content marketing success

4 Ways To Beat Anyone Else At Content Marketing

Have you read a bunch of fancy articles about how to setup your 2014 content marketing campaign and expertly implemented the lessons you have learned? Now, your problem could be that things seem to be going your way, but it also seems your competitors have read the same posts! Warning bells and flashing lights start going off in your head. If they read the same posts, that means they’ll be just as successful if not more than you.

Let the Content Marketing Games Begin

Let’s put the brakes on and address this problem! It’s time to get ahead and make some changes to spirit clients away from your competitor—and back to you. Here are four terrific ways you can beat any competitor at the intense game of content marketing.

1. Tell them a Story

Humanity has always loved stories. We love to take basic war stories and turn them into fantasy tales, we love making stories out of everything. It may seem like our culture has slowly walked away from storytelling, but Neil Gaiman has proven that wrong by hosting well-attended and popular ghost story nights. Stories are what bind our society together, inspire us, break our hearts, mend those broken hearts, and tell us we are not alone, and we love it. Ryan Hanely says this is the most important way to win with your content marketing. Use this to your advantage. While your competitors have glitzy banners and trendy new webpages, bring it down a notch and connect with your clients on a more personal level. The fact that you are telling them stories will set you apart from everyone else and you will find more and more people becoming clients.

2. Reach those Millennials

If you do not make a content marketing strategy that caters to the Millennials, you will lose to your competitors now and in the future. By creating a strategy for this generation, you are also preparing your business for the inevitability of marketing to the generation that is coming up after Millennials. Remember, this generation has only known a world with social media, iDevices, and other amazing forms of technology. According to WishPond’s top 10 content marketing predictions, in order to reach generations that will bring in more money for your business, set up mobile platforms for your site, use more visual marketing and create content in smaller quantities.

3. Create Consistent, Quality Content

Search Engine Journal says that you need to have consistent quality content when it comes to content marketing. You already know by now (we hope!) that you need to have quality content in order to rank in search engines and to keep or gain customers. Excellence will help you win and lack of it will make you lose customers; it is as simple as that. Quality comes in the form of great titles, engaging topics, proper internal and external linking, and originality. Get these elements right, and you’ll find more people checking out your site.

Now, what about consistency? What do we mean by this? You need to update your site regularly. Don’t update once a week and then suddenly change to updating once a month and then back to once a week. People will lose interest in your site, also those pesky bots will “feel” your site is flimsy and won’t help rank it in searches. Consistency in updates means better ranking in searches.

4. Don’t Be A Slacker and Pay Attention!

You still might be thinking that content marketing is not important, but it is vital to every business in 2014. If you want to make it big, you have to have a content campaign, plain and simple. Don’t slack off and create content that is wimpy, don’t ignore the content for glitz and glam, this will only hurt your business and will eventually cause it to become extinct. Take a lesson from the dinosaurs; we are pretty sure they did not appreciate the whole extinction process. Content marketing is immensely popular in campaigns, seize this opportunity to generate more business and become a huge 2014 success. In fact, over 50 percent of marketers have said this is number one priority in 2014 as it brings in more revenue for their company. If you are feeling stuck in the quagmire of content marketing, focus on one aspect and work to perfect it. You’ll find yourself growing in the area of quality content and will soon be able to create an even wider variety. Growing in the area of content marketing will set you apart from you competitors and get you leagues ahead!

In Closing

We hope you have learned a little more about content marketing and how to stay ahead of your competitors. Using these quick tips will help you beat the competition and gain more leads for your business. You will find that 2014 will be a great year of success for your company and you will be ahead of the game!

 

 

Rss feed sign tag cloud

Should I Syndicate My Web Content? How & Why Syndicated Content Can Work For You

If you “speak SEO” (for example, you already know what SERP means), then you’re familiar with on-page and off-page optimization strategies designed to bring you on page 1 in Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google-friendly link building tactics are always a safe bet, enabling engines to catalog you as a trustworthy, popular and relevant source of information that deserves to occupy a privileged position in SERPs. But if you’re really craving for a bigger piece of the pie, you may need to broaden your horizons and rely on different other useful tactics, like content syndication, for instance.

Syndicated Content: An Effective Strategy

One of the most effective strategies to build credibility and trust while boosting your SEO efforts is to let a third-party webpage publish your content. Yes, that’s right! Called content syndication, this can become your powerful ally in the long run. You have to count on site publishers who are constantly craving for flawless content to be able to pursue your boldest optimization goals. Make no mistake: this is not a classic “sharing is caring” situation. You don’t syndicate your content because you are an altruistic person, but because you know that this is the key to an enhanced online visibility and a better ranking.

