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THE CONTENT MARKETING ROADMAP
A Step-by-Step Guide to Get More Traffic, Links & Leads from Your Content
This post has moved! You can check it out on our sister site Digital Examiner!
It’s hard not to agree that there is more to Pinterest than just pretty pictures.
Although at the start it might seem otherwise.
Launched in 2010 this social networking site indeed took the world by storm. But it also took content marketers a while to fully realize its potential.
Today, the site is probably 2nd or 3rd largest social networking site on the planet (depending which sources you check).
And those who still ignore it, miss on some great opportunities.
Because Pinterest may be an ideal tool to promote your brand. With its large following and heavy engagement (a typical visitor spends on average 3 minutes more on the site than Facebook and 12 minutes more than on Twitter), it is a great way to spread the word about your products or services.
It can also help you demonstrate your expertise in your area. Many companies turn their knowledge into visual content and showcase it on Pinterest to build their image of authority.
It increases brand visibility. Pinterest images get shared and forwarded between users. You really never know where your image might end up.
Moreover, Pinterest is an excellent way to showcase your products. After all, an experience of real product is what ecommerce stores lack. Customers can only see images supplied by a producer, often generic ones and revealing very little of the experience of a product in use.
Contrast that with images submitted by actual product users showcasing how it helps them or enhances their lives and you’ll know why the site offers so many possibilities to online retailers.
Lastly, Pinterest can drive traffic to your site too. In fact, some brands report it driving more of it than Twitter or Facebook.
This relatively new social networking site has indeed taken the world by storm. Launched only couple of years ago (2010), it attracted more than 85 million users in less than three years.
And, it is still growing, fast.
Perhaps part of this success is because the idea behind Pinterest is so simple.
The site allows you to create image posts, called pinboards and share them with other Pinterest users. Moreover, you can organise those images in “boards” and add photos or videos to them. This process is known as “pinning” to the board. And if you thought of a corkboard when reading this description, you are just about right.
But behind all those lovely images Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool, one that brands use to connect and increase engagement with their audience.
Given the image based nature of Pinterest, it makes sense to use it to showcase your products in use. And there is an unlimited number of things you can do here. You can post images of products in use in clients homes. Or showcase it from their shelf life to being packaged and shipped to a customers. You can then ask your customers to send pictures of them using it to complete the picture. If you sell cake decorations, showcase your clients cakes. Tattoo parlour can showcase the best tattoos they did for their clients and so on. The possibilities are truly endless.
Pinterest is for images only, right? So how could you present an actual testimonial from a client then? It’s all words after all. Well, how about posting a picture of your client with a testimonial? Of course you would have to do it with the clients permission but if you can, these pins could have a very strong impact on how your prospects trust your brand.
Is your product complex to use? Or even to fully communicate all that you could do with it? Why don’t you then highlight its features with images? Kreg does it with their feature highlight series of pins, each highlighting one particular aspect of the product (or offering a super quick tip how to use it).
Your audience rarely uses social media for information. Most people are on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for entertainment. And if that’s the case, why not giving it to them? Hubspot created a pinboard dedicated to memes, cartoons and other fun online marketing related content.
Images are worth more than words. In fact, to use, images are worth more than 60000x more than words. That’s how much quicker we humans process visual information compared to text. It comes as no surprise then that so many of us prefer visual tutorials rather than text based manuals.
If you sell products that could be used to create or repair something, posting a visual tutorial how to do it on Pinterest is bound to attract attention. Just check what Liagriffith did with this simple guide:
Many customers want to see your real, human side not just the brand image you maintain. Hubspot recognizes this by creating a dedicated behind the scenes pinboard and showing the company’s everyday life.
Your marketing should not only be about you. Your customers are equally important to promoting your brand and in such case, why not make put them in the spotlight? Constant Contacts features a pinboard with tips from their customers.
Pinterest users spend on average 3 minutes more on the site than Facebook and 12 minutes more than on Twitter. This is a highly engaged audience seeking entertainment. Such audience offers enormous opportunities for engagement and connection to any brand. And the key to them lies in what content you post.
Recently I have been enjoying the new issue of Wired Germany very much. Wired is now almost a monthly publication here in Germany (10 issues a year) after a start as a quarterly a while back.
Intriguingly the German market for tech oriented “lifestyle” publications didn’t seem that lucrative
before for the locals. How come Wired expanded to Germany, the fifth market after the US/UK, Italy and Japan then?
The envied Americans
I always envied the US for their progressive technology press. By press I do not only mean online publications but real life magazines made out of paper. At a time when Germany was flooded by articles on how the Internet is scary, dangerous and a menace to society Americans already had Wired Magazine extolling the new virtues of online freedom and prosperity.
Even though there has been a lot of turmoil in the Wired Magazine history and some failures along the way by now the Wired brand seems to be stronger than ever and expanding globally.
While the US, UK and Japan may seem like very obvious markets for such a publication it nonetheless intriguing to see that Italy and Germany seem to be the next logical stops as the path to the “techno-utopia” the mag initially stood for. The Japanese are infamous for their technological geekery. Italians are rather known for high fashion designer clothes. Most German technology brands that thrived in the past, the likes of
are only shadows of their glorious past. There is no real consumer electronics sectors run by locals here. It’s all Made in China now. Only South Korea can compete.
Why Germany not France or Spain?
Take note that there is no Spanish or French Wired magazine despite huge potential audiences. Spanish is not only spoken in Spain by its 40 million inhabitants. Most of South America and even a large minority in the US speak it.
French is not only spoken in France but also in half of Africa, especially in northern African countries, most known for their recent democratic movements that were very Internet-savvy. Also Conde Nast,
the owner of Wired has a large portfolio of magazines in France, mostly focusing on lifestyle and fashion though.
In Germany we had two more or less failed attempts at creating a technology lifestyle magazine. We had Tomorrow for a few years, a copycat mag that tried to imitate the US Wired without having the same type of audience here in Germany (there is no Silicon Valley equivalent here). We also had DE:BUG magazine, a print mag focused on all things electronic including a big part of the music scene.
Is there a German audience or not?
Tomorrow had to give up a few years ago, I think in 2009. Shortly before they went out of business they became desperate and even started adding images of naked models to the last few issues. Sadly the much better and independent DE:BUG magazine (full disclosure: I have contributed a few articles to it in the distant past) had to stop publishing the print issue in 2014 too.
The reasons for failure were not the same but in both cases the audience increasingly went online, especially the musicians who could access music right away instead of reading reviews of it offline.
So you have to ask yourself: is there still a German audience for a progressive technology magazine that doesn’t only deal with nerdy topics but also attempts to cover a wider range of aspects of technological progress?
We have a lot of computer magazines dealing with hardware, software, even web development or marketing. There is no real digital culture mag as of now. Well, now there is one again. Wired Germany. So you could argue that now that there is no competition left anymore it’s the best time to enter the empty market again.
Nobody wears shoes in Africa
There is an old joke from Poland I have to think of in this context. I’d like to adapt it to the new context:
two shoe marketers visit a newly established country somewhere in Africa, a pessimist and an optimist. The pessimist calls right back home and says “nobody is wearing shoes here, we can’t sell anything!”. The optimist is still in awe and calls in second: “Amazing! Nobody is wearing shoes here yet, we can sell them to everybody!”
Dear African friends: I know people from Africa and I know they wear shoes in most cases. Some don’t because they don’t want to or don’t have to as it’s sometimes too hot in Africa.There are also Westerners who don’t wear shoes either in order to keep their feet healthy (most shoes are bad for your feet hence there are barefoot shoes by now).
This joke is not meant to discredit Africans as primitive or something. It’s a great metaphor on how people in the West (and elsewhere too I guess) can look at the same thing and see two completely different things depending on their personal attitude.
The one year long test
Conde Nast has tested Wired Germany with a quarterly publication first. After four issues, which mostly very pretty good, prepared by ad hoc teams and freelancers the publishers finally got the results they wanted and decided to establish a whole new team and invest money and effort into making a monthly mag, organizing events, and offering an online subscription while still offering most of them content online for free (at first?).
So what can we learn from all this? Do you have to move to Germany or at least expand your business there? Not really. I’d like to generalize the lessons I have learned from this niche market identification process:
It’s a fact – content rocks todays marketing. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads (DemandMetric). It’s no surprise that according to Content Marketing Institute, 93% of B2B marketers rely on content to promote their brands.
But, given the wealth of different platforms, in order to fully avail of it’s abilities; you need to understand each one and create strategies to best avail of it’s abilities.
Over the last few weeks I outlined basic strategies for content marketing on Twitter and Pinterest. Today I want to tackle the biggest social network of all – Facebook.
A wise person once said that just like Pinterest is for creativity, Facebook on the other hand is for communication. And, it seems just about right. In the recent study by Vision Critical, 80% of Pinterest users say the network is useful for generating ideas and projects while 63% of Facebook users say that their network makes them feel connected.
And what else drives connection better than content these days?
After all, it is content that gets Facebook audience to like a post, comment on it or share it. And unlike other social networks, Facebook offers a plethora of options and content types you can use to engage with your audience.
In short, it would be one that relates to the interests of your audience and engages them because it relates to real life. A good content tells stories, asks the audience for their opinion and provokes them to share their personal opinion.
Before you start planning your content strategy, let’s first discuss different content types you could post on your Facebook Page.
Facebook offers 4 distinct options for those content types:
Photos are one of the most engaging content types. They are quick to absorb and digest their meaning. Not to mention that they take up a considerable space on the users news feed, making them highly noticeable and sticking out more than text. By using photos, you can boost the attention your posts receive from users.
Moreover, Facebook images generate 120% more engagement than an average post.
There are different types of images you could post on your Page:
Photo albums allow you to post multiple images at once in a single post. Images collected into a specific album are a great way to promote content from events, promotions, product lines and more.
Videos have become one of the most engaging content type today, and to no surprise. 93% of marketers use video for promotion and 52% of them name video as a content type delivering the best ROI (Brainshark) 100 million users watch online videos each day (VideoBrewery)
Video is also a powerful communications tool. A single minute of video can convey the same message as 1.8 million words (VideoBrewery).
It comes to no surprise then that videos are a highly engaging content on Facebook. In fact, videos posted to the site receive 40% higher engagement rate compared to Youtube for instance (SocialBakers). They also account for 93% of the most engaging content on the site (FastCompany).
When posting your video to Facebook, make sure to stick to these rules:
Lastly, text based content. Even though Facebook allows posting long content, it’s the short text that gets the most engagement from the site. Updates up to three lines of text see 60% more engagement than any longer content. Cutting your text even shorter, below 80 characters might result in 66% more engagement (FastCompany).
The best text based updates to drive engagement are questions, which receive 100% more engagement than other types of text-based content (Hubspot).
Before you start posting to Facebook you should define who you want to engage with on the site and what content themes would achieve this objective.
When defining your audience, don’t just look at their age, location and other demographic factors. When it comes to Facebook, its user base crosses many geographic boundaries, and thus your best bet is to target their interests as well.
To post relevant content, focus on:
Timing is everything, fact. Having your post appear on your audiences News Feeds right when they are the most receptive to your message would be ideal. But even though it would be ideal, there is no single ideal time to post to Facebook. Even though there are so many studies on the subject, there is no unified opinion what day and time would generate the most engagement from users.
In spite of that, you can still find your best time to post to the site by doing the following:
Understand your audience. It’s hard to decide on the best time to post if you don’t know who’s on the other side, listening. Define your audience and try to understand their habits.
Think about how their day looks like. Once you know who your audience is, think how their typical day might look like. What are their productive times? When would they be trying to unwind and relax? All these factors will help determine the best time to post.
Post within what you think is their most receptive time during their day. Use the information about your audience to define times you will be posting at. Of course, you should measure and refine your strategy to find the most optimum time.
Even though, as we’ve seen, your content should target your audience and their interests, needs and problems, there will be times when you’ll want to post about yourself. You may have a new product line coming out or will want to promote the company. On Facebook however, there is a fine line between informing users and being overly too promotional. And needless to say, the latter usually moves people away from a brand at an instant.
Facebook fans don’t care about you they care about themselves. Therefore,
This might come as a surprise but your posts reach only a fraction of your fan base. In fact, according to official data from Facebook, posts on company Pages appear on only 16% of their fans News Feeds.
Therefore, if you want to reach more people, you need to promote your posts.
There are two ways you could do so with:
– Promoted Posts
– Promoted Page Posts
Promoted Posts allow you to promote your content directly to your fans’ News Feeds as opposed to the sidebar where the majority of standard Facebook Ads appear.
Promoted Page Posts appear in the sidebar on the site, making them less effective when promoting your content. On the other hand, they allow you to reach people who are not your Page fans yet and be laser focused with what demographics you target with your ads.
One of the greatest advantages of using Facebook for engaging with audience is the ability to gain insights and data to monitor and analyze your actions.
Facebook Insights make it easy to monitor the performance of your content marketing strategies in real time. Thanks to this data you can quickly see which type of content engaged your audience the most (and thus which one you could promote even further to them).
Here are some of the data types you can monitor in Insights:
Reach – the number of unique people who have seen your content,
Organic – the number of people who’ve seen your content in their NewsFeed or on your page.
Paid – the amount of people who’ve seen your post from paid ads.
Viral – the amount of people who’ve seen your content because one of their friends interacted with it in some way (liked it, commented on it or shared it).
I can’t deny it, I was very disappointed with Google+ when it first launched.
Too many things seemed wrong with it back then.
– I didn’t understand what it’s for.
– None of my friends were on it.
– I had no time for another network.
I am sure I wasn’t the only one having doubts about Google+. But the social network has changed a lot since the day of its launch. It has managed to find its own competitive edge.
It never beat Facebook in building and maintaining relationships. Or Twitter for up to date news. It becomes evident only now that Google+ was built for something else, content marketing.
1. It’s Tightly Integrated with Search.
With the introduction of Search Plus Your World Google Plus became tightly integrated with search. Search results are now enhanced with photos, posts and more coming from your friends.
Authorship is also omnipresent in search results today, allowing users to pick information from people they trust but authors to also gain that authority.
2. It’s Integrated With Other Platforms.
Google plus is hardly just a social network. With a tight integration among various other Google products: Maps, Ads, Reviews, Hangouts, Youtube, Calendar and more, it follows you across every Google product.
