Are You Content Marketing Like An Expert?: May Content Marketing Roundup

Tom Demers
by Tom Demers | Last Updated Mar. 22nd, 2015 2 COMMENTS

Last month, we focused on adaptability as a content marketing strategy, because that was particularly relevant for the recent changes we’ve seen in Content Marketing.

For this month’s Content Marketing roundup, we focused on “Expert” level content marketing, because after all, one of the most effective ways to significantly improve any kind of business strategy is to take a close look at established experts who have been highly successful and learn from their knowledge and experiences. We chose the following selection of articles because they provide a mix of valuable expert research and actionable steps for content success, and also because they contain advanced content creation and promotion tips that can bring your company’s content marketing to Expert level.

Table of Contents:

  1. Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us by Henley Wing on OkDork
  2. 17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content by Aaron Agius on KISSmetrics
  3. Blog Title Generator on IMPACT
  4. How 12 Successful Founders Get Inside Their Customer’s Head by Chase Reeves on Fizzle
  5. What Every Marketing Department Needs to Know About Google+ by Martin Shervington on Convince and Covert
  6. 3 Tactics & 4 Tools to Lift Your Conversion Rate by Marie Dean on The Daily Egg
  7. Are You Really a Writer … Or Just a Copyist? By Raubi Perilli on Copyblogger
  8. 8 Winning Headline Strategies and the Psychology Behind Them by Courtney Seiter on The Buffer Blog
  9. How to Conduct a Basic (But Effective) SEO Audit in Under 30 Minutes by Art Enke
  10. How To Get Your Content Linked To From Top-Tier Websites by Matthew Barby on Search Engine Land
  11. What Keeps Brilliant Visual Content From Being Shared by Buddy Scalera on Content Marketing Institute
  12. 9 Irresistible Incentives That’ll Grow Your Email List Like Crazy by Stef Gonzaga on Boost Blog Traffic


Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us

by Henley Wing on OkDork

This article is an incredibly in-depth and thoroughly researched piece on exactly what the title suggests and it lays out the key takeaways of that research in such a thoughtful and effective manner that we had to share this with you. From details like ideal length, number of images, time and means of publishing, and many others, this article covers very specific details about what characteristics are ideal for highly successful viral content.

Who Can This Help: This article can help established content publishers and brands who are interested in, or already actively pursuing, ways to create powerful viral content on their blog or website.

From the Post:

The best day overall to publish content for social shares is Tuesday

The day of the week you publish your content on can have a big effect on how much it is shared. Take a look at the chart below, showing the number total shares by day of week for all the content we analysed: Best-Day-to-Publish-Social-Content-is-Tuesday.png


17 Advanced Methods for Promoting Your New Piece of Content

by Aaron Agius on KISSmetrics

For some, promoting a new piece of content usually entails the basics: publish on the blog, tweet followers a couple of times. The problem with this “basic” method of content promotion is that, since it’s so simple, you can only expect limited results. This article gives you an expert look into how to maximize your content promotion so that your new content gets in front of more readers and brings more value to your brand in the long run.

Who Can This Help: This article can help content marketers and publishers who have not yet explored other means of content promotion other than their own blog or immediate social media network. It demonstrates that, without a whole lot of additional effort, you can routinely get your newest content in front of more readers, which in turn builds traffic and brand recognition to your business.

From the Post:

Create 20+ Snippets for Mega Sharing on Social Media Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 2.08.04 PM
SEMrush pulled out a statistic for their snippet in this tweet.

A piece of content should produce 20+ snippets that you can share on social media. A snippet can be any of the following:

  • Variations of the title
  • Short statements from the content
  • Short quotes from the content
  • Statistics from the content
  • And much more

Go into your content and pull out at least 20 snippets. Then share the snippets on social media over the next several weeks or even months. If the content does well, continue using the snippets.”

 


Blog Title Generator

on IMPACT

Ever get stuck on what to call your next blog post? This is a dilemma every copywriter, blogger, and content marketer is bound to run into. This nifty little tool on IMPACT allows you to explore possible blog titles by starting with a general topic, narrowing it down and tweaking it as you go. It even allows you to save topic ideas that you like to your “notebook”.

Who This Can Help:

As mentioned, this tool would be perfect for any copywriter, blogger, and content marketer whose goal is to create and publish valuable content on their blog or website on a consistent basis. It makes the topic ideation process much more interesting than simply using a blank Word doc or spreadsheet, that’s for sure! 

From the Post: (N/A)


How 12 Successful Founders Get Inside Their Customer’s Head

by Chase Reeves on Fizzle

This article caught our eye for being an incredibly candid, informative look at how 12 successful founders answered a few telling questions:

  • What steps do they take to figure out what could be successful?
  • How do they get out of their own heads and into the hearts and minds of their audience?
  • What are the tools, data and analytics they use to make decisions?

