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By Chelsey Church

B2B brands have the opportunity to leverage content marketing as a way of reaching their target audience and gaining new customers. But it’s not as simple as writing a few blog posts, posting them on your website and hoping for the best. A content marketing strategy is essential to generating those leads that turn into loyal consumers, educating your audience, building brand awareness and building credibility.

So do you have a content marketing strategy? If not, don’t worry—you’re not alone. According to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, only 41% of survey respondents currently have a documented content marketing strategy in place.

If you’re interested in building an effective B2B content marketing strategy but you’re not quite sure where to get started, we can help. Below, we’ve created a guide to help you get started with your strategy as a B2B marketer and curate content that helps with lead generation, creating a loyal audience and building revenue.

B2B Content Marketing: What Makes It Unique?

Before you can get started with content marketing, it’s important to understand how it comes into play from a B2B perspective. B2B marketing derives from a strategy or content that is made specifically for a business. Typically, this refers to an organization that sells some type of product or service. In comparison, B2C marketing works for companies that are targeting individual consumers who are making purchases for themselves.

Goals for B2B marketing vs B2C marketing differ greatly, as HubSpot explained in this example:

  • In B2B marketing, customers want ROI and expertise. When it comes to B2C content, customers want deals and entertainment. That means the latter needs to be more fun, and the former needs to be more educational and logical.

If you’re a B2B company and you’re putting all of your focus on advertising, now’s a good time to consider adding creative content to your collateral. According to Demand Metric, 70% of people would prefer to learn about a company through content like a blog post or article in comparison to a typical advertisement.

Creating Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy: 10 Steps to Success

So maybe you’re on board with the idea of content marketing, but you’re not sure where to get started. Don’t fret—we’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating a B2B content marketing strategy and executing it properly:

1. Define Your Overall Goals

Your content marketing strategy should be built with purpose. Setting goals in the early stages can help you bring your business to life. We recommend following the SMART process when coming up with your goals:

  • Specific. Don’t be broad, hone in on exactly what it is you want to achieve.
  • Measurable. What does your business’ success mean to you, and how will this motivate you to move forward?
  • Achievable. Are there going to be blockades keeping you from achieving your goals, or are they truly attainable?
  • Relevant. Your goals should not only be realistic, but make sense regarding your business strategy.
  • Time-bound. How long is it going to take to achieve your goals, and does this timeline work for you?

Using these criteria as the blueprint to your content marketing strategy can make it easier to envision the bigger picture during the beginning stages of the process.

2. Understand Your Audience and Create Buyer Personas

Who are you creating content for? How are you going to resonate with your target audience? What does your potential buyer want to get out of visiting your website?

Getting to know the individuals who are paying close attention to you, your products and services all starts with creating a buyer persona. Essentially, a buyer persona is a fictional character created to represent a person who would be interested in your product.

This fictional representation is curated by market research and data collected about your customers in an effort to create as real of a person in this scenario as you possibly can. Individual buyer personas should include demographic information, job role, as well as specific goals and challenges this decision-maker faces. Creating buyer personas will give you a better idea of how to create your message and who you need to tailor it to.

3. Create a Brand Voice

Does your brand have a certain style that sets you apart from your competitors? Creating a distinct voice and tone will give you the leverage to stand out in your industry. Decide what your brand’s personality will be in written format, whether it’s educational and serious or humorous and relatable. Tone is something that offers more flexibility, as it can be used in content based on specific buyer personas. Think about it this way: Your tone isn’t going to be the same in a short blurb as it would be in a white paper.

4. Map Out the Customer Journey

Now that you’ve established a strong foundation for your brand in general, it’s time to think about how you’ll leverage your company to bring in customers through the sales funnel. This takes place after putting forth lead generation efforts; it’s where your potential customers start at the top and come out as loyal clients. Also known as a marketing funnel, this is where your customers start their journey with you and are welcomed to explore what your business has to offer. As they get to the middle, you nurture them and guide them toward the bottom where they can start the beginning stages of a sale.

The sales funnel isn’t a one-size-fits-all template. In fact, we put together a list of different examples to consider for your own business. Take a look and decide which makes the most sense for your content marketing strategy.

5. Understand What Your Competitors are Doing

While most of your focus should be on bringing customers in, you still need to pay attention to your competitors. With a strong understanding of what they’re doing, you can be better prepared to face them in your industry and learn how to provide potential customers with a better product or service. A simple way to do this is by benchmarking, which the American Productivity & Quality Centre defines as a way to measure your own key business metrics and practices and compare them to your competitors. This gives you an inside look at what’s working for them and what isn’t, which can give you the upper hand to better define the industry standard.

6. Brainstorm with Your Content Team

With the backend research in the palm of your hand, it’s time to get together with your team of content creators and assess the content types you want to move forward with. Brainstorming sessions can come in handy when it comes to collaboration among a content team, and this can involve keyword research, topic generation and choosing content format options.

7. Create a Content Strategy Blueprint

After brainstorming with the team of creators, it’s time to move forward with your specific content types. It’s important to be flexible throughout your strategy, however—down the line, you may find that a content audit and ROI shows one content format is producing better results for you than another, which can ultimately guide the future of your process. Having a flexible blueprint will keep you organized and prepared to navigate a different route if necessary.

Content types to consider include:

  • Blogs
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Infographics
  • Newsletters
  • Press releases
  • Webinars

Remember: Your content marketing plan can change over time; limiting yourself to only a few different content formats could hold you back from reaching your goals. Consider having these content types in rotation in a content calendar over a certain period of time if you want to explore the different opportunities of each option.

8. Execute Your Strategy and Start Creating Content

Now that your complete strategy is in writing, it’s time to bring your content marketing efforts to fruition. By now, you’re ready to take those content ideas and bring them to life. While content creation itself can be a strenuous task, it can also be considered the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of your content marketing strategy.

It’s where all of your hard work is put to the test: Did you properly educate your team on buyer personas? Was your keyword research and topic selection on point? All of these questions will be answered in the coming months after putting your content out there, but first, you need to put the pen to paper (or, fingertips to keyboard) and get to work!

9. Promote Your Content

Once your content is squeaky clean, keyword-targeted and ready for your target audience, it’s time to publish and promote. This can involve sending out an email blast, posting to social media, or creating targeted ads to get more eyes on your content. How you choose to promote your content should align with your specific goals of the strategy, but the more eyes on your work, the better!

10. Measure the ROI

Now, it’s time to see if your quality content performed as well as planned. The final stage of your content marketing strategy should involve a content performance check, or a content audit to measure the ROI and effectiveness of your content creation process.

In content marketing, ROI shows how much revenue was gained after executing your digital marketing plan in comparison to the amount of money that was spent during the strategy and creation phases. Measuring ROI over a lengthy period of time can be difficult, but it can be simplified by measuring metrics every couple of months to determine if you created engaging content that’s reaching your target audience. We recommend tracking metrics such as:

  • Website traffic.
  • CTA click-through rates.
  • Keyword rankings.
  • Conversion rates.
  • Shares on social media platforms.

How to Tell if Your Content Marketing Strategy is Working

Measuring your ROI comes in many different forms, as we detail above. But one of the most important aspects many tend to overlook is maintaining your content strategy over time, or choosing to take a different approach based on the outlook of your current plan in place. A content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be static—with so many different moving parts, there’s always an opportunity to play around with different plans until you find something that works for your business.