3. It’s Better For Building New Relationships.
Unlike other networks who connect you with people you already know, Google+ is ideal to meet new people with whom you share similar interests.
4. It Gives You An Exposure.
Through Authorship Google+ connects your profile or page with any content you publish to give you even greater reach in search and helps you gain exposure while building your personal brand.
1. Use +Mentions and #Hashtags to Increase Visibility
The reason to use Google+ is to increase visibility and awareness of your brand, company or product. And the network offers two features that can help you with that: mentions and hashtags.
– A mention allows to you to let a particular person or a brand know that you have mentioned them in a post. You may be familiar with a similar feature on Twitter (the @username) or Facebook (tagging people). This is an ideal way to get yourself on their radar in hope that they will share your content with their audience, comment or engage in any other way on your page.
– Hashtags are not unique feature to Google+. They have been created to help users follow online conversations. And that’s exactly why you should use them in Google+. The search giant will include your post in any search for hashtags you included in it. This way you can gain attention of people interested in specific conversations or topics.
2. Attract More Viewers with Visual Content.
Photos make up for highly attractive content on Google+. And, for a reason, they are easy to consume. So to make the most of it, include images along with your posts and even build up a dedicated Google+ visual content strategy. Users often scan images in their news feed to assess which posts are worth reading. Use big and descriptive images to stand out for them and get picked from other, competing posts.
3. Segment Your Audience for Better Content Targeting
The ability to segment your audience and feed targeted content to different people is one of the most powerful features of Google+. After all being able to share targeted content with specific audience is an invaluable asset for any content marketer. In Google+ you do this by posting content to specific Circles, segments you can create to divide your users into categories.
4. Grab Readers Attention with Text Formatting
Readability is a serious issue on the web. Especially in an environment as Google+ News Feed where information changes very fast. It is crucial then that whatever you post stands out from other updates. Proper formatting allows you increase your chances at your content being noticed and read by users.
There are very simple ways to format your content:
5. Breathe New Life into Your Archived Content
The relative newness of Google+ gives you an advantage of being able to promote your archived content, one you’ve already promoted extensively through other social networks. Chances are that your Google+ followers haven’t seen these posts yet and will be happy to receive more advice from you.
6. Use Ripples to Identify and Target Influencers
Ripples are quite unique feature on Google+. In Ripples you can see each time your post gets posted on Google+ or shared directly from your website. What’s more, you can also see who shared your content and view their Google+ profile. This single functionality allows you to:
7. Engage Your Audience with Hangouts
Image courtesy of Business2Community.com
Even though Facebook offered chat option for a long time, it’s Google+ Hangouts that revolutionised how a brand can engage their audience in real time. With the ability to create a video content, from interviews with important figures in your industry for instance, live events or private presentations, Hangouts should become an important aspect of your content strategy.
8. Build Engagement with Long Form Content in Google+
Lastly, create content specifically for Google+. The site allows you to post long form content which can attract the most engagement from its users. Link to your own blog from it too and use hashtags to make the post more discoverable to increase its reach.
“Strategy” can be kind of a dubious term. As someone who has done a lot of acquisition and transaction-oriented marketing work, I’m sometimes a bit skeptical of an over-emphasis on strategy and under-emphasis on execution.
That said: if you don’t have any strategy and direction at all, or if you’re chasing after the wrong goals, all of your tactical execution is going to be wasted. I also know that strategies can vary wildly from business to business and website to website, and there’s really no such thing as a single, one-size-fits-all, be-all-end-all content strategy (not even our own content marketing roadmap).
For that reason, we got the input of a number of marketers on their favorite content marketing strategy resources. Check out the answers folks have given below, and see if there are a few resources you can pick out that give you some inspiration and help guide the direction of your own content strategy.
“What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?”
Kelsey Murphy is a Professional & Personal Coach, communication specialist, public speaker, advertising director, and business owner. Learn more about Kelsey and her work at www.kelseymurphy.com.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
Dana Malstaff is brilliant – she helps get to the root of what you REALLY want to say, and lay it out in a digestible, smart, organized way. She is creative, brainstorming savant. I’d be lost without her.
She has a great free resource on her site here – expandyourreach.club – and is an incredible coach.
Sam Anthony is the Owner of TheSiteEdge, a Minneapolis-based online marketing and web design agency.
The single best resource on content marketing that I have ever read is…
The “17 Insanely Actionable List Building Strategies That Will Generate More Subscribers Today” article from Brian Dean at Backlinko.com.
You can find it at http://backlinko.com/list-
Why was it life changing?
There are millions of articles on content marketing and “how to do it better.” But the simple fact of the matter is that if 1,000,000 people are all saying that is the way to do it better – you are just going to be doing the same thing as everyone else. This piece is about going 5 steps further than the rest of the content marketers out there. It is so easy to just post content that doesn’t take much thought, which is why it doesn’t get shared or utilized and it certainly does not establish you as an authority. You need to utilize the tools available on the internet and [some of] your own brain power to do something better. Lastly, every bit of advice in this article can be learned from and adapted to use on one’s own site – all of it is actionable.
Natalie Bidnick is the digital strategist for Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in Austin, Texas. She has over nine year’s experience working with more than 50 brands on improving their online presence.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
Richard Hollis is the CEO of Holonis, the next generation online platform. He has
spent the better part of a decade researching best practices for online marketing when developing Holonis and is an expert when it comes to content marketing.
In my years of research I have read a myriad of books and two that I would recommend as my top resources on content marketing strategy are…
“The Age of the Platform” by Phil Simon, and “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott.
I would point out two great resources these books have to offer, one from The Age of the Platform stating, “Platforms comprise individual components, features, products, and services, collectively referred to in this book as planks. Put simply, without planks, there are no platforms.”
And the other resource on content marketing strategy comes from The New Rules of
Marketing& PR stating, “Great content brands an organization as a trusted resource and calls people to action – to buy, subscribe, apply, or donate. And great content means that interested people return again and again. As a result, the organization succeeds, achieving goals such as adding revenue, building traffic, gaining donations, or generating sales leads.
Ben Jorgensen is the CEO and Co-founder of Klick Push, Inc. Klick Push connects consumers to brands through digital music. We allow marketers to use music as dynamic content to drive omni-channel marketing initiatives.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
I would have to say that our CRM, Hubspot, is a great source of content marketing materials. Additionally, reading between the lines, you can simultaneously infer Hubspots marketing strategy. This is a company that not only has good content marketing materials but have a sound strategy.
Robyn Tippins is the Co-Founder and leader of community marketing and business operations for Mariposa Interactive, a content marketing agency specializing in inbound and lead generation for Manufacturing OEMs, Startups and High Tech. She has been managing online communities for 17 years. Her book, Community 101″ is a primer on online community management. Over the years she has worked with large and small companies, including Yahoo, Intel, MTV, AT&T, Behr Paints, Fleishman Hillard, ReadWriteWeb, SAY Media , Mozilla, Cisco, Facebook and Current TV. She authored the Community Certification program at GetSatisfaction.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
Soup to nuts, for both insiders and beginners, it’s “Inbound Marketing: Attract, Engage and Delight Customers Online”, by the founders of Hubspot, Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah.
Each of our new employees, from admin staff and sales folks to our account managers and creative staff, get a copy of the book and are required to discuss it with me within their first 30 days. We’re Hubspot Partners, so it’s vital they’re up to speed quickly on both the rationale and vision behind content marketing and the unique way a Hubspot partner agency works. We’ve thrown around the idea of writing a book ourselves, but can’t find a better way to put the overall process and value of content marketing than this one.
Arlissa Vaughn is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Aegis Power Systems, Inc. – a custom power supply design and manufacture center. She has helped the company develop a video and blog series, as well as implement social media promotion for B2B marketing.
The best publication I’ve read on content marketing is…
“The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign” e-book produced by Kapost and Eloqua (subsidiary of Oracle.)
This e-book goes in depth on digital content strategies, providing marketers with a great year-long plan of how to implement a derivatives pillar-style plan for each campaign.
Chris Pilbeam is a content marketer and Senior Manager of Editorial at Alarm.com, the leading connected home platform used by millions of people to make their homes safer, smarter and more efficient.
Pound for pound, the best content marketing strategy resource I’ve ever read isn’t a book. It’s…
A short guide written by Geoff Livingston for Cision, called How to Content Market (Better Than the Competition). It outlines eight steps for executing a content strategy, including nailing down your editorial mission, researching to differentiate yourself, and weaving content types together. It’s a birds-eye view of the process that really does lay it all out without getting lost in case studies.
They’ve ungated it and there’s a copy online here:
Beth Bridges is the Marketing Manager for J – I.T. Outsource, a full-service technology and digital identity management company. She is a published book author with hundreds of articles, blog posts, and videos published for herself (as The Networking Motivator) and her current and former employers.
The ironic part of content marketing resources is that there is so very much content available. How do you know what’s best? By their reach and how often you see other marketers using, sharing, and referring to those resources. Because if they’re doing content marketing right, you’ll come across them over and over. That said, one of the single best resources I’ve found is something I had to dig for…
Coursera.org offers free online classes called MOOC’s, Massive Online Open Courses. They have a very powerful, systematic, and relevant course called “Content Strategy for Professionals in Organizations.” Best of all, it’s free! https://www.coursera.org/
Michael Epstein is a successful CEO turned Online Marketing, Web Development & Business Strategy Consultant at GetOnlineWithMe.com.
Perhaps the best singular resource I’ve found on content marketing is…
The Definitive Guide to Engaging Content Marketing from Marketo, found here: http://www.marketo.com/
It’s 110 pages covering the entire process from developing an understanding of your target audience to defining your tone and style, to writing and distribution/promotion. Very comprehensive and useful for someone who wants to understand the complete process for a good content marketing strategy.
Brooke Elliott is the Marketing Director of REDVIKING® Bold Engineering, designers and builders of manufacturing and test solutions: machines, automation, conveyance, software, process design and implementation.
The best ongoing resource of content marketing strategy for me, a B2B marketer, is…
The daily email I receive from MarketingProfs, which quickly describes 5 of their offerings.
Every day it gives me the ability to quickly choose from some of the best content marketing advice I’ve found anywhere, including courses, webinars, seminars and instructional videos. I am a huge fan of MarketingProfs for content marketing (they haven’t asked for an endorsement, I promise!).
Valentin Valov is the Digital PR Strategist of Hop-Online, a full service online marketing agency. He helps people and brands better understand the new age of communicative & interactive driven marketing.
The one single factor in content marketing is always story telling. You cannot create content around keywords or agenda and expect revenue. Shaping your outgoing resources around an idea worth sharing to the right audience at the right time is both an art and an engineering. Couple of books to start:
“Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator” by Ryan Holiday and “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.
One of the most compelling video sources I recommend is Annielytics on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/
Tools for researching great topics are available today. These are probably my greatest source for content marketing. Try Buzzsumo to get insights on the most share-ble content on your topic, or the new Content Explorer in Ahrefs. You’ll be surprised how many web resources are in need for improvement.
Brett Bastello is a Content Marketing and Link Building specialist at Inseev Interactive, a digital marketing company located in sunny San Diego.
One of the best resources I have for content marketing is…
Conversely, Ahrefs just released a similar product, however I have been using BuzzSumo much longer. What these products do is highlight the most popular content over a given time set based off the keywords you’ve entered. This is so important to content marketing because it allows me to see exactly what readers are reading and what viewers are watching when I’m working on building out my content strategy.
Nikki White is the Content Team Lead at Payoff, a next generation financial services company. She is a seasoned content strategist who has created content for fortune 500 companies as well as top 3 E-Commerce companies, worldwide.
My all time favorite content resource I’ve ever read was…
“Contagious” by Jonah Berger. My team and I reference his content on a daily basis. The nuggets in that book are indispensable and the anecdotes really drive the point home.
Dan Wade is the Director of Marketing at Life Floor, a Minnesota-based manufacturing startup that produces a slip-resistant, impact-absorbing tile. Prior to joining Life Floor, Dan was the Director of Activation at LockerDome, where he worked on campaigns for clients ranging from media companies like VICE to professional athletes like Patrick Willis and Brandon Phillips.
The best resource for content marketing I’ve ever found is…
The community at GrowthHackers.com.
They’re particularly good at finding SlideShares from marketing presentations and highlighting the best ones, and while there’s more there than just content advice, that’s my first stop whether I’m looking for something specific or just looking for the top new ideas in marketing.
Jon Bingham is Director of Marketing of BKA Content, a provider of high quality content for agencies and enterprise businesses to use in their content marketing efforts.
I find this piece on content marketing to be very helpful, especially for novice content marketers…
What’s the Difference? Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing on Search Engine Journal.
It describes the differences between Content Marketing and Content Strategy and does a good job of explaining what each entails.
Linda Pophal is content marketer, business writer, and CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC. Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences.
My top go-to resource for content marketing strategy is…
EContent; it has both hard copy and online editions and provides news and perspectives about a wide range of content marketing/management-related issues. Their regular columnists include a wide range of thought leaders who are up-to-date on the issues and new opportunities in this field.
Matt Antonino is the Head of Product for Pay on Performance, a full service digital marketing agency in Melbourne.
With apologies to Copyblogger, the single best source of content marketing strategy for me has to be…
Not only do they have a range of content topics and great ebooks, they also focus on other content-related material such as podcasts, content conversion optimisation, social media & email writing, content calendaring, software and tools and other content-related topics that may not get as much attention on strictly copywriting & editing content blogs. The variety of information and depth of knowledge makes them my first choice for content resources.
Andy Hunt is the Founder of Uplift ROI, a pay-on-performance optimization service.
One of the best resources I have read about content marketing was…
This post by Robbie Richards.
One of the reasons I love it so much is that is very easy to follow and relies on tools that are mostly free or offer free trials. Even knowing a bit about content marketing, I was able to learn and implement a few things from this post and have recommended it to more than a few people.
David Waring is the Co-founder and Editor of FitSmallBusiness.com, a site that helps small business owners choose the right products and services for their business.
We focus our content marketing efforts on search engine optimization and have built our site from 0 to 9000 visitors a day in the last year and a half using this method. The single best resource on content marketing that I have read is…
Moz.com’s Beginners Guide To SEO.