The piece includes the actual audio clip of each expert interview, along with notes on what was discussed.

Who Can This Help:

This interview can help both content marketers and budding web entrepreneurs alike, because the range of answers from these established company founders provides real, tangible insight into what has worked for them in a general business sense and also when it comes to running a business online.

From the Post:

John Lee Dumas — “EntrepreneurOnFire: Awarded Best in iTunes 2013 IGNITE!” San Diego, CA.

  • He learned a lot early on from Derek Halpern’s idea to respond to everyone who signs up on your email list with a question: “what are you struggling with right now?”
  • “I get thousands of emails a month but I find value in responding to most of them because I get insights about my audience.”
  • He emailed every person who signed up for his email list asking 1. how did you find us, and 2. what do you struggle with?
  • Based on the responses to those emails he came up with the ideas and content for the products he’s developed. He heard directly what they struggled with.
  • Vocaroo, press a button, record an mp3 and attach it to any email you’re sending. He liked doing this because it showed the recipient it’s actually him responding, not an assistant.”



What Every Marketing Department Needs to Know About Google+

by Martin Shervington on Convince and Covert

There are countless marketing strategy articles out there that are focused on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest Marketing, but what many marketers seem to forget is that Google+ remains to be a force to be reckoned with in the social media space and isn’t going away anytime soon (if Google has any say in the matter). Particularly for those who want their SEO and social media to be able to synergize and support one another, this article makes a great case for including Google+ in your overall content marketing plan.

Who Can This Help:
This article can help any content marketer who is actively promoting content on social media, and who has not yet given Google+ a fair shot. The article cites a handful of cold hard facts about the advantages Google+ has over any other social media platform that, as a marketer, you just can’t ignore.

From the Post:

Social SEO

Do you value your Search results for your web content? Of course you do! If you are not on Google+, don’t you think you could be missing out?

The world of social has collided with the world of SEO, and the result is the ability for the Google+ community you form around your brand to amplify your content into Google Search.

Social Site and Search2 What Every Marketing Department Needs to Know About Google+

This social-search-site mechanism enables your content to live long and prosper in Search. Google is an ecosystem, and whilst other social networks are of great value, you will only see more people join the Google+ party and engage on the content they love.

If you start building your communities now, you will be able to send the signals to Search that your content it loved, appreciated, and valued. The community on Google+ gives you Search results. It is that simple.”


3 Tactics & 4 Tools to Lift Your Conversion Rate

by Marie Dean on The Daily Egg

Depending on your business model, your conversion goal can be any one of a variety of things: a newsletter signup, an eBook download, a completed registration form or RFP, a product(s) purchase, etc. And regardless of which of these is your end goal, it’s likely that you’re constantly looking for ways to get customers closer and more directly on the path to completing your desired conversion. This article is a great, straightforward guide of how to turn visitors into more conversions based on research and relevant technical analysis.

Who Can This Help:
This article can help any business or brand that has a specific conversion goal on their website, as it gives a list of useful tactics and tools to boost your existing goal completion rate.

From the Post:

Tactic: Make Sure Your Social Proof is 100 Proof Potent

Did you know that laugh tracks increase laughter in comedy shows?

Or that adding dishes to a “Most Popular” section has increased sales of those dishes by 15-30%?

It’s because social proof is at work.

One of the most notable social proof experiments was conducted in 1969 by Milgram, Bickman & Berkowitz in the streets of New York.

They proved that when a group of 4 or more people stood on the sidewalk and looked up at the sky, 80% of people passing by will do the same.

[…]

Social proof has a way of tipping those who are somewhat ambivalent over to the other side—the side where other people are partaking in products and services.

As humans we don’t want to make mistakes when making a decision.

And this is how adding social proof to your website will increase conversions. Now for some tools that get it done…”


Are You Really a Writer … Or Just a Copyist?

By Raubi Perilli on Copyblogger

You might already have a good idea of what this article is all about by the title, but to be clear, this article is a candid piece regarding the surge of “copyists” in the online world today, and the dearth of real writers. It’s not to say that any person who writes and is frequently published online doesn’t deserve the title of “writer”, but when it comes to content marketing and content quality, there is a real difference between what the writing industry is willing to call a professional writer and one who is simply a copyist. Copyblogger just tells it like it is.

Who Can This Help:
Regardless of if you are a writer yourself, any content marketer, business owner, or web entrepreneur who comes into contact with online writers on a consistent basis would benefit from reading this article.

From the Post:

Ditching the copyist mentality

It’s pretty easy to tell if you are a copyist.

