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    1. Improve Your SEO Strategy: Link Building for 2017

      Improve Your SEO Strategy: Link Building for 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    2. 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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    3. 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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