When Sharing Is Caring (About Yourself & Others)

Let’s start with the very beginning: what is content syndication (or syndicated content), and why should you factor in this option?

Syndicating content means that you are publishing it on a different website. Your content can be posted on a third-party website in different forms, including snippet, full article, thumbnail or link. Syndication can help you attain your most ambitious promotion goals, by allowing you to increase exposure for your line of products or brand.

Web content syndication creates a win-win situation for the original author and for the publisher. What’s in it for the third-party website, you may ask? The source that decides to host your articles satisfies its hunger for premium content, attracts a larger segment of visitors, increases website traffic and manages to stay in the public eye, thanks to your quality web writing.

In short, everybody gets what they want and they all live happily ever after in a universe in which they can make the most of search engine-friendly optimization techniques that do not upset Google. Does this mean that content syndication is always a safe bet? Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, as long as you get familiar with the not-so-secret dos and don’ts of syndication, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Discovering and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Content Syndication

Let’s start by making one thing crystal clear: syndicated web content is only useful in guest blogs RSS feeds, and press releases. Other than that, syndication like article directories (1 article in 50 directories) is bad news with Google. Duplicate content is another major issue that could stop you from harvesting the fruits of your labor. If you post an article and you let a publisher publish the same exact content piece, you will most likely be forced to deal with a duplicate content problem.

According to Search Engine Journal, there are 2 main SEO concerns associated with content syndication: duplicate content penalties and a negative impact on your ranking.

a)      Duplicate Content. By now, you should be fully aware of the fact that Google has a zero tolerance for duplicate content. Your refusal to craft stellar, 100% original content can get you out of the game in no time. But when you syndicate your materials, you don’t do it to manipulate search engines. Content syndication lets you promote your content and ultimately your entire business at a higher level, in a cost and time-effective manner. So how do you syndicate your content without making Google’s entire zoo angry? When it comes to content syndication, less is more. Rely on fewer partner sites to distribute your content and choose only the ones that can actually bring your web writing in the attention of a large audience interested in finding products or services just like the ones that you are providing. Moreover, you should include internal links and canonical tags, to let Google know that your website is the original source of the syndicated content. These simple measures should stop you from getting into trouble.

b)      An Inferior Ranking. Even if you manage to improve your visibility via content syndication, there is one more threat that you should take into consideration: your content syndication partner could outrank you in search engine results, and this is definitely a risk that you can’t afford to take. It may be a good idea to syndicate your web content and eliminate your RSS feed later on, after you manage to improve your visibility.

How can you do it right? According to Search Engine Land, there are 4 main pain and risk-free tactics that could guarantee the success of syndicated content:

1)      Syndicate an Article Synopsis. This is a huge SEO opportunity explored by many respectable news sources, including Business Week, which can teach us how to syndicate content like a pro. A certain story that appeals to a broader audience can be picked up by various high-quality sources. Some of them will not replicate the entire content piece. Instead of copy pasting the original article, they will display only one snippet and also link back to the original source. Obviously, this is great advantage for content creators, because syndication gives them the chance to collect quality links by simply letting reputable websites publish synopses.

2)      Ask Your Publisher to Use the NoIndex Meta Tag. If your publisher agrees to place this meta tag on every single page that he “borrows” from you, this means that you no longer have to worry about duplicate content situations that could attract major penalties. NoIndex meta tag placed on a page is a valuable indicator that lets search engine know that they should not return that particular page in their results.

3)      Create Two Categories of Content. There are situations in which identical content published on different websites could give you a hard time. To avoid penalties and other negative consequences, you could try to upgrade your content creation strategy. Basically, you could divide your resources and your efforts to come up with 2 categories of content: one for your website and one for your content distribution partners. In this case, the key is to develop and promote excellent, high-value content. Whether they’re published on your site or on the platform of your syndication partner, second-hand materials won’t do you any favors.

4)      Rely on the Cross Domain Canonical Tag. This practice is 100% Google-friendly, so it doesn’t expose you to any risks. If your content can be found in 2 different locations, you can use the cross domain canonical tag to let Google know which website is the original source.

As you can see, content syndication can’t hurt your SEO efforts, as long as you take these basic measures of precaution. All the 4 tactics can help you increase your visibility, enhance brand awareness, attract a larger number of potential buyers and boost your profits. Speaking about money, what does content syndication cost these days? It all depends on your goals, needs and expectations. Generally speaking, there are two categories of syndication options: paid and free. Obviously, if you have limited financial possibilities or if you simply want to make the most of what’s good and free in the SEO universe, you can start by getting in touch with influential bloggers who are well-known in your field of activity.

