7 Ways to Stop Flailing with Your Content Marketing in 2017

By Michele Linn

stop-flailing-content-marketing

Be better.

This simple mantra always plays in the back of my head when it comes to what we publish, but it’s becoming louder and louder these days – as the noise around content marketing becomes louder as well.

I love content marketing, and I truly believe that – when it’s done well – it’s great for your customers and a fantastic way to build and grow a business.

But, I’m also tired. Tired of similar advice. Tired of marketers dialing it in to check a box. Tired of too much me-too or meh content.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not coming from a place of having all of the answers – and I’m fighting with several of these issues, too. But to grow as marketers – and to really move the business forward with content (which is why we are doing this anyway, right?) – we all can benefit from thinking beyond the usual platitudes and ideas.

What’s going wrong – and what can we do?

Note: I am not going to restate many of the issues we talk about often (but, I still believe these are issues – and you need to deal with each of these):

My intent is to give you things you may not be thinking about.

1. You are answering questions instead of offering insights

Often, we talk about answering your audience’s questions instead of talking about your products and services. Do I believe this? Absolutely. But, I like how Mark Schaeffer takes this further when he talks about content creation in his book Known:

Answering customer questions is a solid strategy for …read more

Source:: content marketing

The Only 10 Ways to Make Money From Content Marketing

By Joe Pulizzi

ways-make-money-content-marketing

In September at Content Marketing World, Robert Rose and I will launch our (combined) sixth book called Killing Marketing. The core principle is that we’ve been misusing the marketing function for years. Marketing, in its truest form, was actually meant to be a profit center.


#Marketing, in its truest form, was meant to be a profit center, say @joepulizzi & @robert_rose.
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While Robert and I were doing our research for the book, we looked into successful new media companies as well as enterprises that have seen benefits from a content marketing approach. What we found, to our pleasant surprise, is that the revenue model for both media companies and product brands is EXACTLY the same. Now, we may perceive The New York Times and Cisco Systems as completely different companies, but the content-first business models behind them are more alike than different.

The fruits of this research produced (among other things) what you see below, tentatively called the Media Marketing Revenue Model. Basically, any organization that builds an audience from its content can generate revenue (and profits) in 10 different ways. Although we go into quite a bit of detail on this in the book, here’s an overview for you to consider.

media-marketing-revenue-model

Direct revenue

There are five methods by which companies can directly generate revenue from an audience group: advertising/sponsorship, conferences and events, premium content offerings, donations, and subscriptions.

1. Advertising/sponsorship

The most popular method of driving direct revenues is through advertising and sponsorship programs: companies willing to pay you for direct access to your audience.

Traditional advertising

Ann Reardon – The YouTube baking queen, who now has over 3 million subscribers to …read more

Source:: content marketing

19 Favorite Tools for Content Promotion in 2017

By Sujan Patel

19-favorite-tools-content-promotion

I produce a lot of content. Not for the fun of it (although I genuinely do enjoy most of it), but because I want it to increase awareness of my personal brand, drive traffic to my site, and generate leads.

To boost the odds of that happening, I have to ensure that my content gets in front of as many people as possible, and to do that, I have to promote it.

As with most things in life, it’s much easier if you have the right tools at your disposal. Here are 19 of my favorite tools (and pricing – though many are free) I use in my content promotion in 2017. The first group encompasses promotion tools, while the second group identifies tools to help in the promotion process.

Promotion tools

1. IFTTT

IFTTT hooks together apps and websites so you can create processes to automate pretty much anything, including sharing content. It stands for a recipe that dictates “if ‘this’ happens, ‘that’ should happen” in response.

For example, when you publish a new blog post (the “this”), an update automatically posts to Twitter (the “that”).

IFTTT

IFTTT is compatible with major blogging and social media platforms, so you can use the tool to automate sharing new content to pretty much any platform.

How much does it cost? Absolutely nothing

2. CisionPoint

CisionPoint (or Cision for short) is a comprehensive PR tool that facilitates press release distribution and makes it easy to monitor and analyze news coverage. Its most useful feature (for content promotion at least) is its media database, which it says contains profiles of 1.6 million journalists.

How much does it …read more

Source:: content marketing

What the Heck is Going on With Search Engines?

By Ann Gynn

what-the-heck-search-engines

Advances in search engines make it seem like they can read your mind. But as a marketer, how can you read the minds of search engines – to know what they like, what they don’t, and how they’re working?

Well, you can’t read the mind of Google, but you can read seven insights from the Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin, which he shared in his presentation, The Absolute Most Up-to-Date Presentation on What the Heck is Going on With Search Engines, at Content Marketing World 2016.

Rand likes to count down so I’ll honor his approach in this post.

7. Google is still growing but others are too

Sure, Google has become ubiquitous – and even a verb. It consistently receives over 85% of all search engine traffic in North America, according to Gs.StatCounter.