It gives a full overview of everything the reader needs to know to get started in SEO and is required reading for all my staff.
Katie Bisson is Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Technology Seed, a managed IT service provider.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
My first resource is Marketing Profs. They provide great tips on content ideas, writing and creation. Along with providing tips in blog or article format they also host an abundance of webinars all geared toward content creation. This is, by far, my favorite site to turn to.
My second resource is social media. I follow a large number of marketers and marketing agencies that all write great blogs and tips for content marketing. Skimming social media allows me to get a varied insights and also get numerous opinions on new content marketing trends.
Jason Bay is a millennial entrepreneur and marketing fundamentalist who specializes in helping young entrepreneurs 10x their marketing efforts. He is also the Founder of the site GenYSuccess.com.
My favorite content marketing resource is…
The guys at Fizzle do a wonderful job with their podcast, blog and membership platform. Their monthly membership gives you unlimited access to video courses on everything related to running an online business. It’s where I learned everything I know about creating a podcast that gets featured in New & Noteworthy on iTunes and writing blog posts that get shared hundreds of times.
Maurice Bretzfield is a Certified Business Mentor and Digital Marketing Solutionist. Learn more about Maurice and his work at MauriceBretzfield.com.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
Greg Scott is an Author, Founder of Infrasupport Corporation and a veteran of the tumultuous IT industry. After working as a consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation, Scott branched out on his own in 1994 and started Scott Consulting. A larger firm bought Scott Consulting in 1999, just as the dot com bust devastated the IT Service industry. Scott went out on his own again in late 1999 and started Infrasupport Corporation, with a laser focus on infrastructure and security.
What’s the single best resource on content marketing strategy you’ve read?
I’ve seen David Meerman Scott‘s presentation on the subject twice now and I have his book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR.” His presentation made sense and so that’s the way I set up both my company website and new book website.
Lots of companies are starting blogs. If you’re new to blogging, it’s tough to get traction and easy to make some of the various, common mistakes other blogs and bloggers (myself included) have made. To help new blogs and bloggers avoid some of the common pitfalls that companies make when starting a blog we’ve asked several marketers to share some of the biggest mistakes they see companies make when first launching a blog. Check out their answers below and hopefully you can avoid some of these all-to-common mistakes!
“What’s the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog?”
Matthew Jonas is the President of TopFire Media, an integrated digital marketing and public relations agency.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when starting their own blog is…
Feeling the need to flood it with large quantities of content, most of which doesn’t fit within their scope of work or align with their business model.
There’s nothing wrong with a multitude of content, but if the blog posts you create aren’t relevant to your company and don’t include keywords that will help to bring traffic and attention to your website or social media profiles, then you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Valerie Jennings is CEO of Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM) and Viral Bolt Media, located in the Kansas City metro but representing publicly traded to start up companies from all over the world. Jennings has had the honor of working with major brands such as Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Time Equities, Inc., Orient Express Hotels, Experian Market Research Services and Green Plains Renewable Energy, as well as many other established and up-and-coming companies in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and St.. Martin. She started her business, JSMM, at the age of 24 and has been featured on magazine covers, awarded 2014 Most Influential Women in Business by KC Business magazine, and featured as a Woman To Watch by FridayGirl TV.
The biggest mistake companies make when formalizing a blog is that…
They forget about the strategy and search marketing tactics.
Companies forget that the content for the blog topics should be built around targeted keywords and information that is pertinent to their customers/clients and prospects. Not all educational content is ideal for a blog as some of it is too niche and uninteresting to the reader.
The real question brands should be asking before they launch a blog is if they have enough general interest among their target audience to even blog. If not, G+ may be a better fit since it will still generate search engine results and it is not as high maintenance.
Hans van Gent is a Client Service Manager at DigitasLBi, a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. Next to that he teaches early stage startups how to start and grow their company, and he is also the Founder behind Inbound Rocket, a new way of generating traffic and converting them into leads.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is that…
They don’t have a real set of goals what to achieve with their company blog.
In many cases after some time the blog then turns into a glorified list of company news or ego enriching opinion pieces, ranging from “Welcome Person X to the Team” to product updates to attempts at being brilliant or clever rather than helpful.
And that is where it goes wrong and from that moment on the company blog is not helping the goals of the company and might in the end turn out to be pretty terrible at driving and growing your audience and your customers online. You turn from being the expert on whatever it is your company tries to solve into yet another company doing the same as everyone else.
Nick Santora is the CEO of Curricula, a cybersecurity training company located in Atlanta, GA.
The biggest mistake I see people make when starting a blog is…
Not truly identifying your audience.
Trying to cater to every single person on the Internet will make your content bland and not unique enough to be read. Identify your key stakeholders and develop content to engage that audience.
Julie M. Edge, Ph.D is a co-founder and Chief Storyteller of Creelio, which harnesses technology to make online content creation (e.g., blogs, social media) easier for top executives who desire a thought leadership position and want to humanize their corporate brands. She’s the mad scientist with an affinity for storytelling and leads VoiceScience(TM) and content development for the business.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not leveraging the voices of their executives to tell their company story!
Consumers are tired of hearing the robotic voice of Corporate America; they want the warmth and personality of the leaders. When they speak to customers in their own language and their authentic voice, without pretension or over-formality, they give the customer the chance to connect with them emotionally.
According to research from BrandFog, 82 percent of consumers trust a brand more when the CEO and senior leadership are on social media. When it comes to blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, and connecting on LinkedIn, leaders have an opportunity to connect externally and internally in ways that weren’t possible at the dawn of this new century. While it may be hard to believe, the more a leader participates on social media on behalf of their company, the more others will trust their company.
Ed Marsh is Founder and Principal at Consilium Global Business Advisors, LLC, a firm that provides market development strategy and consulting to mid-sized B2B manufacturers.
Without a doubt the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
To simply start publishing some articles because they should have a blog.
The blog itself does nothing (and often even calling it a blog is counterproductive vs. insight, commentary, articles or something more accessible depending on their target) and the typical tentative approach is often counterproductive – sending a clear message to visitors who stumble into it and find only a couple press releases from months ago.
The value of a blog is to create very targeted optimized organic search material, to demonstrate relevant expertise and provide insight, and to create conversion opportunities to create leads from traffic. For all of those to work the blog must be strategically planned and tactically executed. It must be optimized for the buyers, problems and stage in the buying journey – using their language and speaking authoritatively and naturally on topics of import to them, from their perspective.
In contrast most blogs are started with the idea that we need an article a month. And since most companies are very inwardly focused with their marketing, that results in blog articles that are company announcements.
Nobody cares. And nobody in the company plans on how to measure the impact so it takes some time to realize there’s no value – and then they abandon it because that sort of marketing just doesn’t work in their industry with their type of buyers.
Christopher Parente is the Founder of StoryTech Consulting, a consulting firm that provides content marketing strategy and consulting for business success. His work has appeared in MarketingProfs, E-Commerce News, CommPro.biz and Social Media Today. He also publishes a monthly column for WashingtonExec.com, and serves on the marketing committee of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Chapter.
The biggest mistake some companies make when launching a blog is…
Talking about themselves and their product/service too much.
A blog isn’t a channel to educate prospects and customers about how great the company is. The blog should be a tool through which the company educates prospects and customers about their vertical or niche. Make them smarter, better at their jobs. And then have deeper engagement options available — webinars, whitepapers – when prospects are in the market for the service the company offers.
Taylor Aldredge is the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper, a Virtual Phone System for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The biggest mistake a company can make when starting a blog is…
Not having a focus for the blog.
What is the blog going to do for your customers and leads? I think taking the time to learn about your potential audience is crucial and will guide any company in a better direction when they start a company blog.
Paige Arnof-Fenn is Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls, a global strategic marketing consulting firm.
In my experience the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
They come out of the blocks strong with a lot of energy and ideas and start blogging regularly then after a few weeks it starts to drop off and a month or so later a few weeks go by and they just can¹t find the time then before you know it it has been months and no new postings.
This is a problem on a few levels, it shows lack of commitment to the process (this is a professional undertaking not some fly by night hobby), naïveté that they did not really understand what they were getting into (wow I did not realize how much work this would be), lack of respect for their audience (don¹t waste my time if you are not serious), etc.
If you are not sure then start by responding on other people¹s blogs first and see if you like it. Build an online following and reputation first. Then after you know this is a good communications tool for you and plays to your strengths then start your own blog. And then stick to a schedule so that you incorporate it into you routine and comment on topics that are of strategic importance to your business.
Andy Walker is President and Senior Strategist at Cyberwalker Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Tampa. He is the author of five books including the forthcoming “Super You: How Technology is Revolutionizing What it Means to Be Human” (Que Publishing).
Perhaps the single most biggest mistake that companies make when they start a blog is…
Producing content that is highly self-serving.
That means they are promoting their products in their posts shamelessly. I call these articles the “Why we are great” posts. They don’t think about what their audience wants to hear or needs to hear. The agenda is to sell sell sell.
However the most effective way of connecting with an audience and giving them reason to think about your brand is to produce content that answers questions around problems that they are having. Becoming a topic expert in an area where a buyer has a problem will have them see you as the place to go for a solution. And if you offer a product or service that happens to solve that problem in the mix then they are likely to consider you as a potential source for the solution.
I always ask my clients what does it feel like when somebody is trying to sell you? Nobody likes that. And so if you write copy that makes people wince because you’re selling them too hard and then you’re going to fail. That’s why your post should explain issues, layout the landscape of the problem and provide a range of solutions – one of which could be your product or service.
Chris Post is the Founder and CEO of Post Modern Marketing, a Sacramento based internet marketing company. Chris and his company focus on helping small business marketing their products and services online through business web design, search engine optimization and content marketing.
The biggest mistakes companies make when starting a blog is…
They simply give up on blogging prematurely because they are not seeing results fast enough. It takes time to gain an audience and see the dividends from blogging start to roll in.
Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Markitors, an internet marketing company for small businesses looking to outsource their email, SEO and social media marketing efforts.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not installing tracking software that gives them insight into key marketing metrics.
How many visitors turn into leads, customers or email subscribers? What’s your most popular blog post? What’s your most popular referral source? Installing Google Analytics is a free and easy way to begin reporting on how a blog is contributing to the company’s marketing goals.
Gregory Lee is the SEO Director of BKV, an Atlanta based marketing agency specializing in direct response marketing since 1981. Greg has over 10 years SEO experience and over 15 years marketing experience working with small businesses and well-known brands.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is…
Not dedicating time to write consistent posts.
Whether it’s a reward plan to get staff to write, a content calendar with pre-written posts, or curated content from a third party, there must be a way to fill the blog with consistent posts, even if it is only a couple per month. We’ve all seen blogs, Facebook pages, and even websites that have not been updated in months or years. It looks like they’ve been abandoned. It leaves the impression that the company is no longer active.
Also, as an SEO consultant, another big mistake I’ve seen when launching a blog is when companies develop their own blog instead of using WordPress.
A client came to us after unknowingly making this mistake. They heard the advice that blogs are good for SEO. When it came to choosing a platform, WordPress was considered. But their website was already on a different platform. They thought it would be easier to only maintain one platform. So their developer did some customizations and created a blog within their existing website platform. The problem is that it takes years of development, testing and input from many people to create a great working blog platform that excels for SEO.
The client’s blog ended up not being SEO friendly. WordPress is made for blogs and has specialized technology for the social communication aspects of blogging that search engines eat up, as well as being SEO friendly to the Nth degree. Social and SEO conventions and technology evolve quickly. A community supported platform such as WordPress will change and update to meet these needs infinitely faster and at no cost. Imagine trying to fund the development for a custom made blog to keep up with changes of social media and SEO.
Jen Jamar is a content strategist, freelance writer, and social media manager. She co-organizes the Minnesota Blogger Conference, now in its 6th year, as well as Prestige Conference, a business development conference for entrepreneurs, startups, and agencies. She speaks frequently on the topics of content strategy, analytics, and social media.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Jumping in without a strategy.
Company blogs should serve a purpose for their customers that aligns with their business objectives. That means a business needs to answer several questions to before implementing a new blog initiative, such as:
Like any new business initiative, a sound strategy is key for carrying the idea through planning, implementation, and feedback.
Alexander Ruggie is the PR Director for 911 Restoration, and he has been in the advertising, marketing and entertainment industries for more than a decade. When Alexander isn’t crafting strategies and campaigns to help homeowners in need, he is trying to save the world, one well-worded idea at a time.
The biggest mistake I find regularly is…
Lack of Direction.
Many of the company blogs that I come across in my research, competitive analysis, and just personal information gathering are poorly constructed, visually unappealing, and occasionally even poorly written. I believe that a lot of this chaos stems from a lack of direction either within the company, or the blog specifically.
Blogs, typically being written by novice wordsmiths, are trying to find their voice as much as their contributing writers are, and this tends to come across on the page. Even a veteran writer trying a blog for the first time will make it read on the page more eloquently than a savvy blogger with diminutive writing talent, and this trait embodies both the charisma and curse of the blogs nature.
Part of me wants a blog to have a few spelling mistakes with writing that dives in between facts and opinion because that’s the nature of the beast, but in the end, if it can’t project ideas clearly that’s a real problem for a company. Tactically it seems a better strategy to create a blog that is consistent rather than one that is voluminous and this takes the talent of a writer rather than the speed of a burgeoning blogger. The best blogs are a combination of both worlds, and companies should keep this in mind when creating them.
Brendan Egan is founder and owner of Simple SEO Group, a small business online marketing, search engine optimization, and web design firm. Simple SEO Group’s main goal is to achieve a sustainable ROI for all their clients and help them grow their business by leveraging the internet.
Identifying the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is tricky – as most companies make multiple mistakes which lead to their blog never being what they dreamed of it being. But if I had to identify one mistake, I believe that mistake is…
Being overly promotional in nature.
If people want to read about your products/services, they would go to the appropriate pages on your website, not to your blog. A blog should be neutral, sure it’s alright to be promotional from time to time when appropriate, but as a rule of thumb I believe the majority of content on your blog should be informational and exist simply to establish yourself and your company as an authority in your niche, to provide education, and of course to help you drive more traffic to your website.