They could endorse you by publishing your materials without expecting to get paid for this. Paid alternatives are usually worth your time and money because they bring and keep you in the public eye and increase your exposure by syndicating your web writing on popular sites like Time or CNN. Taboola and Outbrain are two of the most relevant paid content syndication options that could do wonders for your business in the long run, by putting into the spotlight and allowing you to be discovered by a larger pool of potential clients.

Outbrain can recommend your content on your website and on various top-rated publisher sites, to get what you want to say about yourself or your products in front on an engaged audience. This is one of the most respectable so-called content discovery platforms that gives you the chance to capture the attention of the right public at the right time. Outbrain can offer you two types of advantages:

  • The chance to use its technology to improve reader experience, increase the time spend on your site and boost page views, while encouraging your visitors to discover more quality content located on your own website. You can also add a new revenue stream by recommending third-party content distributed on other sites.
  • The chance to grow and diversify your audience, by posting your content on different websites, where readers are more likely to read your content, assimilate your message and act accordingly.

Outbrain lets you gain an insight into content optimization, while also enabling you to perfect your content & media strategy.

When Should I Give the Green Light to Content Syndication?

So now you know how to use content syndication and how to address potential risks that could hurt your ranking and compromise your SEO efforts. But keep in mind that timing is also of the essence. In order to syndicate your content, you should already be able to count on more than a few high-quality materials. As a rule of thumb, first of all you should test the content that you plan to syndicate by publishing it on your own website. This is the simplest method to measure its effectiveness and its level of impact on your public. Once you feel ready to start looking for content distribution partners, you also have to count on a competent, skilled content manager who could monitor the syndication process.

How Do I Come Up With the Right Content Syndication Strategy?

To identify and implement the ideal content syndication strategy, first of all you should analyze your own goals. Perhaps you want to increase website traffic in a manner which is not very different from paid search. Or perhaps you want to elevate your visibility and make sure your brand stays in the center of everyone’s attention for the longest period of time. If what you really want is to boost your traffic, syndicating entire articles may not be the best choice.

In this case, it would make more sense to syndicate only a first paragraph or a headline accompanied by a link to the original source. If your end goal is to increase brand awareness, then you should know that all forms of content syndication may work well for you. Once you come up with a cohesive, personalized strategy and you feel ready to put theory into practice, all you need to do is to find the best content distribution partners that could support your objectives.

How Do I Find the Most Suitable Content Syndication Partners?

The answer is simple: by conducting extensive research. First of all, you have to list and analyze your goals and determine how much money you want and can afford to invest in this process. Afterwards, you just have to take a closer look at the kind of content that you have and plan to distribute and think where you would like to see your web writing. When it comes to selecting the perfect candidates for this job, you must take into consideration 3 main aspects:

1)      The particularities of your content (tone, style, audience, calls to action and general purpose)
2)      The requirements of your potential content distributors
3)      The software/infrastructure capabilities of all candidates

Obviously, your goal is to find a partner that can help you promote your business the easy way, in front of a large, diverse, deep-pocketed audience, without burning deep holes in your pocket. Take baby steps when it comes to distributing your content, at least until you get familiar with the written and unwritten rules of content syndication.

Who knows, maybe content syndication could be the next best thing for you. If you play your cards right and manage to establish a fruitful collaboration with respectable partners, syndication could open the doors to unbelievably effective promotion strategies that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

 

 

content campaign tactics

5 Tactics for Maximizing the Results of Your Content Campaigns

When it comes to content campaigns for your small business, online website investments, and overall content needs, there are a lot of bases to cover and perfect. This blog is all about helping you do that!

So How Are We Going to Help You Maximize Content Campaigns? First, we’ll study different content products that go beyond your foundational web content and blog elements (these you should be doing by default – it shouldn’t take us to remind you!). We will also tie in some top tips from our copywriting brains on how you can create these products best and get the most results from them.

1. Whitepaper: The Future of Content Marketing

As you approach your new content marketing strategies, you should consider using whitepapers for your marketing needs. What is a whitepaper? Glad you asked! Whitepapers are used to provide information to all your customers, both current and potential. It provides the reader with information and specifications of products instead of giving them the old razzle dazzle (“razzle dazzle ‘em”). It is professional and all about generating leads for your business, whereas blogs are for an informal, opinion based source about your product or company, Hubspot.com writes.

