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.

Are Your Content Channels Working Together? 8 Steps To Find Out

content_shutterstock_93818854 Look at any brand today and you'll probably see a steady output of digital content, from videos to websites to microsites to social media campaigns. At this point in the digital age, most companies have gotten the message: content is king and digital, social and mobile are the most popular parts of its kingdom. Yet many brands feel so pressured to generate digital material that they fail to step back and assess the overall impact. While assets should ideally work together to promote one consistent brand presence, they often end up disconnected in both messaging and brand feel. The result is [...]


Infographics & Visual Storytelling: How To Do It The Right Way

SearchEngineLand-Periodic-Table-of-SEO-2013-medium When Jay-Z released "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)" back in 2009, he took it upon himself to "draw [a] line in the sand." He pointed out that auto-tune had become a victim of its own success, with everyone jumping on the bandwagon and many artists using it as a crutch or a gimmick rather than a way of taking music to new and innovative directions. It was a polarizing yet seminal moment in Hip-Hop culture. The Problem With Infographics The marketing industry is having a similar moment with infographics. Over the last few years, infographics have become one of the most popular ways to build i [...]


Gaining Traction With Content Marketing: How To Build Personas

people-crowd-happy-600 Every year, the flood of content produced and distributed online only increases, making it harder and harder for any one brand to stand out. That is especially true for content strategies with an undefined (or loosely defined) target market. If you don't know exactly who you are writing for -- including their needs, challenges, likes and dislikes -- your content will only fade away into the noise. Good content does not just come from throwing it all against the wall just to see what sticks. Great content resonates with very specific groups of people that react to it in very specific ways [...]


Study: Expert Content 83% More Effective Lifting Purchase Considerations Than User Reviews

content-marketing-featured A recent content marketing study conducted by Nielsen revealed consumers are more likely to be influenced by third-party expert content over branded content and user reviews when making buying decisions. According to Nielsen's "The Role of Content" study, expert content -- product reviews and articles from third-party websites and blogs -- was 83 percent more effective at lifting product purchase considerations than user reviews, and 38 percent more effective than branded content. Commissioned by content marketing solutions provider inPowered, Nielsen surveyed 900 consumers, measuring th [...]


The Case For Content Automation

social-media-content-sharing-600 Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) said it's developing metrics and definitions for what used to be an intangible concept: engagement. It reminds me of the not too distant past when the once-intangible concept of marketing got the same scrutiny. Gone are the days when you knew half of your advertising worked, but not which half. We wanted accountability and consistency. The result was marketing automation, and you don’t have to go far into the inbox or the RSS feed to find someone singing the praises of marketing automation. It unifies sales and marketing. It uncovers and [...]


Micro Content, Maxi Effect — How Shifts Toward Visual Content Will Impact Marketers

Content types The written word seems to be on the decline, at least in the online space. Articles and white papers have morphed into blog posts and status updates. Hashtags, acronyms and emoticons stand in for sentences. OTP, BRB, LMK, OK?   How low can you go? In a year or two, 140 characters -- a miserly allotment now -- will seem a luxury, a vestige of an era marked by logorrheic verbosity. If you doubted it before, believe it now: a picture really is worth the proverbial thousand words. Maybe more. Opinion? Sure. But the facts bear this out. Facebook keeps redesigning to feature bigger, bolder [...]


Because She Said So: 13 Content Marketing Lessons From Your Mother

woman-computer-mom-600 "You're right, Ma." - Dorothy "Of course I am! You think I got this old by being stupid?" - Sophia Maybe you grew up watching The Golden Girls (or reruns) and can hear those voices in your head. Maybe you've never heard of Sophia and Dorothy, the sitcom mother-daughter duo who traded retorts like nerds trade Magic: The Gathering cards -- that is, with unholy glee. Either way, if you know anything at all about mothers, it's that they're always right. Always. So many of the lessons our mothers teach us are universal and applicable to nearly every situation, including marketing. Here ar [...]


5 Steps To An Integrated Approach To SEO-Friendly Content Marketing

puzzle The content explosion and the search engines’ shift toward meaning-based content in 2013 has led to a tipping of the scales in the opposite direction from where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was before Panda and Penguin. Gone are the days of black hat practices like keyword stuffing and paid linking schemes that resulted in a bad user experience and little focus on content quality. While the increased focus on quality has created a better user experience, now the challenge of the marketer is to integrate SEO best practices into the content creation process. User-friendly conten [...]


Pros & Cons Of Date Stamping Your Content

Pros and Cons of Date Stamping Your Content - Blog Stat As content marketing continually increases in popularity, more and more content is being published each and every day. In fact, more than two million blog posts are written daily. With all that content being published, date stamping is an easy way for users to gauge the newness and relevancy of a blog post or article. But lately, I've noticed that many blog posts and articles lack a date stamp. In fact, Joe Pulizzi recently posted about this very topic on Facebook, which prompted a conversation among marketers and consumers about date stamping content. The opinions were divided, with som [...]


Report: Only 6% Of Buyers Claim Social Media Impacts B2B Buying Process

social-media-conversation-featured According to a recently published B2B Website Usability Report surveying buyers, social media and blogging have little influence on the B2B buying process. Only six percent of the respondents claimed social media impacted their B2B purchases "a lot" and a meager 22 percent said they were interested in vendor blog content. Conducted by Dianna Huff of DH Communications and KoMarketing Associates, the survey focused on what B2B buyers expect from a vendor website. With a very small pool of respondents -- only 175 surveys were completed -- participants included C-level executives, managers a [...]