You might even reach a point where you don’t think you’re capable of creating a strategy that enables you to reach your goals. But there’s nothing wrong with that. Remember: Outsourcing content marketing is always an option as well. Content Marketing Institute’s research found that 50% of its survey respondents outsource at least some of their content marketing to an agency.

If you’re considering this route, make sure to find a content marketing company that will go above and beyond to get to know your brand. Get an understanding of what they have to offer, ask for samples of writing, video and animation and speak with the content creators themselves if possible. Oh, and don’t forget to browse their website for case studies, testimonials and success stories to seal the deal (hint hint, click the link!)

No matter how you approach your B2B content strategy, just remember to be open minded, take industry trends into consideration and be willing to play around with your process. Starting your strategy is only the beginning—over time, you’ll have the opportunity to experiment, improve your research methods and transform with the world of content marketing.

By Chelsey Church

Chelsey Church is a senior writer and editor at Brafton. When she’s not turning her thoughts into copy, she’s enjoying a craft beer, playing with her dogs or listening to her favourite metal tunes. A Cleveland native, she’ll never let you forget that the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead.

Sourced from Brafton.com

Artificial Intelligence (AI) mimics the cognitive functions of the human mind, particularly in learning and problem-solving. Many of the apps that we use today are powered by AI. From voice-activated virtual assistants to e-commerce, AI applications are everywhere.

With the advancements in AI technology and access to big data, companies across different industries are integrating AI into their processes to find solutions to complex business problems.

The application of AI is most noticeable within the retail and e-commerce space. Websites and apps can interact intelligently with customers, creating a personalized approach that enhances the customer experience.

No matter what industry your business operates in, these seven tips can help you acquire and retain customers more efficiently at a fraction of the time it takes to do things manually.

How to Use AI to Get and Keep Customers

1. Identify Gaps in Your Content Marketing Strategy

If you’re just starting with content marketing, you’ll need to know what type of content to create.

By using AI, you can identify the gaps, find fixes, and evaluate the performance of your content marketing campaign.

Take Packlane, a company that specializes in custom package designs, for example. They came up with high-quality content like helpful blog posts that provide valuable information. At the same time, the content they publish makes it easier for their target market to understand their brand and services.

If you’re in the retail or e-commerce space, you can use AI to identify the gaps in your content marketing. Your content may be focused on your products and their features, but through AI, you can determine the relevant content that addresses your audience’s needs and pain points.

2. Pre-Qualify Prospects and Leads

Not every visitor to your site will become a paying customer. If you’re not getting sales despite the massive traffic, it means you’re generating low-quality leads.

Some reasons why this happens includes:

  • Targeting the wrong audience
  • Poor content marketing strategy
  • Using the wrong type of signup form
  • Promoting in the wrong social media platforms
  • Ineffective calls to action

These explain why 80% of new leads never convert into sales. The mistakes can be rectified with the help of artificial intelligence.

AI tools can extract relevant data to help you learn more about your target audience. These tools also provide predictive analytics on your customers’ behaviour. They, in turn, help improve your lead generation strategy because you’ll know which leads to pursue, where to find them, and how to effectively engage them.

3. Provide Personal Recommendations

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, even though there are privacy concerns when consumers’ personal information changes hands, people still value personalized marketing experiences.

Brands that tailor their recommendations based on consumer data boost their sales by 10% over brands that don’t.

Recommendation systems’ algorithms typically rely on data on browsing history, pages visited, and previous purchases. But AI is so advanced that it can analyse customers’ interactions with the site content and find relevant products that will interest the individual customer. This way, AI makes it easier to target potential customers and effectively puts the best products in front of the site visitors.

Because of AI, recommendation engines are able to filter and customize the product recommendations based on each customer’s preferences. It’s a cycle of collecting, storing, analysing, and filtering the available data until it matches the customers’ preferences.

This is an effective way of acquiring and retaining customers because there’s an element of personalization.

4. Reduce Cart Abandonment

A high cart abandonment rate is the bane of e-commerce business owners. According to a study by the Baymard Institute, online shopping cart abandonment rate is close to 70%.

Users abandon their online carts for various reasons:

  • high extra costs
  • complicated checkout process
  • privacy concerns
  • not enough payment methods, or
  • they’re not ready to buy yet.

Using AI-powered chatbots is one way to reduce cart abandonment. AI chatbots can guide the customers through their shopping journey.

AI chatbots can have a conversational approach and give the customer a nudge to prompt them to complete the purchase. These chatbots can also act as a virtual shopping assistant or concierge that can let a customer know about an on-the-spot discount, a time-sensitive deal, a free shipping coupon, or any other incentives that will encourage them to complete the checkout.

With AI, lost orders due to cart abandonment are recoverable and can lead to an increase in conversion rate for e-commerce businesses.

5. Increase Repurchases With Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics is the process of making predictions based on historical data using data mining, statistical modelling, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other techniques. It can generate insights, forecast trends, and predict behaviours based on past and current data.

In marketing, predictive analytics can be used to predict customers’ propensity to repurchase products as well as its frequency. When used to optimize marketing campaigns, AI-powered predictive analytics can generate customer response, increase repurchase, and promote cross-selling of relevant products.

It’s all part of the hyper personalized marketing approach, where brands interact and engage with customers and improve their experience by anticipating their needs and exceeding their expectations.

With predictive analytics, you can focus your marketing resources on customer retention and targeting a highly motivated segment of your market that are more than happy to return and repurchase your products. This approach is less expensive than advertising or implementing pay-per-click campaigns.

6. Improve Your Website User Experience

Every business—big or small—knows the importance of having a website, where visitors can interact with the brand, respond to a call to action, or purchase products. But it’s not enough to just have an online presence; it’s important that visitors to the site have a great experience while navigating through your site.

What makes for a great user experience? Users have different expectations. Some of them want faster loading time, while others want a simple and intuitive interface. But most important of all, they want to find what they’re looking for. It could be a product, content, or a solution to a problem. Whatever they may be, it’s up to you to meet their expectations.

With artificial intelligence, you can improve your website user experience tenfold. Here are some of the ways AI can be used to improve user experience.

Search relevance

This pertains to how accurate the search results are in relation to the search query.  The more relevant the results are, the better search experience the users will have. This means they are likely to find relevant content answering their queries or finding products that solve their problems.

Personalized recommendations

Content that is tailor-made for the user tends to have greater engagement which increases the likelihood of conversation. Amazon has perfected the product recommendation system using advanced AI and machine learning. AI gets data from customers and uses it to gain insights and apply predictive analysis to recommend relevant products for cross-selling opportunities.

AI chatbots

The presence of chatbots contributes to a great user experience because they provide 24/7 assistance and support in the absence of human customer service.  Users can get accurate answers to their inquiries quickly and efficiently, compared to scrolling through a text-based FAQs.

7. Social Listening for Potential Customers

Social listening is the process of analysing the conversations, trends, and buzz surrounding your brand across different social media platforms. It’s the next step to monitoring and tracking the social media mentions of your brand and products, hashtags, industry trends, as well as your competitors.