Henry Adaso is the Content Manager at DMN3, a full-service marketing agency in Houston. He has worked for Consumer Media Network, Apple Inc., Rocawear, The Houston Press, L.A. Weekly and About.com. Henry has taken lead on content strategies, coordinated social media campaigns, created advertising copy and performed analysis on content marketing and social media. He was named one of the Top 20 social media influencers in Texas by the Austin American-Statesman.
I think the biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not having a documented content strategy.
That’s like going on a road trip without a map. You might get somewhere but not where you want to go. Without a documented strategy, you don’t have a framework for everyone involved in the content process to follow. By outlining your blogging goals, target audience, distribution channels, budgets and resources in writing, you stand a much better chance of succeeding.
Lori Nash Byron is Founder of Famous in Your Field, a content marketing and PR company for professionals who want to be known as the leaders and experts in their industry.
I’ve worked with dozens of companies on content marketing and I’ve seen the
same two mistakes over and over:
1. No editorial plan.
The companies start a blog without a list of topics they’ll post about and a schedule for posting. They say things like, It’ll be easy – we’ve got tons of material to write about! But then, after an initial flurry of posts, they’re out of ideas and they stop publishing for weeks or months at a time.
2. Believing that if you publish, the readers will come.
Even the best content needs to be promoted, or brought to the attention of potential readers. Most companies start a blog without any plan to get the content in front of readers. They don’t have an email list, they post a Twitter tweet and on their Facebook page and consider it done. Content has to be promoted to be seen! Instead, they should use the right key words in their posts, ask their employees to share the posts, share the posts on social media multiple times, build a list of email subscribers and ask *them* to share the content, reach out to influencers in the industry, etc.
For blogging success, companies need to have an editorial plan and a promotional plan.
Matthew Steffen is Founder and President of Imprinsic Marketing Group, a New Jersey based marketing and advertising group.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Most companies don’t have goals when they blog.
Most feel they can just write about what they want to write about devoid of any long-term strategy that includes increasing market share, strengthening customer retention, driving external links and media attention.
The goal of a blog (for the most part) should be twofold:
Bob Bentz is President of ATS Mobile – a Philadelphia mobile marketing agency that provides social media services to businesses and organizations.
There are several mistakes that companies make when starting a blog. Here are some of the most egregious:
Termeh Mazhari is an Independent PR, SEO and Copywriting Consultant based in NYC. You can connect with her on Linkedin.
There are several big mistakes companies make when starting a blog:
Garrett Perks is the Founder and Creative Director of EvenVision, a Northern California web development & digital marketing firm. He is a gifted communicator who works with a client’s marketing staff to understand the client’s unique identity and goals, and direct the design & development of creative marketing campaigns & web applications.
There are two huge mistakes I see companies make with their blogs every day in this industry:
David J. Bradley is Author of “Getting Digital Marketing Right” and Managing Director of Primal Digital Marketing. He works with growing businesses to use digital marketing for increased profits and more customers.
My experience as a digital marketing consultant is that there are several mistakes. Here’s one common mistake:
It’s easy to get excited with your new blogging plan and be eager to build out a large, comprehensive campaign. However, after the first few exciting weeks, it may become difficult to maintain.
We need to start realistic, and a bit pessimistic, when we plan our blogging strategies. It’s best to start with fewer articles consistently released each month and increase later on.
The risk comes when we are too aggressive and don’t realize the time and energy commitment needed to build an effective blog. Sporadic posting makes it more difficult for your audience to follow you and it doesn’t give off a professional view of your company.
Kat Haselkorn is the New Media Manager at Go Fish Digital, an SEO and online reputation management company in the Washington, DC area. Declared a “Social Media Guru” by the Washington Post, Kat has significantly increased the online presence of brands through customized social media campaigns and innovative content marketing techniques. Kat is a featured writer for The Huffington Post and her work has appeared in The Examiner, Buzzfeed, Yahoo!, Jezebel, The Washington Post, and many other high-profile publications.
The biggest mistake we see companies make when starting a blog is…
Setting up a blog on a subdomain (blog.companyname.com) instead of off of the root domain (www.companyname.com/blog).
When it comes to adding value to a company’s website and ranking well in search engines, companies set themselves up for success when the blog traffic continually adds visitors to the main URL.
Kieran Edwards is the Head of Social at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.
One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make when starting a blog is…
Not realizing the ‘curse of knowledge’.
No matter what business you’re in, we’re all experts in our field. We wouldn’t be here, writing blogs, if we didn’t know what we’re talking about, right?. But it’s often the case that we forget who we are writing for and assume that our readers always know what we’re talking about. It’s very likely that you’re writing blog posts in order to educate an audience and position your business as the thought leader. If so, it’s vital that you take into consideration the fact that you readers may not know the backstory, nor will they always understand your jargon. Without running the risk of becoming condescending, be as informative as possible and always explain yourself.
Matt Fielding is SEO Manager at Bring Digital, a UK-based digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design.
The worst mistake a business can make when starting a blog is…
Not understanding why they’re starting a blog.
What does the business stand to gain from blogging? Having a tangible goal in mind (e.g. attracting links, increasing our social following etc.) shapes your blogging strategy by defining your audience and allowing you to create content that those specific people want to see, share and interact with.
Corey Barnett is the Founder of Cleverly Engaged Marketing, a digital agency serving clients in Texas and beyond with content marketing, search optimization and website management. Corey has been featured on websitemagazine.com and actively contributes content to globerunner.com’s blog and his own agency blog.
The biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not creating a content calendar, which would help align topics to industry events, holidays and more.
It would also define who is supposed to write the content and help measure goals and results of blogging efforts.
Yes, there still needs to be flexibility, and some events are truly unpredictable and will become great blogging opportunities. But, most content should be planned ahead of time. So many companies are playing catch up, realizing their blogs are several months empty and scrambling to write something, anything.
Content that is planned ahead of time also has a chance of being more unique. A survey to customers with the result of that survey published is an example of content that is unique that requires months of planning beforehand. No longer can companies push out half baked articles that are no different from hundreds of competitor blogs, to get engagement and leads from blogging, requires unique content through a content calendar.
Mark Tuchscherer is the President of Geeks Chicago, a Web Design & Development company.
The biggest mistakes we see when companies start blogs are three things:
First, they never promote their blog posts. Most people think that if they write a blog article people will magically come to the site.
The second mistake we see all the time is the quilaty of what they are posting. Many people think if they repost stuff they find on other blogs or they write some very short articles with no substance people will flock to their site. Most companies don’t understand you need to provide something of value and something people want to read.
Finally, everyone gives up on writing or gets too busy and this is usually the final mistake that kills the blog. You need to post often and it takes time. Most companies are probably competing against 100k other content sources in the same industry and you are not going to bring readers in over night. If you want to run a blog you need to set aside time each week to write, just saying you are to busy is not an option if you want to grow.
Lexie Bond is the Content Marketing Manager at Blue Corona, an online marketing company headquartered in Gaithersburg, MD.
The biggest mistake I’ve seen other companies make when blogging for their business is…
Starting a blog with no real goal in mind.
A blog is a marketing investment and should be treated as such. You need to define success, as well as measure and track your efforts. When you treat your website like a sales funnel, your blog can act like a hook to get more traffic into that sales funnel. By tracking how much traffic, leads, and sales come from our blogs at Blue Corona, we’re able to put a dollar value on each post and know how many we need to write each week/month/year to meet our leads goal and sales goal.
But keep in mind that blogging is not a get rich quick scheme or a way to get leads as fast as tomorrow. Instead, think of blogging as a way to brand your company as an authority in your industry and to build a reliable, low-cost, long-term lead and sales channel.
John Zupancic is the Founder of Wriber, a company that can supercharge your B2B writing staff by making your content more engaging, targeted, and consistent across all channels.
The single biggest mistake companies make when starting a blog is…
Not maintaining it.
Before you start blogging, you should determine the frequency of your posts. Are you going to post daily, weekly, or every Tuesday? And, do you have the resources to maintain that frequency? We all know blogs that lack consistency and have dropped off. If you can stick to a regular schedule, your audience will be more likely to stay with you.
Andrew Herrault is the lead strategist for Connective Insights, a digital marketing agency located in
The biggest blog mistake companies make is…
Lacking promotional activities.
The build it and they will come mentality will almost never work. If a great piece of content is written, someone from the company should do email & social outreach to find readers and others who might link to the content.
Ezra Rufino is the Founder of NYMB.co, a small company based out of New York City and New Jersey that creates handmade & American made bike bags and accessories.
The biggest mistake companies make in starting a blog is:
Both are very important and easy to overlook. With the first one, many companies don’t consider WHO their consumer is before diving in to write the blog. What should the style of the post be? What type of voice is being used? How casual or formal should you be? Think about how you frame your blog from a higher level before diving in and speak to your audience.
Another big mistake is focusing on a keyword strategy vs having a content strategy. It’s important to have a good keyword strategy while formulating you blog posts, but first approach the blog from a content perspective. What are your users looking for already on the Internet? This can help you get into Google searches by clearly answering questions that are already being asked. Focus on quality writing, that hits your market, for shareable and well received content that helps you convert. A keyword dump in your blog post won’t be inspiring anyone to continue through the funnel on your website.
Jake Cain is the Brand Manager for Long Tail Pro, a keyword research software that helps
businesses find keywords/topics to target with their content.
I think the biggest mistake businesses make when starting a blog is…
Having no plan for their content.
They do the classic Ready, fire, aim. A blog should be used to connect with your current audience and pull in new readers that you can turn into customers. So write about the things that customers ask you most often. Turn common questions into blog posts, since many other people are likely asking that same question to Google.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what people want to read on your blog, think about what they are asking on a daily basis and deliver great answers.
Bill Fish is the Founder and President of ReputationManagement.com, a robust resource for all things online reputation management on the web. Prior to Reputation Management, he co-founded Text Link Ads (now Matomy SEO) in 2001. Text Link Ads was acquired by a private equity firm at the end of 2006. Bill decided to stay on to run the business, and when he stepped away at the end of 2012, the company was up to $25M in yearly revenues.
In both of my roles, my team dealt with businesses who knew they had to create content with a blog, but didn’t have it as a major priority. The biggest mistake I saw companies make with their blog was…
They framed each post as an advertisement.
Let’s say you are offering 15% off this week, that’s great, but if every single one of your blog posts are about a promotion, that begins to make those promotions seem hollow. The goal should be to create content that is useful for the target audience of your product or services. If you are selling wine racks, research and put together a quality post about the new wines coming out of Napa this fall. Creating content that interests your current and potential customers will keep them coming back, and builds trust. That trust will amount to additional business down the road.
Trillions of web pages out there are full of outdated advice, broken links or worse links to rogue sites.
Publishers usually focus on churning out fresh content because that’s what content marketers preach.
At the same time old content is hurting your overall credibility on the Web, when it comes to readers and Google.
DJ Content Con and The Fresh Prince
As a blogger who has been publishing for several years in a row I increasingly worry about the things I have written in the past. On my own blog I’m able to fix or delete the posts in question but even there I sometimes overlook outdated posts. The content marketing wave of recent years has been seemingly about quantity. The more the better.
Creating fresh content has been the epitome of doing the right thing.
After all even Google seemed to favor articles that were published recently and even showed their dates on search results. Yes, Google’s Panda updates were about stopping mass produced low level content but also about downgrading sites full of obsolete content in various stages of decay.
There’s something rotten in the state of content
When your existing assets already stink putting fresh content along them doesn’t make sense. Visitors who venture deeper into your publication by following some internal links may quickly wind up in the gutter. It’s not just small-time bloggers like myself.
Large corporate owned blog empires are among the worst offenders. Just think of Mashable, the perhaps still most popular social media blog, it’s full of rotten content that is truly misleading by now. It’s coverage of Google Buzz is exemplary:
In this screen shot you can still see the date so that you may ask yourself whether the article is still valid when you find it. I resized it though so that I can capture a better image. In reality the date is displayed in light grey and small type at the left below the author photo so that you are likely to overlook it unless you actually look hard for it.
Mashable is too big to fail, is your blog big enough?
Reading the Mashable article doesn’t give you a clue about the current state of affairs. Neither Google Buzz nor Seesmic still exist and Tweetdeck has been bought by Twitter long ago so that it won’t support competing Google services in the near future. Many of the links in the article are dead but the link to Google is still leading to an equally outdated announcement post.
Unless you are Web professional dealing with social media on a daily basis you will have difficulties to find out that the article is completely wrong by now. It’s simply not true anymore. I know what you think.
Mashable is too big to fail by now. They don’t have to care.
You are probably not as large as Mashable though. Also Mashable is just a publication while your blog is probably part of your business or reflects on your personal authority.
Let’s say someone assumes you’re a social media expert, then reads about Google Buzz on your site and then tries to sign up for it just to realize s/he has been tricked? Think about your parents, potential employer and generally people who aren’t spending the whole day online. What kind of impression of your level of expertise will they get from such an outdated article?
Do you need advice on Google Buzz SEO?
Outdated articles often rank well in search results. Here are some of the top results on DuckDuckGo. Please note how all the authority publications make you believe that Google Buzz still exists.
Google itself is a bit better at the telling the truth about the whereabouts of it’s deceased Buzz service but even here factual and outdated results mix in the top 10. As fickle as modern Web users are the likelihood of overlooking the “was” is still high. Only one article clearly marks Buzz as “dead” right in the title where you can spot it with ease.
What about Google Buzz and SEO? When we search for advice on it [google buzz seo] we find this page on #1:
Ironically at the bottom of the article the author states:
“As an SEO expert at Fluency Media, I look to stay on top of the latest search engine algorithm changes for our clients, and these recent developments by Google intrigue me.”
There is no date that clarifies that the article is several years old. The only date we can see is “February 9th”. It appears to be of this year. there is no way to comment on that page so nobody can clarify publicly.
The Google Buzz ghost is haunting me
Why did I choose to the Google Buzz example? Isn’t that a bit far off? No. When I search for [google buzz seo] as mentioned above I find myself twice in the top 10 explaining the virtues of Google Buzz SEO to unsuspecting visitors. Why?
An agency I have worked for 4 years ago is careless enough not to update or rather delete these articles. They are meaningless at best by now. Why keep them? To get more search traffic and mislead people? No, that’s probably sheer recklessness or lack of funds.
