1. Articles from digitalistmag.com

  2. 1-13 of 13
    1. Why No One Cares About Your Emails

      Why No One Cares About Your Emails

      With so many sexy tools to choose from, email is often overshadowed by the next shiny distribution method. If you're not seeing results this is often especially true. But email drives more conversions than both search and social. For this reason, email is central to marketing success.

      Marketing Insider Group CEO Michael Brenner argues that email is the most important facet of your distribution strategy:

      Blogs may generate leads like a machine and social media can grow your brand’s reputation like a gardener with two green thumbs, but your email messaging is the glue that keeps the whole content marketing strategy together. This is because email is where you are reaching out to them, a still necessary concept in the era of inbound marketing.

      Improving your emails is easier said than done. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your audience doesn't ignore your emails:

      • Write Better Headlines: A good rule of thumb is to create headlines that evoke a feeling of curiosity.
      • Personalize, Personalize, Personalize! Personalized emails have a 29 percent higher open rate and a 41 percent higher click-through rate.
      • Use DataWhether this means A/B testing your subject lines, or analyzing optimal times to send your email, it's important to utilize the data available to you. Ensure you're doing everything you can to improve your email's chances.

      For more about how to enhance your email performance, check out Brenner's complete article below.

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    2. Does Your Company Need a Soap Box to Succeed?

      Does Your Company Need a Soap Box to Succeed?

      People prefer to buy from companies that stand for something. According to Cone Communications, 87 percent of Americans will purchase a product from a company that advocates for an issue they care about.

      Alicia Tillman at D!gitalist Magazine weighs in on how this impacts B2B marketing:

      This trend is turning marketing on its head, as purpose is fast becoming the number-one driver of brand value. The recent BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2017 study shows the digital world creating overlap between business and consumer environments. Therefore the border between B2B and B2C is disappearing, creating what BrandZ calls B2H—business to human—brands.

      Creating a position for your company entails a lot more than deciding what your company advocates for. We recommend you also ensure your audience cares about that positioning and you convey that position to your audience succinctly. The following actions will help you achieve that goal.

      1. Make sure your product design, brand visuals and voice in alignment with your brand positioning.
      2. Partner with other companies that also support this positioning.
      3. Tell a story with your content that conveys emotion around the company's purpose.

      For more information on developing a brand purpose for successful content marketing, read Tillman's complete article below.

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    3. 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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    4. Use Storytelling to Inject Emotion into Your Branding

      Use Storytelling to Inject Emotion into Your Branding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The Buyer’s Journey Doesn't Stop After Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    8. Overcoming Content Marketing Staff and Knowledge Shortages

      Overcoming Content Marketing Staff and Knowledge Shortages

      Content marketing has arrived, with investment in and adoption of content marketing continuing to increase. According to Zazzle's State of Content Marketing Survey, 79 percent of decision makers feel content marketing is either quite or very effective.

      Despite content marketing's success, companies still face challenges in knowledge and staffing. Debbie Fletcher at Digitalist Magazine had this to say about the knowledge shortage:

      ... we can see that even though study respondents are clear about how effective content marketing is, they’re not as confident about showing how and why that is the case. Indeed, 62 percent of respondents said they were unsure of how to measure the ROI of content-led campaigns.

      In addition, 3 in 5 respondents said staffing is their greatest challenge. Here are two ways marketing teams can help overcome this challenge. 

      First, hire top-notch content marketers to fill in your team's gaps. If your team lacks good writers, hire a journalist as your next content marketer. Post your job on websites like Journalism Jobs or Hold the Front Page so journalists can easily find it.

      Another option is to help your existing team fill in your staffing gaps. Review your KPIs to make sure all team members are working to optimize content marketing goals, and to prevent your team from operating in silos. Having your SEO specialist work closely with your content marketer, for example, will benefit your overarching content strategy.

      For more of Fletcher's advice on overcoming content marketing challenges, read the full article below. 

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    9. How To Create A Meaningful Brand Online

      How To Create A Meaningful Brand Online

      When a recent global analysis by Meaningful Brands took a look at content marketing efforts around the globe, covering 1,500 brands in 15 different industries, it uncovered a harsh reality for digital marketing – 60% of content being created is underperforming. This failing content is considered by consumers to be irrelevant and serves the sad purpose of adding to all the clutter on the web.

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    10. 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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    11. The Best Tactic for Breaking Through Digital Noise? Personalization

      The Best Tactic for Breaking Through Digital Noise? Personalization

      As personalization capabilities improve, consumers increasingly expect content tailored specifically for them. Amazon serves up products related to your likes and dislikes. Netflix recommends shows based on your viewing history, and Spotify creates playlists customized for your listening pleasure.

      In a world where digital is flooded with information, and consumers do all they can to avoid ads, personalization is a key method for creating stand-out content.

      Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, explains why this is so important:

      Attention has become the currency of the digital, social, and mobile web. And the only way to attract a customer’s attention today is through the production of high-quality content that is relevant and personalized to the reader.

      More than 75 percent of consumers feel more deeply engaged with a brand if they're providing personalized content. Here are some questions to determine if the content you're creating is personalized for your audience.

      • Is it the right content? Consider the subject of the content as well as the action items, timeliness, and impact it would have on your target audience.  
      • Is this for the right person? Think about the title of the person you're looking to target and consider whether your content is in alignment with their needs.
      • Is this the right channel? Ensure that the channel you're using, whether it be social, search, email or something else, is where your audience prefers to consume.

      While these personalization tactics are an effective way to get your audience's attention, they're not the only way. Artificial intelligence is also becoming a tool for improved personalization.

      Read more in Brenner's complete article below. 

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    12. 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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    13. The Neuroscience of Storytelling [infographic]

      The Neuroscience of Storytelling [infographic]

      Great storytelling is an integral part of leadership. Steve Jobs may have been criticized for some elements of his leadership style, but he was able to get his team to believe in the vision he saw. To get your team on board and impassioned about your vision, you need to tell a story they believe in.

      Here is how the neuroscience of storytelling works.

      Courtesy of Ethos3.com

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    1-13 of 13
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