Social listening analyses what’s behind the metrics and the numbers. It determines the social media sentiment about your brand and everything that relates to it. It helps you understand how people feel about your brand. All the data and information you get through social listening can be used to guide you in your strategy to gain new customers.

Social media monitoring and listening can be done much more efficiently with the help of artificial intelligence. It’s an enormous task for a team of human beings to monitor and analyse data, but with AI-powered social media tools, all the tedious tasks can be automated. They can be trained to leverage data to provide valuable insights about your brand with high accuracy.

With AI and machine learning, your social listening can easily determine your audience, brand sentiments, shopping behaviour, and other important insights. By having this information within reach, you’ll know how you can connect with them more effectively and turn them from prospects to paying customers.

Key Takeaways/Conclusion

More companies across different industries are using the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to significantly increase brand awareness, enhance customer engagement, improve user experience, and meet customer expectations.

  • AI can identify gaps in your content marketing strategy so that you can create content that’s relevant to your target audience.
  • AI can help you generate high-quality leads that are likely to buy your products.
  • With AI, you can personalize and tailor-fit your product recommendations based on your customers’ preferences, increasing repeat purchases.
  • AI can be integrated into your e-commerce site to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
  • AI significantly improves website user experience by making it intuitive, accessible, and easy to navigate.
  • AI-powered social media tools can help you monitor and gain valuable insights about your brand. You can then use this to develop a social media marketing strategy to gain new customers.

Achieve these milestones, and you’ll be sure to acquire new customers and retain existing ones.

Feature Image Credit: iStock/monsitj

Sourced from https://www.blackenterprise.com

Today, content marketing is important because it can easily take a business to the next level. Especially when a business has to operate on a budget and grow exponentially, the reliance on content marketing is justifiable and for that, you have to learn how to Create a Content Marketing Strategy. Gone are the days when firms had to invest in conventional marketing tools such as pamphlets, flyers, television or ads. Now, content is king and it can easily expand the horizons of the business in a defined time. Here, in this feature, we will guide you through a few steps to grow your business through a content marketing strategy:

Carve a Plan

Before you sit back, grab a cup of coffee and invest in a certain strategy, you need to do a little bit of homework first. How  do you want to expand your business? What are your business goals? Where do you wish to publish your content? What channels will be responsible for the distribution of your content? You need to answer each and every one of these questions before moving towards carving a certain strategy for your content.

Secondly, when you carve a content marketing strategy, you need to ensure that it is measurable. In simple words, if you can’t measure it, you won’t be able to manage it  either. However, when you have a plan in place, you can achieve your marketing and business goals easily.

Always Work on Original Contents

Content Marketing Strategy

Sharing an article or a retweet might work for a while but your target audience is always looking for something that will bring a change in their lives. This is where your brand can assume the opportunity and work with unique content to grab more attention. Remember, you can never make the most out of somebody else’s perspective.

So when you have an opinion of your own, it will stand out to the customers. For example, if a customer wants to learn about the Aluminum laser cut by ACT Laser and applications of laser cutting technology, they will only swoon over a website that has something unique to educate them about. So if your website provides them with an educational article about this topic, you will easily get more traffic on your platform.

Distribute Your Content

Content Marketing Strategy

Now that you have carved a plan and have identified the targeted audience, it’s time for you to share your content. Bear in mind, your content is a means to finding ways to the hearts of more audience, so you better stick to your plan instead of making any changes. Create an engaging blog post for your website and keep updating it every month. This will improve the quality of your website and get it ranked at a higher position in the search engine.

Keep a Track of Results

Content Marketing Strategy

This is probably the part, you’ve been waiting all this while. So did the content marketing strategy help you accomplish the goals you wanted to achieve? You can make sure of the Google Data Studio and the Google Analytics to keep a track of the results and see how everything has been done. This will enable you to keep on investing in content marketing because it is the most powerful marketing tool out there right now.

Sourced from Trend Pickle

By Arif Chowdhury,

Content is the king of any type of marketing; there is nothing new here. However, creating a perfect plan for your next content marketing is the key to success. Almost anyone can create content but making it perfectly suited for your business is the key.

Long ago, before 2005, B2B and B2C businesses usually did not care about creating fresh content regularly. However, because of the audience’s ever-increasing desire for fresh and engaging content, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., also give priority to fresh and engaging content.

Create a Perfect Content Marketing Plan for Your Business

And this is where it begins; from personal bloggers to big brands, all are racing to create fresh and engaging content regularly for their business website to get their share of organic traffic.

Because only by creating fresh & engaging content that their audience love, a business can increase not only sales but also build a brand name among the crowd. Thanks to social media, audiences can share content among them that creates a massive awareness for a business. Which, in turn, helps to increase revenue by many folds.

A recent study says 69 percent of B2B businesses have documented content marketing strategies. And 76 percent of marketers judge the success of a business by measuring their organic traffic statistics. As you can see, in this new digital marketing era, content marketing is the key to drive more organic traffic to your business.

In this article, I will discuss how you should build a perfect plan for your content marketing.

Step 1: Build Your Brand by Creating Mass Awareness

If you want to get success in the long-term, then branding is essential. Look at the big brands; their audience knows them for their brand name, not the product itself. This is a smart way of marketing that your audience will purchase because they trust you more than they trust their judgment.

Let me give you a perfect example of this. You may have seen many of your friends buy an iPhone without even a second thought. Even if they have seen recent bad reviews about that phone.

Why does it happen? Well, it does not happen in one day; it took them years to gain trust from their audiences. Now people buy iPhones from day zero when they get released.

This is a vital reason why you should focus on building a brand among your audience using mass awareness. However, before you do that, ask yourself the below questions to identify the right approach.

  • Who is my target audience?
  • What type of content is my primary focus? Text, visual, audio, or a combination of all.
  • Who are my competitors? What kind of content are they using?
  • How do they create mass awareness? Which online platform are they using?

Step 2: Tweaks Your Existing Marketing Campaign

Again, I am saying this; nowadays, it is a highly competitive era. It’s not 2000 where people are just starting to get along with online content & bloggers are just emerging from the womb.

It is 2020 & to date, more than 500 million blog posts exist & 1.7 billion websites all over the globe. In recent statistics, almost 80 percent of people do not even read your entire post, only read the headline and pass it. According to MOZ, 92 percent of Google searches never visit the 2nd page.

These statistics only tell us one thing. Content marketing is becoming harder every day. You have to focus on your target audience by creating highly engaging & relevant content. Otherwise, all your efforts will go in vain.

So, the question is – how are you supposed to tweak your existing campaign? Well, it is simple. Take a look at the below table. I have presented 3 of my favourite content & keyword analysis tools for you to get started. If you plan for long-term business, then you must have to use a tool like this.

Best tools for Content & Keyword Analysis 

Best tools Costing Free Trial
Ahref $99 per month 7-days for $7
Semrush $99.95 per month 7-days free
Ubersuggest $12 per month 7-days free

Step 3: Set Your Marketing Goals & Stick with It

Before you do anything, it’s always better to create specific goals of marketing your content and stick with it. Set your goals and synchronize them with your entire team for better collaboration. This is the digital era — do not forget that.

