketing platforms make it easy to surface pieces of content you never knew existed. Even better, you can index existing content and identify gaps by performing a content audit to discover whether you are lacking content for personas, buying stages, or keywords.

      2) Measuring Content

      With investment in content growing every year, management needs to understand how content initiatives influence business goals. And while measuring content ROI is critical, this does not scale when done manually. Content Marketing Institute contributor Andrea Fryrear points out:

      “Basic tools tend to suffice for measuring top-of-funnel content because at this stage you’re primarily concerned with building up the size of your audience and encouraging them to move closer toward a purchase.”

      Content marketing platforms however, not only make it easy to measure content ROI by looking at metrics such as leads, pipeline, and revenue, they also make it easy to report over time and discover trending, actionable insights to improve individual and larger content projects.

      3) Moving Parts

      Creating great content typically involves writers, editors, designers, internal subject matter experts, freelancers, and more. It's challenging to work with multiple moving parts using traditional management tools such as spreadsheets, checklists, and basic project management tools. The problems these tools create include missed tasks, miscommunications, and even worse, missed deadlines.

      Almost all content marketing platforms include some variance of an editorial calendar that streamlines ideation, production, and promotion. But the ability to measure content ROI is arguably the most valuable component of these tools. To learn more about getting started on ROI measurement, read Andrea Fryrear's original article below.

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    14. This Just In: Journalists Great Anchors for a Content Marketing Team

      This Just In: Journalists Great Anchors for a Content Marketing Team

      When you're growing a content team, you might think the maestro of content strategy should be a veteran wordsmith with strategic experience in an equivalent business environment. While these are positive attributes, Colleen Jones of the Content Science Review believes two characteristics in particular are arguably even more important:

      Successful content teams rely on leaders with a strong content vision and the ability to collaborate with others—the top two characteristics of content leaders identified both in our survey of 101 respondents and in-depth interviews with seven content team leaders.

      The right content leader unites people with a clear vision, acting as a content ambassador to stakeholders and as a content coach to the team.

      These characteristics are prolific in journalists. They bring with them a determination developed by following a story through to completion, useful for outlining a goal and meeting it. They're also experienced at working with teams involving many moving parts, including editors, designers, web producers, interviewees, and more.

      With a journalist at the helm of your content strategy, it's easy to leverage other resources to round out the team. Freelancers, agencies, and consultants are great for filling in gaps, such as subject matter experts for example.

      For more of Colleen’s perspective on choosing an anchor for your content team, read the original article below. (Hint: they’re traits found in a journalist.)

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    15. The Ever Blurring Line Between Sales and Marketing

      The Ever Blurring Line Between Sales and Marketing

      Sales and marketing have a symbiotic relationship. As marketing delivers leads into the funnel, sales has to close deals from those leads. Over the last few years however, sales and marketing have become much closer in their relationship because generating leads for sales is increasingly useless if there is no prior relationship associated with these leads.

      Deana Goldasich elaborates on this concept in her post, "Why the Line Between Marketing & Sales Gets Blurrier Every Year". In it, Deana writes:

      For marketers, it’s easy to obsess about lead generation, especially when it’s the primary KPI by which they’re judged. But, obsessing about having buckets and buckets of leads can cost you long-term conversion. Today, marketers must join sales in obsessing over what conversation needs to be had over time (a.k.a. Lead Nurturing) and how to expand that dialogue to the entire group of decision makers.

      Lead nurturing is crucial to the sales cycle; educating leads about the problems your product helps them solve is a huge boost to closing sales. And content is integral to nurturing leads:

      According to Forrester, customers only contact an actual human after they’re 70 to 90 percent “sold” by the information-rich content they find on their own. It drives home how important it is to provide mission-critical content as buyers research—rather than create content because it’s “on the list.”

      To ensure your content has the greatest impact on the sales cycle requires an effective content strategy, such as Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid. Read more about the relationship between sales and marketing via the link below.  

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    16. Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing Automation

      Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing Automation

      In the fast paced world of marketing, leads and customers are first priority. We spend most of our time with the main focus on keeping the sales pipeline fresh and constantly delivering new leads. But what about the leads and customers we already have? If all our efforts go towards bringing in new folks, our existing customers can end up feeling neglected—making them prime targets for competitors to pluck away from us.

      Marketing automation is one of the most effective ways to build and maintain that customer loyalty. In his blog post "5 Ways Marketing Automation Builds True Customer Loyalty," Michael Brenner shows the different ways having a marketing automation tool can impact how your brand is perceived, and how it resonates with the people you regularly communicate with. These include: 

      1. Building brand advocates
      2. Personalizing experiences
      3. Creating end to end customer experiences
      4. Keep scoring leads after purchase
      5. Measuring loyalty

      Having an effective nurturing program goes a long a way towards establishing brand loyalty amongst your audience. Curata's Content Marketing Pyramid will help you create a strategy for nurturing customers through your content. For more of Michael's insights on customer loyalty, access his full post via the link below.