How Mobile Apps Can Nurture Brand Loyalty: Stories From SXSWi

sxsw-interactive-logo Brands may think they’ve got it made when they’ve enticed a customer to download and install their mobile app. After all, they’ve gotten a coveted spot on that ever-present mobile device. But there’s so much more opportunity when it comes to nurturing customer loyalty. That’s the conclusion of a panel of mobile experts who spoke at South By Southwest Interactive in Austin on Saturday. The session, titled "Mobile loyalty lifecycle: a battle for screen-time,” featured Michael Griffith, director of user experience at WPP app development agency Bottle Rocket, along with Ken Todd of [...]


4 Steps To Scaling Enterprise Content Marketing

content-marketing-model Back in beginning of the 20th century, the automobile was an item of luxury -- it took a long time to build (with workers "crafting" each one), cost well beyond the means of most consumers and was complex to drive. As most people know today, Henry Ford changed all that with the Model T and his innovations with the assembly line. He made a simpler-to-drive car at a much cheaper cost, making it available to the masses and bringing tremendous value to his customers. So, what does this have to do with content marketing? New Marketing Tactic? If you ask a group of people if the Model T was [...]


Why Spending Big On Extraordinary Content Marketing Is A Good Bet

content-writing-money-featured There is more to ranking for your target keywords than just writing great blog posts and then hoping you will eventually rank for what you want to. Many marketers that have found great success by spending thousands of dollars creating exclusive tools, content and videos. Though the tools themselves aren't set up to adequately monetize their use by online visitors, thus leading to an overall loss when it comes to comparing investment versus direct revenue, they've still been a good investment for marketing purposes. One good example of this is Neil Patel, who blogs over at QuickSprout and [...]


Thismoment Launches Content Cloud For Brands To Mix UGC & Brand Content Into Syndicated ‘Playlists’

Thismoment This week at SXSW, content marketing platform Thismoment is launching a new open cloud-based platform called Content Cloud. The new platform allows brands to source, manage and curate content into ‘playlists’ and distribute them across their social channels. The aim is to make it easier for major brands to manage content that lives on any number of channels and brand and agency platforms and harness it all to create more engaging marketing experiences. “Content Cloud empowers marketers to deliver content-rich, responsive experiences that consumers will love and want to come back to ov [...]


Grabbing Attention Vs. Getting People To Care About Your Content

content A Conductor study from July 2013 highlights an increasingly pervasive problem in the digital media industry. There is so much content being produced on a daily basis that the supply of content far outstrips what the attention economy can sustain. Every day, there are 2 million blog posts, 294 billion emails, 864 thousand hours of video created, and that's before you take into account social media, instant messaging and other digital interactions. As a result, 80 percent of readers only read the headline of an article and either skim or skip over the rest. The common response to these typ [...]


Why Marketers Are Now In The Entertainment Business

media-shutterstock_111209576 In digital entertainment industries like music, film, book publishing and TV, fewer and fewer hits are increasingly responsible for the vast majority of revenue. And this growing trend of a concentration of hits at the head of the long tail is only increasing year over year. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, “While the tail is very interesting, the vast majority of revenue remains in the head.” Here's but one example: “According to Nielsen SoundScan, of the 8MM unique digital tracks sold in 2011, 94% sold fewer than 100 units, and an astonishing 32% sold only one copy. In t [...]


5 Killer Marketing Strategies Your Competition Isn’t Using…Yet

marketing strategy Small business owners don't typically have the time or resources to design and execute cutting-edge marketing strategies; that's the way of the marketing world. Big corporations like Coke and Microsoft test out new ideas in big ways, and then smaller companies adopt the new strategies that proved worthwhile. Because of this "trickle down" marketing process, insights often come to small business owners after enough time has passed to analyze the results of the big firms' efforts. In this article, we'll discuss new marketing ideas that are proven, but still fresh -- fresh enough to put your b [...]


Content Strategy Gets Tactical: Establishing The Content Workflow

Content Content strategy -- creating repeatable processes to govern content marketing and make it accountable to measurable goals -- has many components. Your first steps in putting together a content strategy include determining the goals, developing personas, analyzing content needs, and designating someone to serve in an editorial leadership capacity. From there, you'll want to establish a content workflow. This is the point at which content marketing gets tactical. It's a nuts-and-bolts process in which you will lay out content calendars, creation, approvals, style guides, templates and t [...]


Content Marketing: How To Measure Content Performance Holistically

pie 2013 was one hell of a ride -- we lost the keyword tool, search went secure and content marketing became the shiny new toy on the block! So what will this year bring? Even more content! But will yours be a big hit or a big waste of money? This guide should help you start thinking about how to measure the performance of your content. 2014's Focus: Get Ready For More Content! Last year, I spent a lot of time on content strategy and planning -- basically maximizing content efforts by figuring out how to get the right content in front of the right consumers at the right moment. But I expec [...]


7 Things BuzzFeed Can Teach Brands About How To Be Social

BuzzFeed-Logo Last week saw the official launch of social news behemoth BuzzFeed here in Australia. In typically BuzzFeed style, they celebrated their launch with headlines such as "17 Kangaroos That Can Kick Your Butt" and by giving out bags and badges plastered with equally tongue-in-cheek Aussie catchphrases and clichés. But you don't build a business that now reaches over 150 million people just by publishing bizarre lists, so let's have a look and see what brands can learn from BuzzFeed's success. 1. Forget about the platform, focus on the content. Although platform wars are a real issue, Buzz [...]


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