You do not have to arrange a meeting every single time you update your decision. Use the power of management tools to collaborate with your entire team, including sharing files, photos, and videos on the fly. Use a secure channel to share classified information without using third-party applications like Gmail, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, etc.

Once you can collaborate with your entire team securely & on time, it is time to set specific goals that can be achieved within a specific timeframe. Do not target a goal that cannot be achieved or too hard to get desired success.

Also, you need to focus on time management. Look for your competitors’ weaknesses to identify the untapped opportunity to seize it. For example, if your competitor is Microsoft, you can still beat them without directly targeting their focused objective. Instead, find the hole to get into the market by searching for an untapped opportunity that even Microsoft didn’t see.

It’s so obvious, you cannot fight head-on against a powerful opponent, but as they are your opponent, you have to find their weakness and hit hard to beat them.

Find Content Gap using Ahref “Content & Keyword Analysis Tool.”

It’s so obvious if your competitor is strong, then there is no way you can beat them head to head unless you have a large amount of funding to back you up.

So, what to do? Here is the answer for you. I have given you 3 of my best content & keyword analysis tools to begin with.  For this example, I have used the Ahref tool. Take a look at how I find more than 2,000+ keyword gaps in their website.

If you want to beat your competitor, then this is the chance. Find their weakness by using “content gap” to find out which type of keywords they haven’t ranked yet.  Now, create powerful content on that keywords & start to win the market.

Step 4: Plan for Your Target Audience

Always remember that the audience is the ultimate success key. Without them, no business could exist because they are buyers & the lifeblood of any business.

Every business’s target audience could be different. It is a vital task to identify the customer’s interest, habit & lifecycle. If you do not analyze your audience and build the correct content, then even if you have high quality and engaging content — your target audience may not be interested in those.

Some audiences may be interested in video rather than simple text content. Some may be interested in audio content but feeling bored with video & text. It can vary from the audience. Thus you should find out in which type of content they have an interest.

You may face that some group of the audience does not buy products right away. They always research first and take a decision after a while. Your task is to convert them before your competitors convert them. To do that, analyse your target audience and build a perfect marketing strategy.

How to Identify Your Audience Interest?

Using Google analytic, you can easily do it. Visit Google analytic, then click on the audience tab. Here you will find all sorts of information regarding your existing audience. Their age, location, gender, interest, income level, etc.

Visit Google Analytic – Audience

Step 5: Create a Plan for Content Creation

It completely depends on your business brand & target audiences. Some content creation strategies may work for my business. However, the same strategy may not suit your business.

For example, my target audience always searches through Google and research by reading the blog, article, forum post, social media post, etc. Therefore, my content creation plan is – highly engaging, helpful & fresh content that is built with text & images.

Because search engines like Google love text & images, which is perfectly suited for my business marketing plan as well. Now think very carefully what type of business you have, thus building your content creation strategy. For example, if it is a cooking course, then you should focus on video rather than text & images.

Step 6: Leverage Social Media to Create Mass Awareness

Though you can spend thousands of dollars on your business to market it. However, this is not a cost-efficient method. Better to focus on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., for online marketing.

If you use Google ads service for marketing your business, then for a single visitor, you may have to spend $1-2 on average. Most businesses from small to large spend $9,000 per month on average for online marketing.

However, if you can build a community on social media platforms, then you may get millions of visitors to your website without spending a dime. Though, not all social media may suit your business. For example, if your business is cooking-related or furniture-related, you may get massive visitors from Instagram & YouTube.

Step 7: Analyse & Track Your Business Performance

This is the final stage of success. After you have planned for your audiences & build a powerful content marketing strategy now, it’s time to focus on the result. By analysing your website visitors, subscriptions, sharing on social media & purchases made by the audience. It’s so obvious; not everyone gets their desired result without trial & error.

You may create an excellent strategy, but it will only become perfect when you test it out and get the desired result. If you do not get it — then find out the errors and fix it & again test it.

There are several metrics to test your business performance.

  • Audience Behaviour: bounce rate, visit duration, etc.
  • Revenue: subscription, conversion, etc.
  • Mass awareness: sharing, comments, backlinks, etc.
  • Organic Traffic: visitors from search engines, fewer advertisements needed

These are just sample metrics you could use to measure your performance. However, there are many CRM software out there you could use to handle these complex analysing tasks automatically.

Conclusion

How you should market your content completely depends on your business & audience. I can only show you a general way to get success. However, you have to walk by yourself. Analyse your audience & learn about them.

Then build a content-making & marketing plan. Finally, analyse your business performance to see if it works. Remember, every big brand once struggled many years to get the desired success. But they never give up.

Feature Image Credit: rodnae productions; pexels; thank you!

By Arif Chowdhury

Arif Chowdhury is the founder of Cliobra. An active digital marketer specialized in both search engine marketing and social media networks. With more than 10 years of practical experience in small to large organizations management, he provides consultancy on how to manage both sales & marketing departments.

Sourced from readwrite

By

Content marketing is a contact sport. Just like any coach, you’re in charge of preparing for the game and carrying out those plans. Such is the life of a content marketer, where you must balance content marketing strategy vs. execution.

You can’t “win” at content marketing without a solid strategy. Nor can you do so without the ability to execute on it consistently. Let’s look at how both of these functions are critical to your game plan and how to find the right balance.

Quick Takeaways

  • A fruitful content marketing return for your organization requires both strategy and execution.
  • Different resources and tools are necessary to handle both sides.
  • Finding the right balance ensures that you can consistently publish content that’s relevant and engaging for your audience.

Start with a Strategy

Your first play should be a content marketing strategy. The good news is that most of you have one. According to a SEMRush survey, 77% of organizations have a content marketing strategy!

Image: SEMRush

For those with a well-documented content marketing strategy, you can expect to benefit greatly. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reported that those that fit within this category are the most successful.

Image: CMI

Having a Strategy Doesn’t Always Mean Your Content Marketing Is Effective

Just because you have a strategy, it doesn’t mean it’s effective. This is something many organizations struggle with due to a variety of reasons. They don’t have leadership buy-in, resources are slim, it’s just words in a document, or it’s not really a cultural foundation.

It’s easy to get derailed with your strategy. It’s also something that’s living and breathing. It’s not static. Rather, so many things, internal and external, influence it. Just consider the pandemic impact. This global health crisis changed the message and strategy for basically every company.

However, you can’t dwell on your strategy and stop executing it because it’s not perfect. It never will be. You have to start somewhere with good enough and then look at your content performance analytics and data to determine if your strategy is on point or way off.

What Makes a Content Strategy Effective?

If you aren’t sure if your strategy is effective, then it’s time to find out. In general, the most successful ones have these attributes:

  • Specific definition of goals and the KPIs (key performance indicators) you’ll rely on to measure effectiveness.
  • Detailed and heavily researched buyer personas. You must really know your audience to develop content that will resonate with them.
  • Types of content (blogs, eBooks, webinars, video, etc.) you’ll use and how they align with your buyer persona preferences.
  • Channels you’ll use to disperse and distribute content (social, email, paid, etc.)
  • Tools you’ll need to develop content workflows, track audience behaviors, set up campaigns, aggregate analytics, and leverage automation.
  • Foundational language that should influence every piece of content you create (value prop, USP (unique selling proposition), elevator pitch, taglines, vision statement, and mission statement).
  • Content production goals (how much throughput do you commit to every month—check out these insights on blog frequency, for example).