.@Google consistently receives over 85% of all search engine traffic in NA via @statcountergs. #SEO
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While it remains king, it isn’t the only site where people search. Though still used by less than 1% of searchers, DuckDuckGo is the fastest-growing search engine, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t track searches or users.

But don’t think of search simply in the framework of search-engine platforms. YouTube, actually, is the No. 2 search engine. Facebook, for example, is eager to keep visitors on its site and has become a growing resource used by searchers.

And don’t forget one of, if not the, largest commercial search “engine” of all – Amazon.com.


The largest commercial search engine is @amazon, says @randfish. #SEO
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AmazonvWebSearch

HOW YOU CAN REACT:

This Week in Content Marketing: In 10 Years, Content Marketing Will Just Be Marketing

By Joe Pulizzi

Brightcove_social_research_thumb

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher.

In this episode, Robert and I explore Snapchat’s financials and suggest the priorities Snap should focus on to stay in the game. We also discuss content marketing’s future as an intrinsic marketing function that’s indistinguishable from the whole. Rants and raves include Wendy’s chicken nuggets and the Vivendi/Havas merger; then we close the show with an example of the week from United Feature Syndicate.

This week’s show

(Recorded live on May 12, 2017; Length: 59:46)

Download this week’s PNR This Old Marketing podcast.

If you enjoy our PNR podcasts, we would love if you would rate it, or post a review, on iTunes.

1. Notable news and upcoming trends:

  • Snapchat has a user growth problem on its hands (09:40): The Verge brings word that Snap’s first earnings report since its IPO shows growth rates and revenue that fell short of Wall Street expectations, contributing to a financial loss that’s twice the amount it lost last year. While I feel the numbers still add up to an encouraging rate of revenue per user, in my mind the real question here is, where will the company’s revenue be coming from in the future?
  • Will content marketing lose its distinct identity? (21:03): A recent Gartner blog post predicts a future where helpful, engaging, and contextually relevant content will be the hallmark of all marketing – not just the specific discipline we currently know as content marketing. We were both thrilled to see an analyst firm really capture the essence of the …read more

    Source:: content marketing

Are You Ready to Hire Quality for Your Content Team?

By Sara Noble

hire-quality-content-team

For the past 20 years, my Boston-based practice has supplied content talent to Harvard Business Review and Fortune 500 CEOs, as well as more than half of the top 10 global management consulting firms, among others. On average, I turn away one in three prospects who get in touch requesting my services. Why? Many companies just aren’t ready to hire quality.

To gauge employer readiness – and to ensure that the executives I place will be successful and satisfied – I ask these questions of chief marketing officers. (And I think these same questions apply to candidates interviewing prospective employers.)

What motivates the hire?

Content marketing is a discipline that requires sustained commitment. When someone from a company calls me saying they are ready to hire a director of content marketing, chief content officer, or editorial director, I always ask to what extent they feel pressure to set up a content team to follow in the footsteps of competitors. I want to know if the move is genuine, or whether it’s about keeping up with their peers.

What types of content projects do you envision?

It’s important to figure out whether a company plans to publish product-oriented content or idea-oriented content. I ask for specific examples of what they have in mind. If they are coming out of traditional marketing, they’re programmed to think in terms of the 4 Ps, but I also want to know about “perception” and “proficiency.” Can they exhibit proficiency and knowledge, and in doing so build their brand as the smartest in that field? The only way to figure it out is to see whether they recognize the difference between product-based marketing and idea-based marketing. That shift requires a completely different mindset and skill set …read more

Source:: content marketing

New Tech Friends on the Marketing Block

By Marcia Riefer Johnston

new-tech-friends-marketing-block

The more we as marketers take on sophisticated challenges with our content, like personalizing at scale, the more we need to work with technical specialists. Three such roles I kept hearing about at the Intelligent Content Conference are content strategists, content engineers, and data scientists.

  • Content strategist – someone who plans for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content (as defined by Kristina Halvorson)
  • Content engineer – someone who structures content for publishing and sets up an organization’s content systems, that is, the technologies that store, deliver, and enable governance of content assets (as described by Cruce Saunders)
  • Data scientist – someone who “can demonstrate the special skills involved in storytelling with [complex] data, whether verbally, visually, or – ideally – both” (Harvard Business Review)

Together, these “three amigos of content marketing,” as content engineer Cruce Saunders refers to them, provide a power boost that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of content marketing.

Let’s look at these roles and how marketers might work with them.

What content strategists do

As senior director of content strategy in global health sciences at The Medicines Company, Buddy Scalera characterizes his role as a “strategic superconnector.” By this, he means that the content strategist works with people across creative and technical teams to plan, create, deliver, and govern content assets across channels, audiences, purposes, and departments.

Superconnector. That sums it up.

Large organizations with complex content strategies need individuals or teams dedicated to content strategy. Small organizations may require that people in other roles (marketers, for example, or brand managers, project managers, managing editors, or administrative assistants) integrate content strategy into their jobs.