The Web evolves fast. When you let your old advice online for years you are actively misleading people after a while.
It is your responsibility as a publisher to keep track of changes and to fix your content. When you don’t that “strategy” will backfire by damaging your overall credibility. You will ultimately lose trust and authority. Google may penalize you with it’s low quality content algorithms (Panda) even faster.
Content maintenance is a must. In case you don’t have a budget for that you at least need to provide a disclaimer above all your old content saying something like “this page hasn’t been updated for 2+ years old and the content on it may be outdated.
I guess it’s true, Twitter is confusing.
Originally conceived as a simple way to post quick updates to your friends, the social networking site developed into a powerful marketing tool. But not everyone caught on the transition. Many brands and individual users still think that Twitter is just a tool for merely posting quick messages and responding to customer queries.
Or worse, automatically reposting random content found online.
(A generic Twitter feed with posting set on auto-pilot. Note lack of any engagement.)
That’s not a way to show personality and build authority, two main precepts of content marketing.
If used correctly however, Twitter offers enormous possibilities to take content marketing to a completely new level.
Twitter chat is a live event you can hold on the social network. It is moderated and focused on a specific topic.
All you need to do to run it is pick a hashtag your audience will use to filter out any other conversations. To participate, they need to be on Twitter at a time of the event and follow conversation marked with your hashtag.
It’s that simple.
(an example Twitter chat using #contentchat hashtag)
How to Run a Twitter Chat.
Here is a short guide on setting up your first Twitter chat:
It comes no surprise then that tweets with images perform better that those without.
According to data by Buffer, such tweets on average receive 18% more clicks. Moreover, tweets which contain images receive 89% more favourites. And lastly, they receive 150% more retweets.
Sharing or including visual content in your tweets can result in a much greater audience engagement and reach.
The same data from Buffer reveals that tweeting your own content more than once offers some benefits too:
In his guide to content promotion, Neil Patel suggests to tweet the content three to four times on the day of publication and then slowly reduce the frequency over the next few days until you reach one a day.
Your audience might get bored seeing the same message posted over and over again. Similarly, a single headline will attract only one type of your audience members. Using different headlines helps you vary your content a little while experimenting with new ways to gain your audiences attention.
Neil Patel in the aforementioned guide suggests few ideas for headlines:
According to QuickSprout, people are 21% more likely to respond to question. Therefore, tweet questions relating to issues your audience feels close at heart with.
If you are looking for a guide to asking questions on Twitter, Twitip has some tips.
Whenever you post new content, you want your audience to retweet it. After all, that’s how content spreads. And the more your community members retweets your post, the greater its reach.
But most of the time you simply hope they will retweet the content without asking them to it. However, if you do ask, your chances of having people retweeting your content will grow 4 times.
Twitter can be confusing. After all, it was conceived as a personal social network. Today however it is more of a powerful marketing tool than anything else. And for a reason. Twitters offers some invaluable ways to engage your audience with content while showing your personality and building authority, the two key goals of any content strategy.
I find habits really interesting. One of my favorite recent reads was Charles Duhigg’s excellent book on the subject. I love Nir Eyal’s blog on behavior engineering. One of my favorite interview series is Copyblogger’s look at how smart people write.
Because there are so many different ways to “win” and get traction in content marketing (and because “winning” and “traction” means so many different things for different people) we got input from a large number (68, like the headline says) of people with their take on the following question:
“What is the #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns (i.e. what do businesses that have success with content marketing do well consistently)?”
You can see the full answers of every respondent below, but we’ve also categorized each answer to see what common themes emerged from what folks thought was the most important habit of successful content campaigns:
Meet Our Panel of Marketers:
Chris Parente is the Founder StoryTech Consulting, a business consulting firm that helps B2B and B2G companies tell their own story and promote it directly to their target audiences. His work has appeared in MarketingProfs, E-Commerce News, CommPro.biz and Social Media Today. Today, he publishes a monthly column for WashingtonExec.com, and serves on the marketing committee of the Association for Corporate Growth, National Chapter.
In my opinion, the most critical thing, or habit, that leads to marketing campaign success is for a company to…
Embrace the mindset of a publisher, and embrace the fact they need to give something of value away (information, expertise), before asking anything of a prospect.
There’s a lot more of course — high quality content, promotion, effective analytics on the back end — but that’s the cultural starting point.
Debbie Williams is Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer of SPROUT Content, a content marketing agency for B2B companies. She is driven to connect people and businesses through engaging, purposeful content and inbound marketing strategies that deliver results and build relationships.
When it comes to habits of successful content marketing campaigns, businesses that succeed with their content marketing plan…
Have just that, a plan.
They have a documented strategy across all channels, mapped to specific goals, which can be measured and improved upon. If you can’t measure it, how do you know it’s working?
Bill Harper is Co-Founder and co-creative leader of advertising agency Immortology in Chapel Hill, N.C. With two decades of experience, Harper’s specialty is launching, developing and revitalizing brands by finding ways to outsmart, not outspend, their competitors. Earlier in his career, Harper honed his art direction and strategic skills on work for Anheuser Busch, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Michelin, Blockbuster Video, Denny’s, Lance Snack Foods, Go RVing and Mitsubishi Electric. His work for these brands has been recognized by almost every industry awards show, and featured in publications like Print and Communication Arts and in numerous newspapers, blogs and trade magazines.
The number one thing that good content marketers consistently do is…
Unfortunately, writing well is hard. Fortunately, with practice and over time, it gets easier. And no, writing well doesn’t mean writing fancy.
Here are four good habits good content marketers share with good writers. What they boil down to is: be focused, be useful, be engaging and be brief. Specifically:
Domenick Cilea is the President of Springboard, a marketing and public relations firm based in central New Jersey. Founded in 1995, Springboard develops public relations, marketing and social media campaigns that deliver results. The firm has worked with hundreds of start-ups and supported the establishment of technology, Internet, telecom, and software companies.
Brands that have the most success with content marketing campaigns understand one thing, which is…
Successful companies have a strong voice, amplify content regularly using social media channels and keep their brand consistent across all of their marketing materials. The purpose of content marketing is to attract customers by creating meaningful and relevant information and present it within an array of formats.
The pros don’t just push out a good piece of content in one big blast, but instead create evergreen content that solves the problems of their audience members and can be consistently shared over time. When brands deliver consistent, valuable content customers continue to be loyal.
Gina Rau is the Founder and Brand Strategista at Mighty Big Impact. In her leadership role, Gina helps companies (big and small) define their authentic brand, get their positioning just right and share it with their ideal audience to see mighty big impact in their business.
This is such a great question because I truly believe (and have witnessed it to be true) that certain habits are what defines consistently successful content programs. Here’s what I mean…
Companies that can develop a culture of story gathering are well-positioned for content success for a number of reasons. Capturing stories is often one of the biggest challenges for the internal content manager. It’s not a one-man task, but is often a one-man gig. They need an army of people, especially on the front line talking to customers, partners and vendors, seeking the stories they’re not event aware of. There’s gold in those stories and they need to be told — but first they need to be revealed.
When the entire organization is contributing story ideas, there is a sense of ownership and pride that carries through. Employees can be hesitant to mix business and pleasure, meaning they don’t always want to promote their company’s marketing efforts with their social network. When they, or co-workers, have contributed, the story suddenly doesn’t feel like marketing and they’re eager to show off the great place they call work.
Developing this culture of story gathering relies on the habit of capturing moments, quotes and anecdotes as they happen, across the entire organization. The content manager must make it super easy for people to simply submit an idea — that’s it. Asking people to create the content is the #1 reason (excuse) why people won’t contribute ideas. For a smart, experienced content creator, tracking down details of the story and bringing it all together is the easy part!
George Fischer is Vice President of Earned & Emerging Media at Response Mine Interactive, an online marketing agency specializing in customer acquisition strategies, and effective lead generation strategies. In his leadership role, he is responsible for the revenue and profitability growth of RMI’s organic search, content marketing, social media, and native advertising offerings. In an ever-changing digital landscape, George helps clients evolve their earned media strategies to drive incremental revenue and acquire new customers. He brings true industry thought leadership and expertise to RMI clients, having authored some of the industry’s most popular content. George has a proven track record of delivering award winning results for industry leaders such as Carter’s/OshKosh B’Gosh, SPANX, Liberty Medical, Navy Federal, Terminix, Trugreen, and The Home Depot.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
A concrete strategy.
Businesses need to identify one or two key objectives to base all of their efforts on. They need to target a specific group of people and have clear goals. Content marketing fails when there is no set strategy or when the strategy is too loose. The purpose of content marketing is to bridge the gap between the business and the consumer-to make the consumer trust and engage with your brand. And without clearly identifying who your audience is and what you are hoping to achieve, your business will not succeed in content marketing.
Matthew Sommer is the COO of Brolik, a digital agency focused on web design, digital strategy, branding and video. As COO, Matt handles all of the day to day operations at Brolik, ensuring that the team has the resources and tools needed to grow and streamline internal processes. Matt also leads digital strategy projects, helping to guide research and optimization for ongoing campaigns.
The only way to successfully market your content, and a habit that successful content marketers have in common, is to…
Jump right into the community and get involved.
I see far too many businesses trying to push their content in from the outside, when it’s far easier and more effective to become active in the community and push out from the inside. Not only does this allow you to grow trust and good will with the community that you want to help you amplify your content, but it also provides you a much better perspective on what type of content or topics the community is interested. Don’t stay isolated behind your computer screen! Get your swim trunks on and come on in, the water’s fine!
Frances Reimers is the Director of Corporate Visibility at PCI, an award-winning marketing agency serving national and regional corporate, not-for-profit, and government clients from our Washington, DC area headquarters. PCI specializes in audience engagement, helping clients achieve their goals through powerful communications strategies and solutions.
The most successful content marketers are those who are able to…
Develop an arc amongst all of their outreach material.
It’s not just about propelling your brand, but weaving a narrative throughout all of your work that truly demonstrates your value proposition. That way when someone receives your piece they aren’t just engaging with a one-off, but a small part of a larger body of knowledge.
Simon Slade is CEO and Co-Founder of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal with 230,000 members and over 100 free video lessons, many of which focus on how to successfully employ content marketing to support your e-commerce business.
The most successful content marketers make their primary goal to…
Inform and help their customers.
Yes, we engage in content marketing to increase sales, but if you allow that to be the focus of your content, potential customers will think you are there solely for your own benefit and won’t trust you as a credible source. On the flip side, if your primary focus is providing quality content that potential customers can use and benefit from, you’ll earn their loyalty and trust, and sales will naturally follow.
Jacob Baldwin is the Global Manager of Digital Marketing at Emerson Climate Technologies. Over the past several years, he has been recognized as an emerging expert in the field of digital marketing, speaking at multiple national industry conferences and contributing to numerous notable industry publications.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketers is…
A solid, tested, and verified customer theory.
A customer theory represents a collection of thoughts, feelings, understandings, and assumptions about your customers’ rationale and factors that influence decision making processes, however minor or major. Whether it’s a conscious decision to open an email or make a purchase. If content marketers understand what makes their audiences tick – that is – if they know what they care about, what they’re interested in, and what information they want, the marketer will be more likely to craft wildly successful campaigns than someone who simply got lucky.
Alexis Grant is Innovator-in-Chief of Socialexis, a content marketing firm that specializes in managing blogs.
I run a small content marketing firm that specializes in managing blogs. When people ask me what they need to do to be successful with content marketing, I don’t tell them to be consistent about one thing, I tell them…
To be consistent, period.
All the successful brands offer value on a consistent basis, week after week after week, without big lags, so their readers expect to hear from them and want to hear from them.
If they know they’ll get something awesome when they visit your site, they’ll come back. They’ll open your emails. They’ll click through on Facebook. That consistency is essentially following through on your promise to your readers, that you’ll continue to help them over time.
King Hill is a Senior VP and Digital Strategist with Marcus Thomas LLC, a marketing communications agency with offices in Cleveland and Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2014, Marcus Thomas was recognized in the Content Marketing Awards as one of the world¹s top eight content marketing firms, for its work for Sherwin-Williams Diversified Brands.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketers is they…
Always align what they have to offer, their content, with the changing needs of the marketplace; for them, it’s a conversation responding to the ebb and flow of the marketplace.
Vladimir Gendelman is Founder and CEO of Company Folders, an innovative presentation folder printing company.
We’ve been incredibly successful at marketing our content, particularly on social media. Our blog gets over 125,000 visitors each month. We attribute our success to the following habits:
Maire McMahon is a Senior Account Executive at 10 Squared, a full-service marketing communications agency based in Atlanta, GA specializing in fashion, beauty lifestyle and entertainment brands.
Through my experience both first-hand and through constant trend analysis of the marketing industry, the #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Storytelling. Tell a story that people will actually care about. Thats all.
“Content is anything that adds value to the readers life.” – Avinash Kaushik
George Potts is Vice-President, Director of Social Media at the advertising agency Brunner, and is the leader of the agency’s social media discipline, comprised of cross-functional teams from advertising creative, public relations, media, and digital, all focused on delivering social media ideas and solutions that further client goals. He advocates a “social by design” philosophy, that begins with consumer insights and from there, applies social engagement strategies and tactics that will drive content virality and increase brands’ social currency. Potts’ national brand experience includes: Aquafresh, Bob Evans, College Inn, Cub Cadet, Del Monte, DeVry University, Mattel, Nestle Drumstick, Olympic Paints & Stains, Skinny Cow, Stouffer’s, TUMS and Zippo, among others.
Successful content marketers’ number one habit is…
Not constantly talking about themselves.
If your sole focus has been promotional content, then it’s time you widen your mission, to what is sometimes called brand publishing..
Think about it like a cocktail party. If all you do is talk about how great you are, you will be seen as a jerk. A business participating in content marketing is no different.
Your business, your brand, needs to credibly tap into your fans’ and followers’ the broader interests. Find content beyond your product or service that will they find compelling… and that they will welcome coming from your business. Operate like a magazine publisher does. Establish a publishing mission and content pillars. What will you help your readers do or achieve? What content will achieve these goals? Are you sincere in offering this content to its readers?
Successful content marketers use this type of approach to drive social awareness of their business. And, by tapping into their market’s broader interests, to raise consideration of their business over others in their category.