If your strategy addresses all these points, you should feel pretty confident that it can be effective. The challenge for many is how to execute it.

Content Marketing Execution: Turning Strategy into Action

Coaches create game plans with precision, and then they attempt to execute it. They know they’ll have to course-correct along the way because the unexpected is inevitable. When you watch an NFL game, you know these guys are professional athletes, the best of the best, but you can also tell when they aren’t executing—dropped passes, sacked quarterbacks, and huge mental errors.

That can all happen in content execution as well. Strategists lay out the plans for a content team to be successful. Yet, the same challenges keep popping up. Some of the biggest around execution are consistency and content creation workflows.

Consistent Production and Content Workflows

According to the CMI, 32% of marketers said their content workflows were either fair or poor. Additionally, other research confirmed that 60% of marketers find producing content consistently as one of their biggest challenges.

Image: Zazzle

There is certainly reason for friction here. However, it’s not difficult to improve this part of execution. Technology is the answer. A content marketing platform can streamline workflows, provide you with dynamic content calendars, and help you identify where the impediments are.

For example, you might have a few design resources, yet they’re necessary for almost all types of content. If that’s what’s slowing your production, you can consider hiring more in-house talent or outsourcing.

You’ll likely never have “enough” resources. But redistributing them and augmenting your team with outsourced talent can help you reach your content production goals.

Data Should Influence Execution

Execution isn’t on autopilot. The content performance data you generate and analyze should inform it. It could change your strategy, as well. For example, you may learn that your audience has a high preference for visual content over written content. You’ll change your execution of tactics based on this to meet your audience’s expectations better.

Execution Requires All Hands in the Same Circle

Sports teams huddle and put their hands together to show they are one. Your content marketing team should do the same when it comes to execution. Much of this comes down to accountability and transparency. When you have a technology platform that tracks the status of every project, you’ll have a clear picture of who isn’t playing their role.

Then it’s time to investigate the issue and find out what’s actually happening. It may be a time to coach up, add resources, or make a cut.

Finding the Right Balance for Your Business

Content marketing strategy vs. execution is a core concern for any organization committed to content marketing. Having the right balance means your strategy has all the essentials, and you refresh it regularly but aren’t getting caught up in it being perfect. On the execution side, it means analyzing why you aren’t meeting production goals and how to fix your strategy so you hit your goals.

These two areas are necessary for achieving wins in content marketing—more traffic, leads, and sales. And we can help!

If you’re ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.

Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

By

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of “Mean People Suck” and “The Content Formula” and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

Sourced from Marketing Inside Group

By Nadya Khoja

Imagine you are in a meeting, furiously taking notes as the marketing manager speaks and shows a slide deck to review your brand’s content marketing strategy. Or you receive an email with several bullet points touching on the strategy. And what about those quick conversations when your manager stops by your desk and tells you about an element in the strategy?

Retention of what you’ve seen and heard in any of those scenarios is difficult.

To ensure that all involved understand your content marketing strategy, you need to document it in an easy-to-digest format. Text-dominated documents or presentations with a few reference images thrown in don’t work well. Create something that will remain in the minds of your team members and colleagues.

It’s easier and quicker to absorb visuals. Using them to communicate your content marketing strategy is the best way forward. Here are a few ways visuals can effectively convey your strategy.

Using visuals to communicate your #contentmarketing strategy is the best way forward, says @NadyaKhoja. Click To Tweet

Lay the groundwork

To get colleagues and upper management better acquainted with using your content marketing strategy, break it down visually.

The mind map below clearly outlines the aspects of the strategy, including suggested tools, how to set goals, and how to conduct effective meetings. This single visual gives its viewers a clear road map of what to expect and how to proceed, without you having to speak at length or give a presentation on the subject.

Click to enlarge

TIP: Print the strategy mind map and place it in meeting rooms so everybody can see how powerful visuals can be in conveying information.

Paint the big picture

With an accepted understanding of the power of visually communicating strategy, your first step is to create a visual that effectively shares the company’s primary goals – where the company is going and why it wants to get there.

Use a simple flowchart or mind map to convey this information. This visual contains important information with a long-term impact on your team. It rarely leads to immediate action unless broken into smaller projects and tasks.

Make this visual easy to read by using contrasting colors for the background and text. However, avoid using too much text as that negates the use of a visual. Instead, employ numbers, graphs, charts, or diagrams to convey the big picture. Bite-sized information is easier to retain.

You also should create a visual for your marketing team’s goals. Use more detail, maybe even use an infographic that outlines what the aims are for each month, quarter, or year.

Create an infographic for the marketing team’s goals for the month, quarter, or year, says @nadyakhoja. Click To Tweet

Look at this simple mind map for digital marketing. It clearly outlines what the team is meant to achieve. You can customize mind map templates to include numbers the team has to hit or to highlight components that require immediate action.

Click to enlarge

TIP: A simple graphic using icons and limited text immediately captures the imagination of those viewing it and gives them more incentive to work toward the goals.

Plan a project

Now you need to show the team how to accomplish the previously illustrated goals. This is where you bring in your project planning and management skills.

Project timelines are an excellent way to visually convey to your team what its tasks are and when they must be completed. The strategy workflow below details the tasks and time allotted for each. Note the minimal use of color to ensure that the focus is on the information. The icons also give a quick visual to remember the tasks to accomplish.

Click to enlarge

Project timelines are a great way to visually convey the team’s tasks and deadlines, says @NadyaKhoja. Click To Tweet

A Gantt chart is another visual template you can use to show your project strategy. The simplified chart below clearly shows which team members are needed at which stage of the project, as well as what their tasks are for which field. The contrasting colors minimize any confusion about their roles. The calendar layout makes it easy to understand when and who is involved in the activity.

Maps and charts impart important information easily to your team, eliminating the need to use complex Excel sheets or long presentations.

Involve the team

At this point, get your team involved in communicating visually. Ask them to create personal strategies using visuals to detail their goals and how they intend to achieve them.

Creating these personal visuals will not only help them retain the strategies they have been seeing but also help organize their activities. As you know, writing things down the moment you hear them is an excellent way to recall information, and plotting tasks into visuals is even more effective.

For content marketers, a simple mind map like the one below works effectively to help retain what you need to achieve. In turn, it also will lead you to organically generate content ideas efficiently.

With the tasks in place for the team member, a personal Gantt chart (like the one below) gives individuals a way to plot their activities and timelines.

Visual mind maps and timelines keep people on track and give them a quick reference to see while working. They make a manager’s job easier as team members have a degree of autonomy and responsibility to complete their tasks and projects.

Develop your strategy picture

In a work climate where pressure is high and time is short, making it easier for everyone to absorb the company ethos and understand the tasks in front of them will lead to more efficient workflow. Using a visual strategy in the marketing team is an excellent way to obtain top performance from your team and eventually lead to your business achieving its goals.

Get the best visuals in the content marketing industry. Attend the world’s largest content marketing event Sept. 3-6 and view (and hear) presentations from over 100 in the industry. Register today using code CMIBLOG100 to save $100. 