Here are a few tips to consider when writing a whitepaper:

  • Choose a topic people want to learn more about, especially one that is not overdone. By doing this, your company will stand out from the others, and you will find that you will gain more readers just by doing something different from the crowd. People like to read new and innovative topics, take advantage of that and make your topic something people cannot live without!
  • Make sure you are writing knowledgeably, as well as passionately. You many not think a reader will know if you are not knowledgeable in the topic, but trust us when we say, they will. People are smart, and they catch on quick if you are not as well informed as you say. Readers will also know if you are not passionate about your topic because your tone will come across as impassioned and bored, so you absolutely want to stay away from any topic you find boring. One suggestion is to find someone else who may be passionate about your topic, or find someone who can write with passion regardless.
  • Know Whom You Are Writing To. Make sure your topic meets your audience base. You do not want to write how awesome Pixar is if your audience base is committed to DreamWorks Studio! We kid, but you get the idea. You want to stay away from writing something that your audience will not find helpful and informational. Choose a topic close to your product or services.
  • Be You.  It is wildly cliché, but seriously, be you when writing your whitepages. We understand gaining inspiration from fellow copywriters as we all gain our inspiration that way, but you need to make it your own. Add your own little tidbits or parallels in a professional, yet unique, manner.

2. Writing an Ebook for Customers

Ebooks are another great resource to use when planning your content marketing strategy. Internet2Go estimates that about 103 million Americans have ereaders or tablets. That is a lot of potential customers! Sure, your business isn’t for that whole 103 million, but this shows how important an ebook for is your content strategy. Offering free ebooks is a great way to engage with clients. You can offer this as a free download when customers join your company or as a way to generate new leads. People love getting free stuff, no matter what it is, just take a lesson from Hollywood. When people went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness, some theatres offered a free poster and most people took it because, why not? It was cool looking, but most importantly, it was free. We don’t need that poster, or pen, or key chain, but we will not say no to it either. People will say yes to a free ebook when it is offered.

Writing an ebook can be very similar to writing other content, but here are some of our tips on ebook writing to get your brain juices moving:

  • Stick with what you know. It is a pretty simple concept. The more you know about your chosen topic, the more people will believe you to be the authority in your field. Ebooks are the chance to discuss your product in-depth, leaving the specific topics for your blog!
  • Read and Read Some More. When it comes to writing any book, you should always read other books, especially those similar to the one you are writing. It will provide you with inspiration.
  • Do your research! Research is key to every single bit of content writing. If you do not research, your material will fall flat.

When it comes time to publish, you can find many places that offer information and help regarding self-publishing and how to circulate your book. Since you are coming from the perspective of writing for your company, and not yourself, you can use tools such as Dropbox to provide an easy access point for customers. Make it into a PDF and have it ready for people to obtain. PDFs are the best way to make sure each tablet and ereader will support your ebook.

3. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words and So Are Infographics!

Who doesn’t love a good infographic? We all love those little shareable photos that provide a wealth of information, and usually are adorned with some adorable artwork or pictures. They give us the information we seek on the particular topic we are researching or find interesting. If you want to find out which book to read next, there is an infographic for that! It is much easier to look at an infographic quickly than to wade through a lot of type. Sure, we all love to read blog posts and articles about the topics or products we are interested in, but sometimes we are too busy to devote enough time to read all of that content. This is where that infographic will come in handy for your company.

Why are infographics great tools to use? Let us provide you a bulleted list to explain how infographics will help you out:

  • Short attention spans! You already know people have short attention spans because you may find yourself thinking, “Goodness, that paragraph was significantly longer than the others!” Most people think that way. Providing an infographic version of this post would help you when trying to find the meat of the article.
  • We writers can be long winded. Sure, many of us might not talk a mile a minute or have a lot to say in person, but when it comes to writing, we sure can go on and on about a topic. Infographics can keep you from being too long winded in your writing and help maintain a reader’s attention.
  • Catching the bug. An infographic is a surefire way to get your content to go viral. Those little graphics are so easy to share that as soon as someone learns something valuable from it, they’ll click the share button. It continues and continues until it has gone viral. Pretty neat, huh? Going viral will boost your sales and generate new leads for your company, so let’s get to creating some infographics!

4. SEO is Big for Your Content Campaigns

It is how people will find you and how they will turn from casual browsers into lifelong customers. You know that you need to optimize your site by using keywords throughout everything, but SEO is not just about keyword usage anymore. It is about quality content, keeping your clients engaged and sounding like the authority in your field. If you do not have quality content, you will fail to rank in search engines. In fact, you may have believed that shorter content is what people want, but according to Google, that is not the case anymore.