Carly Fauth is the Director of Marketing & Outreach for MoneyCrashers.com, an online community for people striving to make financially sound decisions.
The number one habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
To focus on high quality content.
There are too many other facets of content marketing such as identifying your target audience and promoting your content that lots of folks think that just throwing content of any sort of quality is OK
as long as you’re taking all the other steps. That is simply incorrect.
You need to invest as much time in creating your content as you do everything else – your articles should have compelling titles with attention-grabbing openings, your content overall should be brief and concise, and you should focus on stuff that is of interest to your audience that they might not be able to find anywhere else. When you make content creation Point #1 and then move on to all the rest, your chance of success do go up.
Jason Parks is Owner of The Media Captain, a Columbus digital marketing agency focused on creative and result-driven solutions for companies of all sizes.
The most important habit of a highly successful content marketing campaign is…
A stellar strategy that will drive the content.
A great idea behind a campaign is what will entice people to read and share the content. Regardless of how much time is spent on content marketing, if you don’t create great material, you will not be successful. This is why the strategy is crucial.
Holly Rollins is the Founder and CEO of 10-x Group, a full-service content marketing and PR agency, and has more than 20 years experience in marketing and public relations. As 10-x Group CEO for 12 years, she has created successful content marketing and digital marketing/PR for diverse sectors–from national to regional clients. She and her seasoned team know the foundation for marketing and PR success and the perfect balance for integrating these best practices with content marketing to make companies STAND OUT. Learn more about Holly and her work on her blog www.hollymrollins.com.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns (ie what do businesses that have success with content marketing do well consistently) is…
They feature relevant, compelling (and strategic) content to their target audiences’ prime social channels (or the social media channels of greatest influence for their target markets).
Blaise Lucey is the Content Marketing Manager for Movable Ink, a real-time email marketing platform. He’s in charge of creating content that helps customers and prospects better understand how Movable Ink can work for them, as well as keeping tabs on the latest developments in the contextual marketing space.
When creating a content marketing campaign, successful businesses always make sure that…
None of the content is a dead end.
That means creating content that always has a next step and a call-to-action. If you have a blog post, for example, it should have a call-to-action to a gated piece of content like an eBook, a research report, or a webinar. Premium content like eBooks and webinars should invite people to sign up for a demo, an email address, or something else that continues the dialogue.
Swetha Venkataramani is Content Marketing Associate at 9Lenses, Inc., the first enterprise SaaS platform that has productized the process of capturing insights of employees & customers, accelerating and automating how companies move from human insights to value-creating actions. Swetha started her career as a journalist in the United Kingdom and in India, before moving into a content writer role in the PR industry. Since then her passion for content marketing steadily grew, and she has had the opportunity to work with non-profits both as a writer and marketer, with special focus on social media marketing.
Most people believe that content marketing is mostly about creating content and marketing it. But, truly successful content marketers, content marketing teams, and content marketing campaigns have one habit in common…
They are constantly learning!
The most successful campaigns have the ability to engage the audience, get the audience to interact, and learn from what the audience is saying. Based on the responses from the audience, a campaign can further be fine-tuned for the better and will also have a better chance to grow organically. In my team, we constantly improve our content and content marketing campaigns based of what we learn from our audience’s response (and sometimes the lack of response!)
Contrary to the popular belief, the best content doesn’t just come from good writing, but is also rooted in the amount of listening and learning that happens before the actual content is produced.
Campbell Macdonald is CEO and a Founder at Pathful which shows marketers the business impact that content marketing has along the customer journey.
The number #1 habit of highly successful campaigns is just that:
They are a habit.
Too often, content marketing is thought of as a one-off project and not a program that requires a commitment. Content is a long term investment that pays dividends, but not in the short term. So successful campaigns are not normally the result of a stroke of genius. Rather they are normally the result of:
Not sexy, but simple and highly repeatable.
Barney Cohen is the President and CEO of Business 360 Northwest, a business consulting firm that provides a wide array of business services to help you grow your business. He has more than 40 years of experience in starting and operating businesses. From a single retail record store, Barney built one of the largest wholesalers of prerecorded music in the world. He specializes in helping businesses manage their growth and take their business to the next level.
By far the most important aspect of content marketing and a habit that the most successful campaigns have in common is…
Many businesses focus on the quality of the content, and certainly that’s important. But if you are not consistent in getting content out, it will be impossible to gain a following. Consistency suggests that you are committed to your business and on top of your game. Inconsistency suggests the opposite.
Once you gain a following that is reading your content – such as a blog or newsletter – those followers will expect to see your material. If you are consistent, in all likelihood, they will continue to follow you, and if you’re not consistent, they will stop following you. It’s really as simple as that.
You get to decide what is consistent for you. It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week. For me, I blog twice a week and send out a newsletter once a month. That feels like the right frequency for my followers.
Marci Hansen is a Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at SheerID, the leading eligibility verification servic provider. Marci has over 15 years of marketing experience. Before co-founding SheerID, she served as Vice President of Marketing at Palo Alto Software and Crafts Americana Group where she created content-based marketing strategies. She also created innovative marketing campaigns in her positions at Dotster, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Amazon.com, and Eddie Bauer. Marci was rewarded for her work with the Guerilla Marketer of the Year award from Brandweek magazine in 2006 for her efforts on peta2, the youth marketing campaign of PETA.
Since our clients want to reach very specific markets like college students, military personnel, and teachers with exclusive offers, we had to find a way to receive insight into these target audiences to capture the attention of companies that would be interested in SheerID’s eligibility verification services. We discovered that the key to creating successful content marketing campaigns was through…
Publishing data that nobody else had. In our case, we did this by hosting our own surveys.
Not only do we get inside information for what these audiences want, but the data has inspired press releases, blog posts, videos,landing pages, infographics, and white papers. With our survey results being displayed many different forms of media, we have even found that journalists are citing SheerID as a source when they use our data on students, teachers and military members – helping to cement our reputation as thought leaders.
Overall, surveys have played a vital role in helping us to create popular content and successful content marketing campaigns. Conducting surveys is habit-forming. We now survey college students, military families, and teachers regularly.
Jayme Pretzloff is the Director of Marketing for Wixon Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN, a luxury retailer of high-end jewelry and watches that is the premier luxury jeweler in the Midwest. Pretzloff has been recognized as one of the nation’s top new media marketers under the age of 30 for his innovative digital marketing methods. He has worked in small business marketing for the past seven years in various capacities, including management and consulting of marketing activities.
In my opinion, the most important thing a marketer should know, and strive to make into a habit, is that…
Being useful to your followers is crucial for engaging an audience.
This genuine approach enables business owners to save time because they’re not generating loads of crap content to engage their audience… one well thought out post will bring more engagement than 10 terrible posts.
Content marketing and social media are perfect for one another and they are powerful when combined. I have found that one of the best uses of social media is to be useful to your followers by giving them content that they enjoy seeing in their social media feeds. Not only will you see engagement levels go up, but conversions as well. You need to be inherently useful to your followers. Not just kind of useful but truly useful and they will keep you close to them. These social platforms are unprecedented because they put businesses and their friends together and their friends aren’t constantly trying to sell to them, so you shouldn’t either.
Give them something that is useful to them, and they’ll be happy to complete a lead capture form, subscribe to your e-mail list or follow you on social networks. These permission based marketing vehicles allow small businesses to continually engage with these potential clients and win business.
Nikolas Allen, author of “Heavyweight Marketing – Knockout Strategies for Building Champion Brands,” has enjoyed a 20-year love affair with advertising.
I can think of a few good habits of successful content marketers, but if I had to choose one I would say it’s…
Producing Relevant Content.
The content being produced (regardless of media) needs to resonate with the wants, needs and desires of the target audience. Marketers need to understand what is most relevant to their consumers and deliver what’s expected. Is it education? Humor? Discounts and deals? Brand stories? Engaging narrative?
An example: I produce marketing content for a solar company. I’ve shot over 2 dozen solar-education videos for our audience. Many address very specific tech problems (i.e., only relevant to a niche market) and the analytics are decent, with the higher numbers accumulating slowly over time. However, the most recent video addresses a more general Solar 101-type topic and has received over 1,600 views in 10 days and counting. The takeaway for me was to focus more on the topics our audience is hungry for. In short, give ’em what they want!
Katie Bisson is the Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Technology Seed, a managed IT service provider in New Hampshire. She has a background in Public Relations with a passion for digital marketing and strategy. When not in the office you can find her at local networking events promoting Technology Seed.
What really makes someone successful in content marketing, and who do I follow? There was one clear answer that came to mind, and those are…
People who share their content are the most successful.
Content creation is not as successful as before. To be well known for content a business cannot just post it one their blog and expect to reap benefits anymore. It is essential to share your content to be successful.
If you think about companies that generate content many of them are sharing the information on social sites including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. When you create content you need to share it on the variety of platforms to increase its visibility, and you also need to provide avenues for others to share as well, this includes adding social share buttons to the blog. Overall, the more you promote your content and leverage it, the better your content will rank.
I think the #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Reaching out to influencers in their niche.
By influencers, I mean people who are successful and popular in their field.
Sounds easy at first but this involves a lot of things such as getting theattention of that person through continuous engagement and value provision. Content marketers usually start out with a blog comment then with a tweetand share of the influencer’s article(s), all the way up to finally being able to land a guest post on the influencer’s blog.
Content marketing is all about getting your content out there – to theright audience. The fastest, most sensible way to do that is to get it out in front of an influential person’s tribe.
Kelly Howard is the Content Marketing Specialist at Tower Marketing. She is responsible for creating content of all kinds for clients in the financial, education, construction and pest control industries. Kelly readily accepts the challenge of presenting (sometimes) complex information in a way that people can understand, and, hopefully, will want to share!
One of the top habits of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Our search engine marketing team handles content planning in 3 phases: yearly, monthly, and trending. Without this constant cycle of content planning, we’d never be able to support the #1 habit of consistency. Because there is nothing worse in content marketing than having no topic to write or speak about.
Yearly we take a look at the big picture and plot out annual events or topics we want to highlight – Website Audit Month, Social Media Week, or National Donut Day. On a monthly basis we get more granular by scheduling out our content for the following month, assigning a topic and focus keyword and deciding on the appropriate content type. In addition, we keep an eye on trending topics so that we’re able to add a blog post or newsletter as necessary.
Takeaway :: In your yearly planning session, plot out highlights for each month of the year. Is a new product launching? When are the major industry events happening? Focus monthly planning for scheduling your content for the following month. Additionally, hold weekly or daily check-ins with your team to touch on what’s trending in your industry and add these topics into the mix.
Kevin Tumlinson is the Wordslinger—Author, Blogger, and Host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Much of his career has been in copywriting and content development, for clients such as ExxonMobil, Sysco Foods, HP, Jiffy Lube, Cameron, and Aggreko. Every week he interviews leading experts and entrepreneurs on his podcast, and coaches hundreds of would-be free-range humans to write their books or start careers they actually own, all while wearing no pants whatsoever.
The key to successful content marketing is…
Understanding that it’s a conversation, not a broadcast.
You hear the analogy of a cocktail party all the time—if you were at a party you wouldn’t constantly interject an offer for your product or services, you’d try to keep an actual, relevant conversation going. That’s what the landscape looks like online. We’re all in one big conversation, and all the attention goes to the one who has the most value to add. And that value comes from focus and consistency. Produce good content—content that actually has meaning and value for your audience—and do it every day.
That sounds daunting. But the truth is, you don’t have to aim for epic with every blog post or viral with every tweet or Facebook post. You only have to aim for adding to the conversation in a meaningful way. Which means you’re actually doing *less work.* All you have to do is listen to the conversation that’s already happening, and start adding more value and meaning to it. Also, think long-term, long-tail, and big picture, not immediate and instant results. The business that keeps the conversation going gets the prize—the attention of their potential customers. They’ll be a lot more receptive to offers if they think of you as a valuable source of information *first*.
Erika Goldwater is Vice President, Marketing CIPP/US at ANNUITAS, a Demand Generation strategy firm that specializes in content marketing strategy, and has over 15 years of B2B marketing, public relations and demand generation expertise. At ANNUITAS Erika manages the all aspects of marketing including demand generation, content marketing, social media and public relations helping to build pipeline and drive results for the ANNUITAS team. Prior to ANNUITAS Erika was the strategic and partner accounts manager at Eloqua.
What is the #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns (ie what do businesses that have success with content marketing do well consistently)?
Businesses that succeed in content marketing know their buyers inside and out.
Conducting intense interviews with customers and non-customers, in addition to conducting industry research to understand your buyer’s pain points, where they seek information, how they consume information and what sources they deem valuable helps to build a solid understanding of what your buyer needs and wants. Armed with that information, organizations can build highly effective content. Without knowing everything about your buyer- your content doesn’t stand a chance of connecting with them and your efforts are wasted.
Trent Erwin is the co-owner of Genesis Net Development, a growing online marketing agency in the U.S., and avid blogger of online marketing strategies.
The #1 successful habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns, and the people who execute them, is…
To answer customer/client’s questions, hands down.
When someone searches online for anything they are searching for an answer – an answer to a need, to a question, to questions they didn’t even know they had, to clarify understanding and so on. If a website doesn’t provide an answer of some sort, then it doesn’t provide the value a searcher is looking for (even though the searcher may not know why they clicked away from a website).
A business needs to answer questions related to cost, to product/service features, to potential fears, to drawbacks, to misunderstandings and to specific inquiries. If a business doesn’t know which questions to answer, all they have to do is ask their customer/client audience what their questions are and whether they’re being answered or not. Also, you can search online to see if people are answering questions in your industry and determine how you can answer questions better than your competitors. That’s when a business begins to win.
Samantha Johnson is Media Director at advertising agency TDA_Boulder, and is responsible for accounts including FirstBank, General Mills, Daiya, Deschutes Brewery, Newton Running, French’s (condiments), Noodles & Company and Patagonia. Previously, she was communications director at Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, where her work included the launches of the Toyota Tundra and Toyota Prius, the car manufacturer’s two most successful launches ever. She was also recently named a “Working Mother of the Year“ by the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY).
The #1 successful habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Consistent focus on the consumer.