Feature Image Credit: Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

By Nadya Khoja

Nadya is the director of marketing for Venngage, an online graphic design software. She also runs a web-series called Drunk Entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @NadyaKhoja.

Other posts by Nadya Khoja

Sourced from CM Content Marketing Institute

 

By Michael Brenner

As a marketer, you already know that content marketing is well worth your time and effort. What you put in is almost guaranteed to be returned to you many times over, and this attractive ROI combined with low costs and barriers to entry makes content marketing one of the most popular marketing strategies for businesses large and small.

However, it’s not always so easy to convince management and C-suite that content represents a worthy investment. Unlike traditional advertising campaigns and other types of marketing, it can be quite some time before you see the results of your content marketing campaign.

In some cases, it might take years before you build enough momentum from your content marketing activities to see real results. But only 59% of respondents surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute agreed that leadership offered enough time to demonstrate content marketing results. So how can you get executive buy-in if you’ve only got a short timeframe to prove its effectiveness?

Quick Takeaways

  • Executive buy-in is important for content marketing success, but it’s not always easy to achieve.
  • Backing up your case with facts, figures, and a well-considered marketing strategy is essential.
  • Consider running a pilot content marketing scheme to demonstrate short-term success.

Why Getting Executive Buy-In for Content Marketing Can Be Challenging

There are actually several reasons why executives don’t immediately see content marketing as the same amazing opportunity that marketers do.

Remember, the aims of your role in the company are fundamentally different. Marketers want to raise brand visibility and generate leads, while C-suite is concerned with the overall strategic running of the business and generating income. It may not be immediately obvious how content marketing fits into this.

The main challenges or sticking points include:

  • The ROI of content marketing is difficult to measure and prove.
  • Results from content marketing may not be seen until months or years later.
  • Producing enough content to be effective either means investing in more staff or outsourcing costs, or taking employees away from other activities.
  • Content marketing is a fairly new strategy compared to more traditional marketing methods and senior level employees are therefore less likely to understand it fully and be familiar with the techniques involved.

To get executive buy-in, you need to prove the worth of content marketing in facts and figures so it’s not dismissed as just being the latest trendy tactic that doesn’t necessarily produce results.

Content Marketing By the Numbers

While you may not yet have the figures to prove the effectiveness of your own content marketing strategy, thousands of other brands and marketers have done the work for you.

Use published data and research to demonstrate how content marketing has been effective for others. Show how you will replicate this success in your own content marketing strategy.

After presenting the generic figures and statistics, back up your research with case studies and examples from other companies and brands.

  • Buffer used a content marketing strategy revolving around blogging, guest blogging, and email marketing to build their brand from scratch to a user base of 400,000, and around a million followers on social media.
  • Transferwise uses a content strategy focused on creating great content, which automatically generates links and PR to generate 14 million visits a month. They published 243 articles in one year and 43% of their traffic comes from search to the high-quality content on their blog.
  • Shutterstock attracted 6 billion site visits, 5,300 shares on social media, and mentions in over 100 articles from just one infographic.
  • Demandbase launched a content marketing campaign including a whitepaper, infographic, webinar, and live presentation that generated 1,700 leads, 125 webinar attendees and $1million in new business.

Developing an Effective Marketing Strategy

After demonstrating the effectiveness of content marketing in general, and the success that others have seen, it’s time to set out your own strategy complete with measurable goals and a timeline for achieving them.

Your content marketing strategy is your business case for investment, so it’s vital to put work into it and build a compelling case.

65% of the most successful B2B content marketers have a documented strategy, compared to only 14% of those who are not as successful. If you don’t have a carefully considered strategy, C-suite has little reason to invest in your plans.

Your content marketing strategy should include:

  • An analysis of your audience, their demographics, behaviors, and how they spend their time online (marketing personas are the most effective way to implement this.)
  • Your content marketing goals and how they align with the overall business goals
  • The content formats you’ll focus on such as blog posts, videos, infographics, whitepapers etc.
  • The channels you’ll use for content promotion
  • Your schedule for content creation and publication
  • How your requested budget will be split and how you plan to stretch your budget further by repurposing content and using free and low-cost marketing techniques (include estimated cost savings).

With a detailed strategy, your proposal should be difficult to refuse. However, there is one final step to achieving total executive buy-in.

Launch a Pilot Content Marketing Plan to Demonstrate Short-Term Success

The most significant benefits of content marketing may not be seen for quite some time in the future, but you can still set achievable short-term goals to give a taster of what’s to come.

Kickstart your content marketing strategy with a pilot plan over a limited time period such as six months. Agree on a budget for your pilot, set clear goals, and make sure to measure and analyze your results regularly so you can report back to senior management.

Showing short-term gains such as an increase in website traffic or more mentions on social media can help to give your management team a preview of what may be possible over a longer timescale with more resources.

By Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.

Sourced from Marketing Insider Group

You have crafted your blog strategy, painstakingly laid out an editorial calendar, and spent countless hours (and perhaps precious cash) creating blog posts for your business. How do you know if your effort is paying off? You can determine whether your content marketing strategy is failing or succeeding with a few simple steps.

Start by Understanding Your Goals

First and most importantly, understand the goal of your blog. Is it designed to establish thought leadership for your brand, generate leads, build up your social following, better understand your audience, etc.? It may sound obvious, but specifying your goals is a necessary first step prior to analyzing whether you’re achieving them.

Use Google Analytics for Fundamental User Metrics

Analysing Google Analytics (GA) trends is a good place to start when monitoring your content quality. GA is a free, richly featured, powerful analytics tool provided by Google. Setup is as simple as installing a snippet of code in your global site header. Once installed, GA will provide a wealth of information on user behaviour on each page of your blog. You can obtain this information by navigating to “Content,” and then “User Behaviour,” and then filtering by “blog.”

There are a few key stats to pay attention to in GA. You’ll want to monitor the following across all posts and for individual posts:

• Pageviews indicate whether your topics and headlines are interesting and SEO friendly and whether your blog posts are being shared socially. Pageviews are affected by a variety of factors such as content quantity, content quality, and promotion on social platforms and in email newsletters.

• Bounce Rate & Exit Rate help you understand whether users are proceeding to other posts after reading a given article. A Bounce occurs when a user’s first-page view on your site was also their last. An Exit indicates that a user left your site after viewing a given page. These metrics tend to be a measure of your content quality, and also how well you are cross-promoting your other blog or site content.

Layer in Social Sharing Behaviour

Next, you’ll want to understand the virality (defined as “the tendency of an image, video, or piece of information to be circulated rapidly and widely from one Internet user to another”) of your content. The primary reason for this is to understand overall sharing behaviour, but a close second is to understand how your content is shared on various social platforms. You might be surprised to find, for example, that your content is more likely to be shared on Facebook than on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Share count alone won’t tell you much, however, without factoring in the number of page views. The not-so-obvious key metric that is truly indicative of content virality is Share-to-Pageview ratio. This metric indicates if your content topic was interesting and the quality was good; or to put it another way, whether the content delivered value based on the expectations set by the title of the post.