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    17. Events Are The Ultimate Account Based Marketing Hack

      Events Are The Ultimate Account Based Marketing Hack

      Sales is about two things: numbers—and relationships. When people say sales is a numbers game, they mean the amount of revenue you generate strongly correlates to how many people you pitch.

      What about relationships? When it's time to close a deal, especially a big one, the quality of your relationship with a client is often the deciding factor in getting a deal over a line. It certainly is in retaining customers. Marketing, such as when someone reads your content on a website for the first time, typically instigates the start of a company's relationship with a potential customer, and sets the parameters for sales' eventual interaction with a customer. 

      Relationships are why the hot topic du jour—account-based marketing (ABM)—works: ABM supplements impersonal marketing with more relevant personal interactions by targeting specific companies, departments within a company, and even individuals within a department.

      Garrett Huddy at Business 2 Community outlines five reasons why events are the best account-based marketing tactic: 

      1. Events inspire action
      2. Events shorten the sales cycle.
      3. Events are the best way to reach decision makers.
      4. Events combine marketing and sales touchpoints.
      5. Events build relationships.

      Events provide a way for your prospects and customers to get to know your company and product up close and personal, without the usual distractions of online engagement. 

      If you want to find the best content marketing events in America to attend, or if you're looking to promote your own, head on over to The Ultimate List of Content Marketing Conferences. For the rest of Huddy's insights about ABM events, click on the link below.

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    18. How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Content Promotion

      How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Content Promotion

      Content strategy and production are key focus areas for marketers; however, content promotion is often at the bottom of marketers' priorities. The smartest marketers understand the importance of promotion to boost the success of their content (e.g., using content promotion tools such as those in this ultimate list). Tapping into the power of influencers is another surefire way to help promote your content. 

      In an SEMrush blog post, Radomir Basta describes how to develop and execute an influencer engagement strategy. His steps include:

      1. Set the goals of your influencer marketing strategy.
      2. Build a pool of influencers.
      3. Choose your outreach wisely.
      4. Take care of influencer relationships.

      You should have a strategy of reaching out to a wide range of influencers, such as including them in your regular content posts (e.g., The Best Content Marketing Metrics According to 24 Experts), as well as taking a longer term view by developing deeper relationships with a smaller number of influencers.

      Deeper relationships result in the greatest ROI for both parties. For example, asking an influencer to co-create content with you for an eBook; holding a joint webinar for your audience to promote the eBook; and having the influencer speak at several of your conferences as part of a road show. 

      Check out Radomir's full post below to learn more about developing an influencer marketing strategy.

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    19. Buzzword Watch: Integrated Marketing Communications

      Buzzword Watch: Integrated Marketing Communications

      Social media has amplified the power of the individual to make companies listen. From reviews on product sites to mentions on Twitter, word about brands can travel faster and further than ever before. How do companies align themselves internally to react to this? With integrated marketing communications. 

      Integrated marketing communications helps companies internalize marketing efforts and spread them throughout the company, enabling a more efficient response to problems or news brought up outside the company. A simple concept; however a recent study of 1000+ marketers showed 37% of them have never completed a content audit. It's difficult to communicate with your company about what content is out there if you don't even know what's been published!

      Gini Dietrich at SpinSucks talks about the importance of integrated marketing communications and effective ways to start your strategy. One takeaway from her article:

      Every person in your organization should feel empowered and educated about your communications strategy. When there are silos within an organization, communication breaks down, bottlenecks occur, and worse, miscommunications can create public relations crises.

      (Having a well developed content marketing strategy is crucial to communicating your efforts and goals with the rest of the company.) Gini goes into more detail about what to ask yourself when communicating within your company, offering examples of when an effective marketing communication strategy can help a company in every department in the full article below. 

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    20. Don't Overlook These Foundational Tools When Developing Your Content Strategy

      Don't Overlook These Foundational Tools When Developing Your Content Strategy

      Yes, the majority of companies are increasing content marketing investment (75% to be exact based upon a recent survey of 1,030 marketers); however, many of these same companies struggle with the right team to hire, which topics and content types to create and how to get the greatest ROI out of this content. What's a great start to resolving these challenges? --- A Content Strategy. 

      Megan Pacella of Creek Content does a nice job of providing the foundational elements of a content strategy in a post aptly entitled: Content Strategy 101. As Megan indicates, a well developed content strategy helps with a lot more than simply content marketing:

      What You Can Do With Content Strategy

      • Product development
      • Content marketing
      • Experience design
      • Knowledge Management

      Megan mentions the importance of content audits, inventories, editorial calendars and style guides as tools to help develop and execute your content strategy. I'd add that editorial calendars will also help marketers be more data-driven in their content strategy. For example, a well designed calendar in Excel (such as this template) or use of a calendar as part of a content marketing platform will include the ability to tag each piece of content. These tags (e.g., content type, persona target, media entity) will enable subsequent measurement of the impact of your content, identifying what works and doesn't work, and why. 