  • You are not passionate about writing. If you were offered a new job in another industry, you would leave writing behind without a second thought.
  • You accept all types of work-from-home jobs. The work-from-home aspect of writing is what draws you to the industry, and you also work in other kinds of work-from-home jobs.
  • You don’t read for pleasure. You don’t regularly read books, magazines, or newspapers, and you don’t have any favorite blogs.
  • Your finish line is a word count. When you receive a 500-word writing assignment, you write exactly 500 words.
  • You are not proud of your writing. The thought of sharing your writing with loved ones never crosses your mind.
  • You don’t write in your free time. You think writing is work, and if no one is paying for it, there is no reason to do it.
  • You think your writing is good enough. You don’t spend any time working on improving your craft. You don’t seek out constructive feedback and you don’t make revisions.

If you identified with one or more of these statements, it is quite possible that you are chasing the wrong career. Maybe you aren’t a writer after all.

But don’t be discouraged if you identified yourself as a copyist if you truly want to be a writer.

It’s not impossible for copyists to become writers — it just means you need to change your mindset and embrace the role of author or commercial freelance writer.”


8 Winning Headline Strategies and the Psychology Behind Them

by Courtney Seiter on The Buffer Blog

This article is a well-researched, informative guide on how to write captivating headlines, which is something that any marketer could benefit from. Rather than listing off a very general list of headline writing tips, this article actually gives you scientifically proven advice on why a particular type of heading is more successful than others, which in our opinion is the best type of strategy advice you could get.

Who Can This Help:
This article can help any content marketer whose role is to craft attention-getting headlines that not only grabs a reader’s immediate attention, but also leads to more sharing and interactivity.

From the Post:
Negatives

Superlatives – words like best, biggest, greatest – can be effective in headlines. But it turns out that negative superlatives (like worst) can be even more powerful.

In a study of 65,000 titles, Outbrain compared positive superlative headlines, negative superlatives headlines and no superlative headlines. The study found that headlines with positive superlatives performed 29% worse and headlines with negative superlatives performed 30% better. The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was 63% higher than with positive ones.

Negative vs superlatives

There are a few theories on why this might be.

  • Positive superlatives may have become clichéd through overuse.
  • It may be that negatives are more intriguing because they’re more unexpected and thus activate the element of surprise.
  • Negatives also tap into our insecurities in a powerful way. Using negative words like “stop,” “avoid,” and “don’t” often work because everyone wants to find out if there’s something they’re doing that they should stop.”


How to Conduct a Basic (But Effective) SEO Audit in Under 30 Minutes

by Art Enke on dlvr.it

Let’s face it, not every business online is able to enlist the help of SEO professionals, or to invest in a comprehensive SEO Audit. Whether it is because it simply isn’t in the budget yet, or because they’re not sure if it’s something that they need, there are countless businesses online that can benefit from an SEO Audit that simply haven’t looked into it yet. This article is a refreshing, straightforward DIY guide to SEO Audits for those very companies who could use an SEO Audit, without having to hire professional help.

Who Can This Help:
Again, this article can help any new or established business online who has yet to have a comprehensive SEO Audit done on their website, or have not had one done in a long time. A full SEO Audit will give you tons more minute details about your website performance, but if you just want a quick SEO health check, this 30 minute method is a great start.

From the Post:

Webmaster Tools (5 minutes)

Google Webmaster Tools provides detailed information for site owners and should be used alongside any other tools you use for an SEO site audit. Google Webmaster Tools provides detailed information for site owners and should be used alongside any other tools you use for a SEO site audit. Of course, this won’t be available for competitor sites but you’ll gain some valuable tips for your own.

Webmaster Tools gives visibility into how content is being crawled, provides backlink data, shows which domain is set as the preferred/canonical domain and more. Spend five minutes mostly viewing the sections under “Search Traffic”, “Google Index” and “Crawl”. Under Search Traffic, you’ll see if there are any “Manual Actions” or Google penalties manually applied to your site. If there are penalties present, these will need to be resolved first before the site can perform properly.”


How To Get Your Content Linked To From Top-Tier Websites

by Matthew Barby on Search Engine Journal

Content Marketers are not the same as SEO’s, but in this day in the digital marketing age, it is in any online business’ best interest to combine content marketing with SEO strategy whenever and wherever possible. So naturally, we were drawn to this particular article because it speaks in a language that both content marketers and SEO’s can get behind. It provides advice on how to conceptualize new content for your website, technical tools to help you narrow down those ideas, and meaningful tips on how to create and promote that content so it can capture the attention of top-tier websites.

Who Can This Help:
This article can help content marketers and SEO’s who are actively striving to build connections with top-tier websites because it shows you step by step how to create high quality linkable assets that are designed to gain wide visibility.

From the Post:

Finding Content Gaps

The most important stage of your content campaign is to identify a gap within your industry that needs to be filled. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here; in fact, I often look at ways to build upon existing popular content first before even coming up with new concepts.

Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself when conceptualising your new content:

  • What type of content performs well within your niche?
  • Who is producing this content, and where are they publishing it?
  • What is it that your target audiences are looking for?

To get an idea of what content works well within your niche, you can use a very handy free tool called BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo allows you to search through popular content based on a search query that you input. You can filter the content by type (i.e., article, video, infographic, etc.) and also by the number of social shares across each network.

BuzzSumo

Using this tool, you can also drill down into what sites are publishing the popular content so you can do some further analysis around the other content on those sites.”


What Keeps Brilliant Visual Content From Being Shared

by Buddy Scalera on Content Marketing Institute

This article is a very in-depth, fascinating look into an example of visual storytelling by The Washington Post, specifically, an infographic called “The depth of the problem” about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Throughout the article, the author analyzes how The Post structured and designed their visual story, and then points out what parts of it was successful, needed improvement, and why. Most marketers know intuitively that just putting together a pretty infographic is not enough, and this article takes you a step further by showing you what parts of a visual story are most important, along with how to present that story in the best way possible.  

Who Can This Help:
This post would be incredibly helpful for content marketers and publishers who are already actively seeking to produce and publish high quality visual content, or would like to begin to do so, because it uses a very current visual example on an authoritative website to convey important lessons in visual storytelling.

From the Post:

Telling a data story with pictures

As of this writing, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which dropped off the radar and was lost in the Indian Ocean, is still missing. It’s a tragic, yet intriguing news story that has dominated many headlines over the last few weeks.

Where’s the black box? Why can’t the authorities locate it? Were aliens responsible for the crash? Was the plane shot out of the sky? Did something happen like on that television show,Lost?

The Washington Post shared an infographic titled, “The depth of the problem,” which attempts to show why locating the black box has proven to be so difficult. It’s not just that the ocean is huge; it’s also incredibly deep. Movies like The Abyss and Pacific Rim make the bottom of the ocean seem like some sort of convenient and well-lit place to retrieve this elusive, beeping black box.

[…]

For starters, the infographic is attractive and offers a nice, brief introduction. It’s just enough to get us to understand what will come, but it also offers some basic keywords for search engines. Check.

By explaining the size of the plane, we get an immediate mental picture. It gives us perspective as we scroll down the length of the infographic. At key points, it offers some key details that show where certain sea creatures (all real, no kaiju) live. Numbers along the edge tell us that we’re getting deeper and deeper. The pale blue at the top of the infographic slowly changes to a darker, more ominous hue.

Deeper and deeper still, it’s the data that grabs us. They show that the Titanic sank in a part of the ocean that was significantly more shallow… and then remind us that it took 73 years to locate that ship when it went down! An amazing fact, coupled with crisp, lean storytelling.

[…]

The story was the numbers and they didn’t just tell us why they were interesting. They showed us why.


9 Irresistible Incentives That’ll Grow Your Email List Like Crazy

by Stef Gonzaga on Boost Blog Traffic

An essential part of a comprehensive content marketing for a company or brand is without a doubt email marketing, because despite how “old” the concept of emailing itself is (hello, since the beginning of the internet?), it remains to be one of the most effective and immediate ways to connect with new and old customers in a meaningful and customizable way. This article is a goldmine of information about email marketing content copywriting and the concepts it covers are broadly applicable to any industry.

Who Can This Help:
This article can help any marketer of a brand or company who is actively trying to optimize their email marketing strategy, because it not only provides 9 actual incentives/types of offers to include in your emails to customers, but it also tells you exactly what you need to create them as well as some psychological research-based anecdotes on why something works.

From the Post:
The Time-Saving Cheat Sheet
If your goal is to share inside information about your topic that can easily be overlooked or missed, create a cheat sheet. Think of it as the key to a box of secrets that make your reader instantly more productive or rapidly improve her skills. A cheat sheet is a highly practical reference guide that outlines and shares valuable data and shortcuts, often in a visual format that makes the retrieval of key information as efficient as possible.

This bribe is attractive to the reader because it delivers a lot of information in a very concentrated form and can quickly prove its worth, perhaps saving them hours of effort. Jon’s very own Headline Hacks report and MakeUseOf’s gallery of shortcut cheat sheets are great models you can emulate.
But sometimes, something simple can be just as useful. Take a look at Brown Eyed Baker’s simple cheat sheet on how to measure butter in cups, a technique that has always been a mystery to the average baker.

Minimum requirements: A word processor like Microsoft WordApple Pages or OpenOffice Writer is sufficient for creating a simple cheat sheet, but for a more sophisticated end product, you might require a desktop publishing package such as Adobe InDesignMicrosoft Publisher, or QuarkXPress. Alternatively, you can use a cheat sheet tool like Cheatography to generate cheat sheets based on a default template.”


Have great a Content Marketing article you’d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments section.

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