Look for trends in the data

Now that you’ve created a content dashboard, you can analyse the overall effectiveness of your blog, and more importantly the effectiveness of individual posts. In a short period of time, you will be able to identify trends that will inform your future content creation and allow you to understand the impact of factors such as content quality, quantity, and promotion on your content page views and shares.

Examples of content trends in the dashboard:

Topics – Which topics or themes tend to resonate with your audience? You’ll likely want to create more content on these topics or themes in the future. Conversely, content that seems to be of little interest to your audience can be removed from your future editorial calendar.

Titles – Do certain title styles resonate more with your audience? Some audiences may prefer a straightforward title, while others may prefer a listicle format, like top 10 lists, and others may prefer teaser-style headlines. Identifying title trends will help you make sure future content is more likely to be read by your audience.

Authors – Perhaps certain authors have higher pageview and shares than others. When that happens, make sure you are maintaining a good relationship with the successful authors, and consider increasing the frequency of their posts.

These are merely a few examples of trends to illustrate the power of maintaining a blog dashboard. You will likely identify other trends relevant to your specific business and blog.

Following these straightforward steps, you should be able to move forward on your blog strategy with confidence. Updating and review the dashboard with your content team once per week will ensure that your blog is tailored for your audience and that your content’s quality, quantity, and discover-ability are meeting your expectations.

Feature Image Credit: (iStock/RichVintage) 

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Sourced from Black Enterprise

By Anna Fox

Is DIY SEO possible?

Yes, and it can improve your blog traffic quite a bit!

And more traffic means more monetization opportunities as well as more potential clients to work with.

So to state the blindingly obvious, increasing the amount of traffic to your blog is a top priority.

By utilizing proper SEO techniques and tools, you can dramatically increase your organic search visibility.

The good news is, SEO is not rocket science. You don’t have to hire an SEO consultant or pay for expensive tools. You can totally master DIY SEO at home and achieve long-term search visibility on a very tight budget.

Disclaimer: I am not an SEO expert, but I have been using the following tools on a regular basis when producing content for clients and myself. So I know what they help with and how to succeed, from my own experience.

What should you be looking for in SEO tools?

Unless you are a professional SEO consultant, the best criteria for choosing SEO software you can focus on are

  • Ease of use (You can understand how a tool works without additional training),
  • Inexpensive and/or free software
  • Reliability! Stay away from false promises and outdated SEO advice such as keyword density metric that can harm your content quality.

1. Google Tools: Monitor Your SEO Health (FREE!)

For the best in free, Google has its own set of optimizing tools for small businesses and content marketers in the form of Google Analytics and Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics focuses solely on traffic driven to sites and offers statistics on what methods work for this, sales, and more. Everything is set up in a smooth dashboard that’s minimalistic and easy to read.

Google Analytics can get quite intimidating when it comes to goal tracking and setting URL parameters, but if you are just starting out, use the rule I went by:

  • If I don’t know what it means, move on.
  • Focus on what matters and learn everything else later

This helped me get started with Google Analytics. Install the script (using one of these plugins). Give it a few days to accumulate the data and focus on this section:

Behavior -> Site Content -> All pages

This will help you identify your articles that are driving more traffic. You can use a filter to drill down to article topics and sections to get a better understanding of your blog most successful pages:

Google Search Console

Google Search Console scans your website and alerts you to any errors that you may have made in SEO specific to your website. Linking these two accounts together can also add data specific to your website through Analytics.

My favorite section here is “Performance”. (This can only be found insider new Search Console design. I believe it used to be “Search traffic”)

Here, if you enable the “Average position” tab, you’ll see your best-performing keywords in Google:

While they may not be the top of the line in SEO Marketing tools, the ease of use is a definite positive. Search Console and Analytics are both compatible with mobile devices as well, allowing you to work on the move.

2. Text Optimizer: Implement Keyword Topic Research and Content Optimization ($60/m)

You’ve probably heard that you need to research and optimize for keywords in order to rank, right?

It’s not simple. You also need to know the topic well.

Fortunately, Google has moved away from matching keywords to content to understand its relevance. And it’s good news for content marketers who want to focus on in-depth, high-quality content.

These days Google understands semantic relationships between words, related concepts and neighboring topics. In other words, Google knows what should be included in a page copy for it to satisfy the user’s query better. Keyword research now includes intent research, synonymous concepts, related terms and neighboring terms.

With that said, put aside your traditional keyword research tools you are using now and give this tool a try.

Topic Research

Text Optimizer is a topic research tool which uses Google search results to give you cues on what needs to be included in a copy for it to rank better.

The tool uses semantic analysis to create topic clusters and help you create better-researched content that Google will like. It can be used to optimize your existing content as well as to create content from scratch.

Let’s see how it works and how it can help:

  • Say you have a general content idea
  • Single out a phrase that best describes the idea
  • Put the phrase in Text Optimizer

Now, select the “Start from scratch” option. The tool will search this phrase in Google and come back with the list of terms and concepts that need to be included in your content:

Select around 20 of those terms that look like they will fit your future article well, then start working on your article. Here’s what I got for “healthy living”, for example:

The tool also provides “Editorial Suggestions” that you are likely to find quite helpful. Those are popular questions on the topic you are writing about:

Once you are done with your content, run the tool again (now choosing the “My text” option). This will show you whether your article is optimized well. Continue tweaking your copy until you have a minimum score of 80. Pay attention to the “Content quality” section for better results:

This way, this helpful tool will direct your writing process allowing you to come up with both better-optimized and higher-quality copy.

One word of advice re. this and most other tools that analyze content – including Grammarly:

Sometimes, machines don’t understand nuance. Always make sure that the suggested changes actually look right to the eye.

3. Yoast SEO: Get Your Structured Data and Important SEO Elements in Order (Freemium)

I am a huge fan of Yoast, and you have almost certainly at least heard of them in the past. This plugin for WordPress guides you along the way to SEO excellence. You put in a focus keyword, write a meta description, put the focus keyword in the bulk text and let the plugin analyze how you are doing regarding basic SEO.

It will give you recommendations to further strengthen your SEO in the post, turning green when you have reached the minimum for Google benefits. It will help you improve readability and structure of your text by encouraging you to use shorter sentences and paragraphs, fewer words between subheadings, active voice, etc.

Yoast also contains a lot of up-to-date sections that help you capture more Google ranking opportunities and optimize for the most recent SEO trends including:

Additionally, the plugin comes with an enormous amount of SEO tutorials that guide you through complicated processes, explain SEO terminology and help you optimize your content better.

Bonus DIY SEO Tools

  • Cyfe: This tool is not an SEO tool, but it can be used for monitoring your SEO success easily. Import your most essential stats from Google Analytics, Google Search Console, your rank tracking tool, etc. Cyfe can save you lots of time and turn complicated data into easy-to-understand graphs. It’s a great multi-feature tool, especially if you are not doing SEO 24/7 and want to just keep an eye on your progress without spending hours going from a report to a report
  • Answer the Public: This site is a free tool that provides data for searches on popular search engines like Google and Bing. This can help you streamline the keywords you decide to use in your site. This one is also set up similarly to a search engine itself, and the data is clearly displayed for you on a dashboard. It may be a really simple tool, but it can give you valuable information that sends your ranking up leaps and bounds from where you started. It’s also a great content inspiration tool for FAQ pages, lead magnets and even eBooks.
  • Detailed.com: Do you want to get better at SEO? Detailed sends you two emails a month listing best SEO tricks and techniques. This won’t help you directly in your smaller market. But it will give you insights on what makes these larger companies tick and the strategies that they utilize to stay on top. This can give you an active look at these strategies being utilized without having to fork out the money to see your competitors.