Large orgs w/ complex content strategies need individuals dedicated to #contentstrategy. @MarciaRJohnston
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How …read more

Source:: content marketing

How to Create High-Converting Content

By Shane Barker

convert-high-converting-content

As a content marketer, your job is to use content to sell something – whether it’s a product, service, or message. Maybe you’re already driving sufficient conversions. But do you really want to settle for sufficient?

There are many ways to improve your content marketing, and double or even triple your conversion rates. Today, let’s focus on the most important aspect of content marketing – your content. Here are five ways to create high-converting content to boost your conversions.

1. Write a killer headline

Your headline is the first thing readers notice about your blog post or landing page content. Whether or not the headline captivates them will likely determine if they continue reading the content, or bounce.

Although different variations of headlines work, there are some common elements in successful headlines. HubSpot and Outbrain conducted a study of 150,000 article headlines and discovered:

  • Headlines with eight words performed the best in click-through rates.
  • Headlines containing a colon or a hyphen performed 9% better than those without.
  • Odd numbers in list posts have a click-through rate 20% higher than even-number lists.
  • Ending a headline with a question mark results in a higher click-through rate than using an exclamation point or a full stop.

You can use these common characteristics of successful headlines as the foundation for writing killer headlines that convert. Clearly explain what the content is about in a few words, and if it needs a little bit more detail, include a short explainer after a colon or hyphen. And when creating a list post, keep it to an odd number.


Write a killer-conversion headline in 8 words and add a question mark, says @shane_barker
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In addition to these basics, try to use words and phrases that are more likely to convert. According to WiderFunnel, words like “you,” “because,” “free,” “new,” and …read more

Source:: content marketing

7 Organic Tips for Growing Your Email ROI

By Jodi Harris

email-romi-calculator

Would you turn down an opportunity to increase the value and impact of your content marketing program with just a few tweaks to your email list? How about the chance to earn rock-star-level praise from your executive team for achieving better returns on your company’s email marketing investment? When you consider just how valuable email subscribers can be to content marketing success, I’d be surprised if you haven’t already pulled out your credit card and started looking for the “sign-me-up” button to take advantage of this amazing offer right now.

Sorry … I spend way too much time watching late-night infomercials. But seriously …

According to Jessica Best, director of data-driven marketing at Barkley, these kinds of results are well within the grasp of any company that creates email content for a subscribed audience.

Paving the way to success

Let’s back up a minute because email marketing is some seriously powerful stuff – I’m talking the OxiClean of content marketing products. Consider these few stats:

  • According to a 2015 VentureBeat study, email offers the greatest potential for ROI of any marketing channel, delivering an average return of $38 for every dollar invested.

#Email offers the greatest potential for ROI of any marketing channel via @venturebeat.
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  • A June 2016 survey of U.S. marketers conducted by the Data & Marketing Association and Demand Metric found that email had a median ROI of 122% – more than four times higher than other marketing formats examined, including social media, direct mail, and paid search.

#Email had a median ROI of 122%, more than 4x higher than other marketing formats via @DMA_USA @DemandMetric
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But, as Jessica says, you aren’t truly ready to unlock your “email rock star” badge until you are prepared to do two things:

  1. Accurately measure the …read more

    Source:: content marketing

What You Need to Know to Get a Wikipedia Article Published

By William Beutler

Wikipedia-article-published

Since 2001, Wikipedia’s community of volunteer editors has created more than 5 million pages, many of them found on Google’s first page of search results for that topic. Wikipedia’s ubiquity bestows upon it the ability to lend its credibility to other subjects, which is attractive for companies and organizations who crave recognition.

But Wikipedia’s volunteer editors are focused on building a serious encyclopedia, and not so interested in helping a brand’s content marketing plan. If you want to create an entry about a company (or any topic related to your business), you need to understand what Wikipedia is looking for and the right way to go about it. This post describes the process at a high level, but it’s only a starting point – follow the links within to learn more before you try.

Determining eligibility

Before all else, you need to determine whether your company meets Wikipedia’s eligibility requirements or, as Wikipedia refers to it, notability, which is admittedly rather judgmental. (No one wants to hear “Sorry, you’re not notable.”) The hard truth is that most companies don’t immediately qualify, and trying to create a page in these circumstances can be immensely frustrating. So what qualifies, and what if you’re not there yet?


The hard truth is that most company entries don’t qualify immediately for Wikipedia, says @williambeutler.
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To be eligible, your company needs an interesting story about what it has achieved, and it must be a story that’s been told by working journalists. Wikipedia is not a place for self-published information, but instead what others have written about your brand. Credible news sources are a must. Press releases and company websites just don’t cut it, and for the most part can’t be used.

Evaluating sources

A good early step is to identify all the information …read more

Source:: content marketing