Just because you build the content doesn’t mean ‘they will come.’ Brands need, and for the most part, realize they need, a clear strategy for how to amplify that content. They go astray when they make their own product the center of that strategy.
No. The key is the consumer. There is so much power to be harnessed by knowing your consumer and putting her at the center of your content ecosystem. Because the next step after that, the crucial step, is to customize the journey of how your content will reach its intended audience… at the right time and in the right, relevant environment. Consumers don’t necessarily want to be led to your content; they want to discover it. Successful content promoters need to know how to put their content where their customer will find it, ‘on her own.’
Where is that? Consumers’ engagement patterns are continuously evolving, based on the hundreds and thousands of media platforms and channels available to them. That is why the paid, owned and earned media model has produced very effective content marketing campaigns. It’s flexible. It works no matter how high—or low—your consumer’s level of engagement. It lets you customize the amplification, platform by platform, based on how your consumer uses those platforms (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.). And then, assuming you’ve made your content shareable, it lets your customers’ own engagement and interaction be the engine that allows that amplification to continue.
Red Bull could be the poster child for effective and successful content promotion…to the right audience and beyond. They know their market, and they consistently deliver relevant content that feeds that maket’s passion for living a life with or without wings.
Marin Perez is a former tech journalist who is now Content Manager at Bluenose, a Customer Success Platform for SaaS businesses. He believes that great content can connect people in meaningful ways.
When establishing our content strategy, I’ve taken my foundational pillars from Newscred which I believe contain habits of all highly successful campaigns…
1. Make content your audience wants.
Sounds like common sense but to really get this, this involves knowing your key buying personas, doing keyword research, competitive analysis, as well as incorporating the feedback from your go-to-market team.
Once you know who your audience is and what they want, it becomes easier to give your content program scope.
2. Treat content as an asset.
This also includes treating content as an asset with ROI. Be strategic about how often you can slice and dice your content to repackage it for different channels while still delivering value. For example, at the Bluenose Customer Success Blog, every single blog is utilized in email campaigns and social media. Furthermore, the majority of blogs will be repacked for eBooks, whitepapers or physical handouts at events.
Unfortunately, with a high-tough product like ours, it’s not quite as simple as customer reads blogs, then customer buys. Instead, we track these touch points and weight them accordingly in the overall buyer’s journey. We still have a lot of work to do in that regard but we’re focused on being able to prove the immediate and compounding returns of content marketing.
3. Think and act like a publisher.
This is a part that can often be tough. Everybody can put together an editorial calendar but actually executing that well is the tough part. Like any good publisher, you must produce your content at a reliable cadence and you must have your own unique voice. Like a modern publisher, content marketers also have to be aware of SEO, social channels and experiment with new distribution channels.
Jordan Milewski is the Director of Communications for Social Firestarter, LLC, a rapidly growing internet marketing company.
Highly successful content marketing campaigns have one thing in common…
They all use a variety of writing styles that are not only informative, but tug at the hearts of the reader so to speak.
We work with attorneys, and most of their clients have been or feel like they have been wronged in one way or another, so writing to their client’s emotions proves to be extremely successful. Also, when writing content for blog posts, then information needs to have a log shelf life; meaning, the info/statistic used needs to still have worth 10 years from the day it was written, otherwise, readers will see it as worthless.
Lastly, the content needs to be interesting and useful. We tend to write content that deems useful to our clients’ clients in their everyday lives which also grabs the attention of readers.
Benjamin Goldman is the Co-Founder of Agency 2625, a content marketing agency focusing on commercial microcontent.
As an owner of a content marketing agency as well as former admin to a Facebook group with 650,000 followers I can say my #1 strategy is split 2 ways:
If your goal is to build your audience, produce lots of graphic (memes, videos, gifs) content that can be easily shared and linked back to you and post them 3-15 times daily. If it is good enough, you will begin seeing growth.
If your goal is to engage, write meaningful articles (3 paragraphs) 2-3 times daily. Either option is fine, but make sure you post consistently, not once every 2-3 weeks.
Donna Childress is a Writer and Communications Strategist at Yoko Co and Principal at Childress Communications, LLC which she founded in 2001. Previously, she was an editor for highly targeted direct marketing e-mails for 9 million subscribers at LifeMinders, Inc. and a writer and webmaster for Jaffe Associates and its national law firm clients. In her work, she provides high-level strategy and writing to spark change for people and planet. With a focus on online communications, she primarily serves nonprofits, governments, and mission-based businesses. Her work has served AARP, American Forest Foundation, National Confectioners Association, National Council on Aging, National Association for Area Agencies on Aging, U.S. Department of the Navy, and many others.
The #1 successful habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Marrying content to emotion, so the reader isn’t getting just information, but a nod to lifestyle or a tug on the heartstrings. Patagonia does this well, with photos of wild landscapes or people adventuring in almost every piece.
Alex Birkett is the Marketing & PR Manager for Do Amore, a jewelry company that provides two people with water for life for every ring sold.
Not all content marketing campaigns have the same goals, so it makes sense that they don’t all have the same tactics. However, the #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns – the one you have to follow if you want results – is…
To provide value. That’s it.
See, we’re an e-commerce site essentially, so we don’t care about page views. We care about conversions. Therefore, our content is centered around answering questions, educating potential customers, and telling our unique story. There are certainly ways we could create sensationalized viral content to bring in pageviews, but that doesn’t help the bottom line, just our egos.
Hope Katz Gibbs is the Author of “PR Rules: The Playbook — The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business”. A journalist, publicist, author, and entrepreneur, Hope is the Founder of Inkandescent Public Relations, a PR firm for entrepreneurs; and the publisher of Be Inkandescent — a monthly business magazine for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, that gets more than 1 million visits/month. She has been a reporter since graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986, writing for publications including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Miami Herald, Costco Connection, among others, and has won nearly a dozen awards for feature writing, and newsletter writing.
The most important habit of successful content campaigns is…
To tell a gripping story that educates your audience.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only thing that matters when it comes to content campaigns. If you can teach a reader something they need to know about their business, their lives, their kids, their future …. they’ll come for more. And that’s the key to a successful PR and marketing campaign. To be the go-to source for great information. That’s what builds your reputation.
Zach Hammer is the Marketing Director of The Snyder Group: Team Driven Real Estate, a team of Real Estate professionals specializing in all aspects of the Las Vegas residential market.
The number one habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Keeping it simple and going back to the basics. Here are a couple important ideas to keep in mind when marketing:
This is where content upgrades and CTAs talking about your email list or new product come into play.
Neha Mittal is the Head of Strategy and Business Development at Arrow Devices, a company that provides Verification, Debug and Validation products and services for ASIC/SOC development to corporations globally.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns, or what businesses that have success with content marketing do well consistently is…
They realize that you need to constantly experiment and measure results.
Keep looking for trends/themes that are consistently over performing and create more content around it. Have a content creation plan and ensure all content writers are submitting their creatives in time. This also ensures a consistent regular posting schedule.
Tim Fehraydinov is an online marketer at Texterra web agency, a leading agency in Russia specializing in full service online marketing.
Here in our agency we have one most important rule that I believe is a habit of many highly successful campaigns:
Show no remorse to poor content.
What exactly do I mean? Well, content is king, and we don’t want our king to be dressed as a beggar. Our editors review each piece of content we make, and if they find a single little mistake or something confusing, then it should be fixed immediately.
Being a copywriter in our agency is one of the hardest things I know. We hold weekly meetings in our office where we discuss new texts. If it’s not shiny perfect, then it should be rewritten. Such meetings can be very tough – hot argues never stop. Just like we have a show no remorse rule, there is one more rule for meetings – no personal insults. Anything that is not a personal insult is allowed. It’s rude, but it works.
Megan Bozman is Director of Marketing at Verne Global, a provider of smart data center solutions. Megan is responsible for creating content and messaging as well as market research and analysis. Over the past fifteen years, Megan has held roles in product marketing, content marketing, and sales for various B2B technology companies.
When it comes to the top habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns, first thing that comes to mind is…
Trying to leverage content in as many formats and platforms.
Make sure you’re able to present it in a wide variety of ways, of different formats, durations and lengths so people are able to consume it the way they want, and dive deeper if desired.
Dan Kaminsky is the CEO and Co-Founder of homeadnet.com. HOMEADNET (home ad•net) is a website and social media marketing hub for Real Estate agents and brokers. Members get a full suite of tools including a website builder, blogger, property listings manager, map search, social media syndication and access to HOMEADNET’s internal Real Estate social network.
I believe the number one habit of highly successful content marketers gets rolled into three parts:
Knowledge, consistency and engagement.
We practised this method and drove our first 1000 subscribers without investing a single dollar into advertising. We worked very hard and continue to work hard on our content marketing through blogs and videos.
Brittany Berger is the Digital Content Supervisor at eZanga.com, a search engine and online advertising company. Learn more about Brittany and her work at www.brittanyberger.com.
Any business finding success from content marketing has the habit of…
Putting their customer at the forefront.
They don’t go into the creation process thinking, What would be a cool post? or What do I want to write about? They start out thinking, How can we help our customers? You can’t think of what kind of content would be great in general terms – you need to think specifically about your buyer personas.
It doesn’t matter how cool and idea is or how well it’s executed, if your target customer can’t find value in it. The content may get decent traffic or social shares, but in the end, it won’t benefit your business if it can’t lead someone through the company’s funnel.
Jason Fisher is the Owner of BestLifeRates.org, an independent and consumer review site for insurance.
By far the greatest habit any content marketer could develop is…
Focus on a topic.
By this, I mean each work being created with an exact purpose. Bumbling, rambling articles serve no purpose, nor do articles on 10 different topics, no matter their depth. Keep a sharp eye on the reader at all times, being sure to ask yourself all possible questions about that article, and answer them directly in the work. If you can create content which adds immediate value, focuses on the reader, doesn’t stray and answers all his questions, there’s no reason he’ll need to go elsewhere.
Steve Mintz is Founder of CLM Prescriptives LLC, a strategic marketing consultancy helping firms to diagnose the ailments impacting their Marketing strategy and prescribing solutions to drive growth in revenue and retention. A marketing executive with over 20 years of CRM, content, customer lifecycle, direct and digital marketing expertise, Steve leverages customer data to derive actionable insights to optimize marketing response and increase revenue, retention and satisfaction.
Highly successful content marketers have the habit of…
Creating content that can be repackaged and/or repurposed.
They are able to get more from their investment by creating content that can be used many different times in many different channels. So while you may have a Research Report on a topic, can you repurpose that into a White Paper? Break the White Paper out into many different blog posts, or provide it in powerpoint for use in sales presentations or webinars? Can you create a script of that same content that you can then use in a podcast? Incorporate the script and the graphics from the prior examples into videos. Of course, you can also work backwards with your smaller content, combining blog posts/podcasts/presentations/webinars into larger format White Papers and research Reports.
And as you create and post content, ensure you are promoting appropriately via social media, website, sales and service, to name a few.
Megan Durham is the CTO of Agile Impact, an online brand management agency, and is the company’s Jill-of-all-trades and general problem-solver. She is hard at work at absorbing the internet into her brain in its entirety.
In our experience at Agile Impact, we’ve found that the number one habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Fostering engagement with a clearly defined audience.
For example, one of our clients wanted to promote their brand of alcoholic beverages. It wasn’t enough for the brand to just talk about how great their product was; they had to find a way to provide value to and entertain their target audience, encouraging engagement—and all the while increasing overall brand recognition.
Their campaign really took off once we’d worked out a content strategy that defined their desired audience and how to engage with them. In this case, the target audience turned out to be young women interested in hosting parties and socializing, and the best opportunity to engage with them was by sharing recipes and party tips.
In particular, our keyword research revealed that focusing on recipes for alcoholic punch in different colors for different events was a big opportunity that the brand could take advantage of. Overall, the campaign was a great success!
Saurav Rimal is the SEO Director of Silverback Strategies, a high-touch search engine marketing firm located in the Washington, DC Metro Area and serving customers nationwide.
For me the # 1 habit for content marketing success is…
To write to help the audience. However, the content will need support with a strong promotional plan to reach the audience.
Jennifer Garcia is Partner & CEO of Red Bamboo Marketing, a boutique marketing agency. Strategic to the core, Jennifer Garcia knows how to seize opportunity from every angle. Her extensive marketing experience fuels her ability to rouse the best talents from the world’s most brilliant brand thinkers, leaders, and communicators, which is how she catalyzed major transformations for major players-from Nokia to Hilton Hotels.
For me there is not just one thing that leads to success in content marketing – here are few things that stand out for me:
Giancarlo Massaro is Co-Founder of ViralSweep, a service that provides brands with the tools they need to run their own social promotions.
Businesses that have highly successful content marketing campaigns are not successful because they are good at promoting their content; they’re successful because…
Their content is high quality content that people want to consume.
To give you an example, our Advanced Guide To Sweepstakes has been wildly successful for us because of the depth of knowledge and information that it provides our customers with. It’s not a short 1,000 word blog post on how to run a sweepstakes. Instead, it’s an in-depth and interactive guide (over 12,000 words) with great visuals, and easy to understand content that educates people on how to run a promotion from beginning to end (planning, set up, building, marketing).
Brandi Starr is the President and Marketing Strategist of Cassius Blue Consulting, a strategy-first, inbound marketing agency helping personal and professional service businesses transform and automate the way they do marketing. In her work, Brandi helps entrepreneurs who are overwhelmed by marketing and struggling to increase their revenue to devise and implement a magnetic marketing strategy so that they can attract leads, convert them and increase their bottom line.
The most successful content marketing campaigns are those that…
Have a solid follow up plan.
Most content efforts trade a piece of content for an email address, some offer content inexpensively as an introductory offer. Whether offering free or paid content without a well-developed (and automated) follow up plan in place you will generate lots of interest but very little revenue.
I recommend mapping your content development to the different steps in your buyer’s journey and then developing a follow up series of communications to guide your potential customers down the path to purchase (and re-purchase).
Alexander Ruggie is the PR Director for 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in water damage and disaster recovery solutions.
I would have to say that the most critical part of content marketing is creating the habit of…
Content creation is only half of the job, the rest is getting that content placed in a publication that benefits the company originating the content in the first place.