Don’t underestimate the power of basic actionable SEO. By utilizing the DIY SEO tools when optimizing your content, you step out on the right foot and increase your chances of getting found online!

By Anna Fox

Anna Fox is the blogger behind Hire Bloggers, a website helping bloggers to find jobs and monetize their sites.

Sourced from Curatti

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Every great product or brand starts with an idea. But how does an idea grow into a big idea that stops your audience in their tracks? 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of producing content without a clear idea behind your content strategy. If your organic traffic isn’t growing month over month, or if you find yourself continually spending advertising budget to acquire readers, this probably means that your content strategy lacks a big idea.

If your organic traffic isn’t growing month over month, or if you find yourself continually spending advertising budget to acquire readers, this probably means that your content strategy lacks a big idea. Click To Tweet

Advertising tycoon David Ogilvy famously said: 

You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

David Ogilvy was absolutely right.

Which book has a better big idea: Rich Dad Poor Dad or 101 Ways to Find the Money to Save and Invest?

rich dad poor dad investTake a look at these two financial self-help books, for instance. Both books teach the principles of saving and investing money. But, can you guess which title sold more copies?

Rich Dad Poor Dad is an international bestseller, yet 101 Ways to Find the Money to Save and Invest is mostly unknown. As we further explore the concept of the big idea, it will quickly become apparent that Rich Dad Poor Dad has a big idea behind it. This is because a title like Rich Dad Poor Dad stands out from all other books about saving and investing. The big idea behind this book has easily cut through the noise and captured any potential readers’ attention.

Let’s delve deeper and explore how you can develop a big idea that works and leads to exponential growth in organic traffic: the ultimate goal for many businesses.

How do you create your big idea for content marketing?

At this stage, you may be wondering where creating your “big idea” fits in your inbound marketing strategy? The answer is it’s the crucial first step in your inbound and content marketing planning process.

If you’re already part way through your content marketing strategy but don’t yet have a big idea in place, don’t panic: this is the time to audit your approach.

1. First, you need to take a step back and consider your buyer persona. Think about the customer you’re trying to reach. Ask yourself:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • How do they go from awareness to decision?
  • What do they want to see?

2. Next, you need to attract your target customer’s interest. One way to do this is to apply the concept of creating unfamiliarity into what they’re already familiar with, or vice versa.

Here’s an example of introducing familiarity with what may seem unfamiliar to your audience: cryptocurrency. Most people have a sketchy understanding of what Bitcoin is. But if one were to explain Bitcoin as a form of “digital gold,” most people would be able to grasp that concept easily since ‘digital’ and ‘gold’ are things that people are already familiar with.

tangle teezer

An example of creating unfamiliarity into what people are familiar with would be the wildly successful product, Tangle Teezer, the de-tangling hairbrush. Everyone is familiar with a hairbrush. But a hairbrush that specializes in de-tangling your hair? That’s a novel idea!

Tangle Teezer’s brand success started with a big idea, and inbound traffic grew organically. This product very effectively fulfills its promise to quickly and painlessly de-tangle hair, and customers promptly told their friends. Tangle Teezer became a self-promoting brand.

As you move further through the process of finding your big idea, a memorable and straightforward method is to follow the acronym of B-I-G.

Click To Tweet

B: Buzzworthy

Ask yourself: does your idea capture people’s attention?

Talk about your big idea to your friends and colleagues. Are they interested? Do they want to find out more? Ask your colleagues and carefully watch their reaction. Is this an idea that you want to talk about with your friends? Also, consider if there are any market trends that you can leverage to create a content strategy around.

I: Incomparability

As a company or brand, you must stand out from your competitors and create a product that solves a problem.  There are three ways to do this:

1. Genuine Incomparability. Your products are truly unique. Most of us, unfortunately, don’t fall into this category as this requires inventing a product with an exclusive patent. For most products and brands, the next two strategies are more realistic.

2. Industrial Incomparability. You create your big idea around something that your industry competitors may already be doing, but they don’t talk about it in their content strategy. 

toms shoes

Let’s take TOMS shoes as an example. For every pair of TOMS shoes sold, another pair is gifted to a person in need, and customers are made aware of their contribution. Customers feel good about their purchase, and TOMS stands out in a hugely competitive market.

3. Created Incomparability. This is the key to coming up with a big idea that works. You need to find something exciting and compelling about your product to help it stand apart from competitors.

Imagine you work for a company selling health supplements for children, and you need to market vitamin D supplements. If you only list the benefits of vitamin D, most of your audiences will quickly lose attention — especially kids!  To grow your organic inbound traffic and increase product awareness, you need to think differently about your product.

Perhaps as you carry out some research on vitamin D, you discover that astronauts used it during space missions. Suddenly, vitamin D could potentially become the “Astronaut’s Vitamin”. Kids are fascinated by astronauts and intrigued by your product. And parents have the option to purchase an attractive health supplement that their children are excited to take. 

You’re not selling anything different, but you’ve found a creative way to make your product seem unique.

G: Gargantuan Goal

And now we come to your Gargantuan Goal. Ask yourself one simple question: what is the biggest problem you’re trying to solve for your audience?

It’s time to revisit your buyer persona and think about what triggered their customer journey. 

Let’s go back to the Tangle Teezer hairbrush. Its gargantuan goal is simply to provide a solution to the annoying problem of trying to de-tangle your hair. It solves its buyer persona’s biggest problem.

An Example of a Company with an Awesome B-I-G Idea: FrogTape

Finally, let’s look at a brand that successfully demonstrates the B-I-G acronym in action: the painting tape brand, FrogTape.

FrogTape’s content marketing focuses on its ability to achieve clean, sharp lines with no paint bleed. It creates the concept of PaintBlock Technology. PaintBlock Technology is buzzworthy — it immediately intrigues people. They want to find out more. FrogTape effectively inserts the unfamiliar into the familiar.

FrogTape's content marketing

FrogTape shares painting tips, how-tos, and inspiration as part of their content marketing.

FrogTape also successfully harnesses “Created Incomparability”. It creates the idea of PaintBlock Technology to keep your paint lines straight and sharp. 

FrogTape’s “Gargantuan Goal” is to convince its customers to use FrogTape to create clean lines and avoid the worst-case-scenario of having to repaint a room.

Every aspect of FrogTape’s content marketing strategy then links back to this big idea. Even the design trends on FrogTape’s website have subtle relevance to the big idea: their “Paint Block” technology. 

Get your big idea right, and you’re ready to soar.

Your big idea is the beating heart of your product or brand. Every piece of content you create about your product has to link back to your big idea. It can be subtle, but it has to be there.

By 

Marcus Ho is the founder of the digital and content marketing agency, Brew Interactive. The agency specializes in working with financial and real estate brands to leverage content strategies that will drive their business goals. He is also the author of the highly-rated book, Social Payoff

Sourced from CONVINCE&CONVERT