Learn how to come up with fresh and original content for your website and social media activity, and get tips on how to develop a winning editorial calendar for your blogging efforts, whitepapers and more to find success in creating relationships with customers by providing valuable content aligned with your brand.

2013: The Year Of The Content Marketer

ml_con_mktg Content marketing has become an increasingly hot topic in the digital marketing world with searcher interest hitting an all-time high in 2013, following a path that suggests continued growth into the new year. As big brands and small businesses alike have realized the value of content marketing and rushed to develop and implement a strategy, marketers have felt the need to educate themselves on this rapidly growing field. How do I put together a content marketing plan? Which channels are best for content distribution? How do I craft the best headlines? How can I maximize social sharing [...]


10 Tips For Integrating Content Marketing Into Your Business

corporate-behavioural-change-conversations "Content marketing" has recently gained a lot of attention in the online marketing world. But it's not just a buzzword -- it's one of the most reliable and effective tactics available to digital marketers. Brands are increasingly recognizing content marketing as a valuable tool for increasing awareness and driving demand -- and they are investing accordingly. In fact, according to a recent report by the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of B2C marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2014. As with other digital marketing channels, an ever-changing landscape means tha [...]


Influencer Marketing: How Google Will Change The Game

Influencers_Altimeter I hear a lot of buzz about influencer marketing -- how it has evolved, how it comes in different flavors and how brands are using it -- but I never hear anyone talk about Google’s plans to change it... dramatically! An Emerging Channel When brands first began to capitalize on the power of influencer marketing, they tried to do so with casual and subtle efforts that often included complimentary products or other perks. Moreover, they usually kept their efforts "under the radar." Traditional blogger outreach programs are a good example of this, where brands would give product samples to blog [...]


Earning Your Right to Invest More in Content

mobile-tablet-phone-people It's been just five years since the term "content marketing" began appearing regularly online, and only three years since the Content Marketing Institute, an umbrella organization for content marketers, was founded. In its latest surveys, CMI found that 90% of B2C marketers use content marketing, and 93% of B2B marketers engage in content marketing techniques. In truth, content is what marketing has always been about. Advertising, public relations, brochures, white papers, events, research reports, and websites are all standard forms of content that marketers have used for decades. CMI [...]


Using Google Analytics To Measure Content Marketing

Content Marketing When it comes to developing content marketing strategies, the plans created and tactics used are only as good as the results produced. You can design beautiful infographics, create useful guides and publish blog post after blog post -- but if your content strategy doesn't achieve the identified goal, what is that content worth? Not much. With any marketing strategy, measurement and tracking are extremely important when reporting ROI, and the same is true for content marketing. There are many different tools available to gather content marketing data, though a number of useful metrics can be [...]


Google Tests Social Ads, Turns Google+ Posts Into Display Ads To Show Across The Web

google +post ads Today, Google introduced a type of promoted post in Google+ that allows brands to turn their social content into ads that are distributed on the Google Display Network. Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers are among the test partners participating in the closed beta. Brands can take content posted on Google+ and turn photos, videos and even Hangouts into display ads. Rather than have the ads served only within the Google+ context -- as with social ads on other networks such as Facebook and Twitter -- advertisers can distribute their social content across the web through Google's Display [...]


FTC: Native Ads “May Be Illegal” In Some Cases

law-legal-concept The FTC this week held a workshop in which the topic of "Native Advertising" was discussed. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez is quoted by Reuters saying, "By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying, deceptively, that the information comes from a non-biased source." The implication is that the FTC is ready to crack down on the rapidly growing format, which is either being used or actively considered by three-fourths of online publishers, including the NY Times. In a way the entire point of Native Ads is to make them closely resemble editorial so consumers [...]


Leveraging Memes For Your Own Viral Marketing

a82go-300x300 Richard Dawkins originally defined the word meme as "a package of culture." In more recent history, Dr. Susan Blackmore, psychology scholar and TED lecturer on "memetics," defines memes as "a copy-me instruction backed up by threats and/or promises." An example of such a "threat" might be the last bit of an email chain letter that warns of "7 years of bad luck if you don't forward this email in the next 10 minutes to 7 friends." But really, memes could relate to any type of fad. For example, look at bell bottoms. They became popular because one person saw the promise of a better social stan [...]


E-commerce To M-commerce: Millennials, Mobile And Holiday Shopping

cyber-monday-240 Are you ready for your mobile shopper? This is the question of the year. And while businesses continue to put off their websites' mobile optimization, shoppers continue to use their mobile devices. In fact, comScore reported last week that Q3 2013 saw $5.8 billion in mobile commerce for the quarter, up 26 percent from Q3 2012. Currently, mobile commerce (m-commerce) accounts for more than 1 in 10 e-commerce dollars. There is little doubt that mobile commerce represents a massive opportunity -- and mobile marketing optimization takes on more importance during the Q4 holiday rush as smartph [...]


How To Generate B2B Leads With Content Marketing

Generate B2B Leads with Content Marketing-Hashtag In B2B business, leads are generally a company's livelihood. Unlike B2C purchases, most B2B products and services require thought, research and deliberation prior to a buying decision. As a result, generating quality leads is a key function of B2B marketing teams across industries. Though there are a number of strategies businesses can employ to garner leads, 91 percent of B2B marketers are utilizing content marketing, making it among the top implemented approaches. There are many methods B2B marketers credit with increased lead generation, and some undoubtedly result in more success than o [...]