The content obviously has to be informative, fun or preferably both, but after that it really amounts to constant follow-up and tracking with these endeavors. It’s highly likely that the sources you are pitching to are very busy people and in this industry the loudest voice usually gets taken care of first.
Mansi Goel is Chief Content Strategist for Digital Marketing Firm, WiseCalvin.com.
The one thing which businesses who are successful with content marketing do well consistently is…
Stay consistent with all their efforts.
Now, that could be applicable to the success of any business around the globe. But what sets successful content marketing experts distinct from the crowd is that they are forever on Research and Analytics mode.
They read and go through everything twice, even if it is a single Facebook post, a headline or some random Twitter card – first time as a viewer, and second time, as a researcher. Then they’d breakdown its elements (copy, CTA, design, colors, etc.) to find out what engaged them, and what didn’t.
To them, it hardly matters if the outcome is good or bad, they’ll keep a copy (or screenshot) of it, as a reminder and later, use it to enrich their content or their work process.
A consistent Research and Analysis (R&A) is essential to cover milestones after milestones in the ever-developing field of content marketing.
Liz Mazzei is an Independent Marketing Consultant for Small Businesses in NYC. With over 7+ years of marketing experience at tech start-ups, Liz’s expertise lies in digital marketing, SEO, brand strategy, community management, event and partnership marketing, email marketing, content development, and social media. Liz has a background in marketing and product analysis for startups across various industries and is the former Communications & PR Director of the New York State Restaurant Association. A self proclaimed nerd when it comes to marketing and technology, Liz is the co-founder of PlannerTech (now TechsyTalk), the leading technology event for event planners and entrepreneurs, and founder of Honey & Nonno, an online community dedicated to food, family, and traditions. Learn more about Liz and her work at lizmazzei.com.
Business that have success with content marketing consistently have the habit of…
Delivering relevant and actionable information to their target audience.
Identifying who their audience is, what they need, and how they want to use the information is key. Its not just about writing good commentary or telling a good story, successful content marketing campaigns drive actions and engagement to DO not just THINK with the last step in the campaign to convert as a customer.
Joseph Hirschhorn Howard is the Senior Marketing Manager at Masslight, a mobile and web app development agency in Washington, DC that has successfully been in business for over 15 years.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketers is…
They constantly prioritize empathy.
When you have a really engaging conversation with someone, you start to associate feelings like trust with them. The most successful websites do the same thing with their content – when people read the what they’ve written, it really resonates with them and creates a feeling of trust. When that potential customers comes back to invest in the company’s product or service, that feeling of trust they’ve already developed makes it easy for them to make the purchase.
Scott Rogerson is the CEO of Community Elf, a uniquely positioned technology-enabled content marketing company simplifying the efforts of both B2B and B2C clients in implementing their content marketing strategies. Scott became the company’s CEO in November 2014. Previously, he worked with private investment firm Oakhill Equity, where he was co-founder and managing director. Prior to that, he worked in the consulting field for The Hill Group Inc. and Protiviti Inc., advising Fortune 500 companies on strategy development and operations improvement.
While there are many aspects that create a successful content marketing campaign, the one that is the least represented is…
The idea of consistency.
A main challenge we find across many of our clients (especially those with smaller staffs and budgets) is consistency. The organization may be very active for a bit and then fall off the map for a while – leaving the audience they were able to engage thinking you broke up with them. Search engines have also picked up on the value of consistency of content (Google Hummingbird in 2013) and has incorporated this into determining where your content will appear in search result rankings.
Allison Maloney is the VP of Marketing for Community Elf where she is developing, managing and executing marketing strategies, including content and inbound marketing programs, as well as writing and producing all marketing and sales materials. Prior to Community Elf, she was Manager of Content Marketing for NM Incite, a joint venture between Nielsen and McKinsey & Company.
The absolute #1 habit of a highly successful content marketing campaign is…
Understanding your audience.
It’s of paramount importance to know what makes them tick, what interests them, how much they know about your industry and what their needs are that you can fulfill. If your content does not address the right information, it won’t be interesting to your target audience and you will never fill the lead funnel.
Abbey Finch is the Owner of ScribeSpace, a digital marketing consulting and copywriting agency. She helps businesses devise digital marketing and content marketing strategies that work.
The number one tip/habit that I’ve seen to be effective for marketing campaigns is…
Actually offering content people want.
So many people waste content marketing on self-promotion and uninteresting content, instead of offering materials that are funny, informative, and worthwhile. Many people fail to address the concern: what do people actually want? What does my customer base really need?
I see many entrepreneurs making the mistake of using content market as a platform to brag about themselves or give useless updates about their company. That’s just not what people want. They need to be educated, they want a laugh, or they want something that is inspiring or heart warming.
Your worthwhile content should be a mix of different mediums too- business owners need to get into the habit of varying the types of content they offer: written, visual, and videos.
Luke Reesis a digital marketing executive at AccuraCast – a London-based search agency – who, as well as producing and promoting content for his clients, writes extensively about technology and trends in the search market industry.
The most successful content marketing campaigns are always…
SEO optimised, especially if the content is targeted towards a highly specialized audience.
The internet is essentially full: content is churned out at a higher rate each day, and so there is always bound to be something already out there which matches, or is at least similar to, the content of your campaign. In order to outrank the general content noise, and to attract the highest quality lead prospects, you need a plan in place which identifies your main keywords, places these within the title, a few times within the content, and of the course within the meta tags. These keywords not only need to be on the main content page, but also in every piece of promotional content that surrounds it, including press releases, social media posts, and blog posts.
In addition, you need to identify a number of synonyms, or similar phrases, for your keywords and to include these in all of the promotional material. If, for example, you produce an accompanying series of blog posts, use these synonyms interchangeably in each post to ensure you get full coverage across the search funnel. If your content is very niche, or is a subject with a very low search volume, adding keyword synonyms ensures you are able to attract and educate those prospects searching for more general content in your field.
Nick Marvik is Founder and CEO of Seattle based Northwest Tech (NWT3K), makers of direct-to-consumer customized winter apparel. NWT3K manufactures and distributes customized waterproof jackets, pants and bibs to outdoor enthusiasts around the world. With facilities throughout Seattle, NWT3K keeps production USA-made and strives to contribute to the growth of Seattle’s apparel manufacturing industry.
Businesses that have repeated success with content marketing initiatives understand that…
It’s not directly about the brand, it’s about the aspirational story you’re telling and how you’re connecting with a given persona.
Lisa Arledge Powell is President of MediaSource, named 2013 and 2014’s Best Health Care PR/Marketing Agency by Ragan Communications and the Top U.S. Content Marketing Firm in 2014 by Clutch. Lisa, a former television news reporter, specializes in brand journalism and works with the nation’s top hospitals and brands to get their message to target audiences. As a journo-turned-PR pro and a member of the PRSA Health Academy, Lisa uses her journalism skills to teach the PR industry the perks of storytelling for a brand.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing experts is focusing on…
Storytelling + targeted media outreach to help drive people to your company owned media channels for more outreach.
For one of our client partners, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, content marketing amplified by targeted media outreach drove so many people to the hospital’s owned media, that the traffic actually crashed their website!
The process and backstory of this campaign:
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center developed a self-administered test, called the SAGE test, that can help spot early symptoms of cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because the test is self-administered, it could be taken virtually anywhere. Our ultimate goal for this content marketing campaign was to use earned media to drive company-owned media from our multimedia story. We wanted to start the buzz with high-quality and high-volume news media coverage via the video that would drive consumers to the medical center’s website to download the test.
Our first key audience was journalists at all levels. We wanted to reach top national news and medical journalists along with reporters and bloggers at niche health outlets and websites. The end audience was the consumer who would see the video and be driven to download the test on the hospital’s website.
Here is what happened on the medical center’s website on the day that media coverage began for the SAGE Test content marketing campaign:
Jeremy Brown is the resident Content Storyteller at Gild, a San Francisco based tech company that’s using data science to change the way companies find, nurture, and hire amazing people.
Companies that are successful with content marketing do this one thing extremely well:
They tell remarkable stories that answer questions their target audience are asking and thinking of.
That’s it. Sounds simple, but it works. It works because it builds trust. And at the end of the day, people buy from (or refer others to) people they trust.
This Google Chrome video is a perfect example of using content to tell a story that also answers the question, why should I use Google Chrome? The video showcases some of Chrome’s features, but doesn’t do it in a pushy way.
HubSpot is another good example of using content to build trust, but in a different way.
Since HubSpot sells to marketing departments, they focus on creating helpful ebooks, blog posts, and videos for marketers. Every time someone reads or watches something they create, trust increases. It may not always turn into a sale right away, but it makes HubSpot top of mind when it comes to marketing. That’s a powerful position to be in.
Answering questions is an underrated component of content marketing. Just be helpful. And if you can do that in a creative way, you’re putting yourself in a great position to succeed.
Dan Scalco is the Owner of a digital marketing company Digitalux in Hoboken, NJ that specializes in SEO and content marketing.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Being able to really understand your audience.
Before creating the content it is vitally important to understand exactly who this content is supposed to impact. By understanding your target audience, you can create more relevant and valuable content that they’ll *want* to read. This helps your conversion rate grow immensely.
Elizabeth Crandall Libby is Managing Director of 2pinz, a Public Relations and Content Development Agency. She is an accomplished editorial writer and content marketing expert and has built an extensive portfolio of thought leadership and marketing assets including executive blog series, contributed articles, keynote presentations, sales enablement materials and messaging frameworks. Elizabeth excels at strategic content planning, authoring and editing, and ongoing management and optimization. Her stand-out ability to not only develop key differentiators and hone powerful positioning but also map editorial and content development to established marketing objectives serves as a solid platform for creating fresh and compelling cross-channel content programs.
The most successful content marketing programs center on…
Creating context for the value proposition.
Content marketers achieve this through communicating the value of products and services in a way that’s tangible to customers and prospects.
For instance, content assets that offer a point of view on a targeted topic important to a specific vertical supply chain management for retailers or fraud detection for financial institutions can provide critical context such that prospects understand a wide variety of potential use cases that address chronic and acute pain points specific to their businesses. Pain points drive urgency, and urgency drives conversion. At the end of the day, conversion is what it’s all about.
Nick Farrar is the Founder and Director of Workbrands, a marketing and graphic design agency. Following his role as director of a recruitment comms agency and MD of an international publishing and events company, Nick founded Workbrands in 2003, along with business partner Steve Goss. Having spent over 20 years in B2B marketing, Nick has an in-depth understanding of what makes brands work, live and breathe and knows exactly how to maximise ROI for clients. A passionate advocate for the use of creativity in strategic business thinking, Nick is a regular contributor in business-to-business marketing media and is well-versed in helping others tell their story through design in a way that engages their audience. He has a unique understanding of the power of design and how to leverage this to deliver measurable business results.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Use of visual content.
When we think of content, we often think of a compilation of words that tell a story relevant to our prospects and customers and associate with our brand. The problem is that our audience struggles to find the time to read these words, even when the words entertain as well as inform and help them do their jobs. Why? In a world where 27 million pieces of content are shared every day, we have learned to digest information at a glance. We crave content that is efficient, engaging and easy to digest. Words alone are not enough.
The biggest challenge is to make a connection with the target audience and while, in recent years, conventional content marketing has been proven to do this, it’s losing its impact. ‘Good’ content isn’t enough anymore, so to break through, you need to deliver smarter content. And when we say smarter content, we mean visual content.
Communication as a whole is becoming increasingly visual. Articles with images get 94% more views than those without. So while content has become a strategic weapon in the battle for customer attention, brands who incorporate visuals are the ones who stand out.
While the old adage, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ is true, we’re not advocating that you lose the words from your content marketing altogether. Words create tone, engage, inform and work their magic in many different ways. What we are championing is a sensible use of copy coupled with eye-catching design and illustration. And if copy can be replaced with an effective visual, then that’s all to the better.
Christine Rochelle is the Director of Digital Marketing & Operations at lotus823, a New Jersey-based PR and Digital Marketing Agency, and a national conference speaker. As a national conference speaker, Rochelle has presented on SEO, social media, and content strategies at numerous marketing events throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to lotus823, Rochelle worked for Star Magazine, HRP, MTV.com, LifeStyler, Eatontown Patch and AOL.com. Her numerous projects have been featured in The New York Post, Crushable, Get Busy Media, DrivingSales, Wanderlust & Lipstick, and Daily Single.
The #1 habit of highly successful content marketing campaigns is…
Knowing when to listen.
Listening to your community and truly understanding their needs and how they perceive the brand should be the biggest factor in developing your strategy. While tactical items such as developing a content calendar and publishing content at the right times is important, before you can even begin those items you have to spend time listening to your fans and understand the content they’re looking for from your brand.
Erik Mason is the Founder of RYSE Marketing & Communications, which he started with the sole intent of helping brands understand how to harness the power of marketing “why” rather than marketing “what” to create immersive audience engagement experiences. Previously, he worked in multi-billion dollar industries including enterprise software, oil & gas, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and management consulting across a variety of marketing and communications specialties. Through his front-line roles in PR, Corporate Communications, Brand Development, Social Media, and others he has played a key part in cross-industry success stories such as Cynosure’s global rebrand and IPO launch, to AspenTech’s corporate turnaround and NASDAQ relisting.
The number one habit of successful content marketing campaigns is…
Understanding your target audiences’ key pain points or interests in order to effectively craft your content development strategy.
This manifests into delivering high value material that helps educate and empower target buyers to solve that problem, or fill that interest need. This drives greater brand affinity by positioning the organization publishing the content as a trusted resource, which helps grow the bucket of marketing qualified leads and shorten sales cycle conversions.
Sarah Marchant is a Content Creator and SEO Specialist for Goedeker’s, an online appliance retailer based in St. Louis, MO.
When it comes to content marketing campaigns, one habit that will ensure success is…
Never letting the campaign stagnate.
After the content has been live for a while, continue to periodically find 10-20 new contacts and reach out to them with your piece. By this time, it should have already built up enough social proof to stand on its own and continue to gain traffic, shares, and backlinks for you.
A specific example to give is my article 101 Steps to a Simpler Life. Though it was posted over a year ago in February 2014, it continues to receive several hundred visits each month thanks to continued promotion. With a handful of pieces like this, your website or blog will always be humming with activity.