      Check out this 40+ page guide for how to create a content strategy with The Content Marketing Pyramid, and certainly refer to the below link to read more advice in Megan's post on Content Strategy 101.

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    21. Voice Searches: a New Frontier for Content Marketing

      Voice Searches: a New Frontier for Content Marketing

      Given how much easier it is to speak than to manually enter a search request, it should be no surprise that, according to comScore, by 2020 voice will be used for almost 50 percent of all search requests. 

      As voice technology from Google, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Echo continues to rapidly improve, semantic search is a hot trend that represents a large, untapped vector for marketers to engage with their audience.

      How do you optimize content for voice search? Starting with how voice searches are changing SEO towards more natural language rather than keywords or phrases, Ingeborg van Beusekom at Digitalist walks through five steps to improve SEO for voice search:

      1. Select the questions that your target group will ask

      2. Use a voice search to ask the questions yourself

      3. Create content that answers the questions

      4. Work with structured data

      5. Increase your authority

      Van Beusekom advises that:

      Voice search is here to stay. This provides opportunities for marketing managers because this new reality is not yet common knowledge. So stop focusing entirely on keywords and rather have a thorough discussion with your smartphone.

      For the full article, click on the link below. For more about building an SEO strategy for both voice and text, read SEO Survival Guide: 10 Tips For Content Marketing Success.

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    22. 11 Tactics To Create Highly Shareable Content

      11 Tactics To Create Highly Shareable Content

      Content marketing is about getting a potential buyer’s attention and turning that engagement into quality leads, with the ultimate goal of converting them into customers. But getting people’s attention is becoming harder nowadays. Why is that? Every minute, more than 277,000 tweets are sent out. 2.46 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook. 204 million […]

      The post 11 Tactics To Create Highly Shareable Content appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

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    23. Content Curation is Now Crucial to Content Marketing

      Content Curation is Now Crucial to Content Marketing

      Curation should be considered an integral part of content marketing, crucial to supporting content strategy, content creation, and content promotion. And it's increasingly easy, with content curation tools abounding to help do this. Riverside Marketing Strategies President Heidi Cohen has a great post about just how content curation has grown up, and how to best utilize content curation within a content marketing strategy. Cohen advises that:

      Like content marketing, content curation requires a documented strategy to reach its maximum potential. It must be integrated into your documented editorial mission.

      Further, content curation thrives on intelligent content. To effectively curate owned content, you must be able to identify related and relevant content.

      Content curation should also provide both standalone content and add-ons to your new or updated content, and is crucial to social media promotion:

      Even if you don’t integrate content curation into your content strategy, it’s critical to your social media strategy. Regardless of your owned versus third party content social media sharing ratio, you can’t shout ME, ME, ME. You must be part of the social media community.

      Cohen concludes that sophisticated content curation does more than fulfill content needs—it connects you with influencers, partners, customers and social media fans. Highlighting these stakeholders' content within your brand’s context cost-effectively extends your brand, reach and sales.

      The whole article is a useful primer on integrating content curation with content marketing. Read it at the link below: 

      Read Full Article
    24. Don't Miss These Essential Copywriting Ingredients

      Don't Miss These Essential Copywriting Ingredients

      You may have the best content in the world; however, your blog post, article or eBook will fall flat on its face if you are unable to get your point across in the right manner, your delivery is off target, you've made many spelling mistakes, and/or the formatting is painful to the eye. Enter copywriting. Copywriting offers the opportunity to put the final touches on your content that can turn a good piece into a great piece... some page views to lots of page views... some leads generated to lots of leads generated.

      Barry Feldman, content marketing guru, went out and asked some of the best content marketers out there to identify the essential ingredients to copywriting. Here are a few of them:

      • Hard Work... The hard work of really, really, really understanding your subject, your audience and the building blocks of your story…" [Doug Kessler] (see more from Doug in this free, on-demand webinar Writing with Mojo]
      • An Emotional Trigger... You can’t have great copywriting without an emotional trigger. Something has to move the audience. [@JasonFalls]
      • Great Writing... The essential ingredient of great copywriting is to create emotional value with brevity. [@Robert_Rose]
      • Empathy... Great copy doesn't speak to people, it enters the conversation already playing in their head. [@brianclark]

      Insights from these experts correctly indicate that copywriting is much more than simply correcting spelling or grammatical mistakes. Their words of wisdom, including empathy and understanding how to best help your audience succeed in their job, are powerful ingredients to boosting the impact of your content marketing endeavors. 

      Check out this eBook about the 4 Steps to Content Marketing Enlightenment to learn more about better understanding and connecting with your audience. Also, see Barry's full post at the link below for additional ingredients that are essential to great copywriting.

      Read Full Article
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