Content Marketing Strategy: How To Create Killer Headlines

Extra-Extra Content creation isn't just about the meat of what you're writing. Consider the first thing the potential reader sees: the headline. Think of it this way: if you open your Inbox and see an e-mail with a subject line that sounds cheesy and spammy, are you going to open it? Probably not. Similarly, when creating your content, don't forget that your headline is one of the most important aspects of it. It is your very first opportunity to make a positive impression on your reader. As an English major during my undergraduate studies, I took a Journalism class as a required course. I'll never [...]


Marketers Hate These Buzzwords, Which (Ahem) They Created

marketing-buzzwords-webmarketing123-2013report Marketers are brilliant at creating buzzwords and then saturating all matter of communications -- whitepapers, PowerPoint decks, tweets, casual conversations with Starbucks' baristas -- with them. Equally impressive, marketers excel at then claiming to hate the very turn of phrase they elevated to buzzword status. In a new poll of more than 500 marketing professionals, "synergy" tops the list of their most despised buzzwords, beating out such stalwarts as "viral" and "best-in-class." The poll is part of Webmarketing123's 2013 State of Digital Marketing survey. This list is a good start, [...]


Content: Why Influence Matters

Influencers_Altimeter Do name-brand journalists still require the backing of name-brand media outlets? Recent headlines strongly indicate that the byline is being rapidly decoupled from the masthead. Glenn Greenwald left The Guardian to start his own media venture, backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Technology veteran Walt Mossberg, together with the redoubtable Kara Swisher, are walking out of the Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal door, taking the AllThingsD team with them. David Pogue abandoned the venerable New York Times for (of all possible media properties) Yahoo. And, most recently, Rick Berke is to leave [...]


Is Not Provided A Good Thing?

content-marketing-featured It’s been a few weeks since Google rocked our worlds and stripped keyword-level data from the referrer, so it’s time to examine the fallout and see what’s changed in the world of search marketing. Surprisingly, not much. Keywords were beacons of insight – fantastic beacons – but keywords were a double-edged sword leading us to create content that unnecessarily repeated specific terms for an ideal keyword density. Writing for a bot rather than for the user is not optimizing for user experience, so Google did something about it. Google head spam-fighter Matt Cutts said it himself: [...]


The New Imperative — Audience-Centric Content

publisher_content Do you know who read your latest blog entry or saw your post on Facebook? How do you plan to navigate the maze of content marketing options -- and how well does your content connect with your audience? Content marketing taps into the innate human desires to be informed, educated and entertained; and the best content programs produce high-quality content that meet those desires. But in the hurry to create blog posts, articles, reports, e-books, videos, and infographics, marketers can lose sight of what that content absolutely must do: connect with an audience. Not only that, the abundance of [...]


How A Boston Appliance Store Grew Business Through Content Marketing

Content Marketing Small businesses across all industries are benefiting from successful content marketing strategies every day. These businesses are using content to educate, entertain and humor audiences across marketing channels, increasing ROI in the process. Small businesses with successful content marketing plans are proving that you don't need a big budget to build meaningful relationships with customers through content. One business that has been particularly successful with content marketing is Yale Appliance. Yale Appliance, a Boston-based appliance store with an e-commerce website, has utilized [...]


Doug, Ford’s Hilarious Spokespuppet, Is Missing From YouTube

dougfacebook Ford created my favorite YouTube campaign of all time. It took place in 2011 and starred an orange, irreverent puppet named Doug and his reluctant co-worker, John. The two appeared in several videos about the Ford Focus. The campaign was brilliant and had all the elements you want in a video campaign. Each video was unique, branded, provided value propositions, and made the viewer smile. Ford released a new video each week, and I was always excited to see the new adventures of Doug the spokespuppet. Before the campaign officially launched, a few random YouTube users posted videos of a pu [...]


Content Marketing: 3 Tips To Beat The Volume Game

man_in_hamster_wheel When a competitor clearly dominates -- whether it's because of their size, speed or cunning -- it's futile to try and beat them at their own game. Instead, you need to consider other ways to gain advantage. And that's exactly what some brands should do to beat the content marketing volume game. A Content Deluge 100 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Each day, 55 million photos are added to Instagram. And as you can see in the screenshot below, apparently, there are nearly 43 million ways to make chicken soup. In other words, content is being produced at a rat [...]


Survey: 46% Of Marketers Have Content Marketing Strategy, Only 25% Track Social Media Results

SkywordLogo_ScreenCapture_Sept2013 A new survey from content marketing provider Skyword found that nearly half of the respondents polled have a formal content marketing strategy, but only 25 percent are measuring the results of their social media content marketing efforts. Conducted by Unisphere Research, the survey included 217 participants from the readership base of CRM Magazine and EContent Magazine, reflecting a variety of industries and business sizes. The survey covered a number of content marketing trends, focusing on how organizations produce and distribute content. According to the findings, the number one reas [...]


Guest Blogging: A Beginner’s Guide

pitch While guest posting may seem like a simple concept in theory (All I have to do is write a little something and get someone to post it -- easy!), it really isn't in practice. There are more steps to it than you might think. And even if what you’re writing is awesome, readable and informative, that doesn't mean that Google is going to deem it so. Getting your guest post out to the right place is an essential piece of the guest posting puzzle because you want to be certain that you're feeling out the appropriate opportunities. Just trying to shove your guest post in anyone's face who is wil [...]


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