People want more information about a topic instead of those wishy-washy one or two paragraph posts. They may not read it all, but they will feel like there is more available information on a post that is 2,000+ words in length. Another major factor in the new era of SEO is Google Authorship. That Google+ account is becoming much more necessary for content writers because it links all of your posts under your name and profile, making you the authority on your topic, product, or service. The combination of minimal keyword usage (one keyword per 250 words), quality and in-depth content, and authorship will help your site rank above competitors and generate more leads.

5. OMG! Don’t Be A Social Media n00b!

Everyone should know how to work social media on a personal level and if you happen to someone who doesn’t know how to, it is time to create that profile and learn. Like it or not, social media is a big part of content campaigns, especially if you realize your product or service is going to be used by Millennials. The iPhone, as well as other smart devices, has become an appendage for the majority of Millennials. It is a rare thing indeed to see a Millennial without a smartphone in hand, and rarer still to find one that doesn’t have a social media presence. This is also true for their parents and grandparents, as well as Generation X. There will be a whole generation soon who will never have known the world without social media! This shows just how important it is when it comes to advertising.

Here are few helpful tips when you begin creating your social media campaign:

  • Know Exactly What Each Trend Is Before You Use It. Kmart is a prime example of this. They attempted to make a campaign involving the ever-popular gif, and their attempt fell flat with Millennials. Kmart thought they were being crafty, but their lack of research is disturbing. (The video no longer exists on Youtube, but the reactions are still available on Buzzfeed.)
  • Becoming a Trustworthy Friend. With social media, people are more interested in having a company that is more like a friend and less like a salesperson. They would rather leave the salesman pitch back in the 80s because honestly, salespeople can give you more problems than help. Find a few companies on social media to see how they relate with their customers. Grammarly is a great example as they provide funny grammar quips, great quotes, and a regular “punday, funday.”
  • Sharing Buttons and SEO. If you have a button to share your page, product, or post on social media, you are more apt to rank in a search engine. Especially if you have that +1 from Google+. A lot of people are going to find your company by searching, and if you make it available for them to share on their social media site, they will.

BONUS: Don’t Let Grammar Errors Get You Down.

Here’s a last bonus add-on point from me. Pretty simple. Make sure you have a second eye on your grammar and content before you hit publish. You can invest in Grammarly’s checker or get a human eye (or, do both). Simple, but it is worth it to avoid the issues a couple misspelled words or wrong phrasing can bring.

Content Products Are More Valuable Than You May Realize. Before reading this, you might have assumed that the only important content you needed was simply on your web page and blog. This probably didn’t generate many leads for you, and now you want to know how to go about getting more sales and customers. By following all that we’ve said, you will find that you are able to generate more leads than ever before! Content is more than just the blog you sometimes update. These products provide you with so many new ways to interact with your clients. Some antiquated methods may generate leads for you, but not many. You need to consider updating your current content campaigns strategy to implement these new elements, as soon as possible. No matter how long you take, the Internet will keep moving and growing. It is better to update your strategy now than to realize the Internet has passed you by. Use these products! They are available for you, so why are you ignoring them? Grab onto these opportunities and don’t let go!

 

 

content marketing statistics

32 Insane Statistics of Content Marketing

Who here has not once been intimidated by at least one facet of today’s content marketing? If you haven’t, then you’re obviously an extremely knowledgeable, confident, and masterful guru of content marketing. If you have, then you’re absolutely not alone.

Many of us have felt intimidation when staring down the barrel of the latest and great content marketing trend or shift. In some cases, the intimidation factor has been so strong that it has stopped us from jumping on board with a new trend. As a result, we lose out on prime opportunities. And sometimes we drop the ball. It happens to the best of us.

Every year we see blogs and articles about the new trends in social media, content marketing, and search engine optimization. But when is the last time you saw a compilation of statistics all about content marketing?

 

Content Marketing Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

 

In the past few years, content marketing has weathered some pretty dramatic changes. Many of us have watched trends rise and sink, sometimes wishing we’d jumped on board, and other times thanking our lucky stars that we didn’t. We’ve snooped around the Internet and found some eye-opening stats that might boggle or change your mind about content marketing:

  1. On an average, marketers spend over one fourth of their marketing budget on content marketing. (B2B Marketing Insider)
  2. 93 percent of marketers are using social media, yet only 9 percent of marketing companies have full-time bloggers. (Search Engine Journal)
  3. 78 percent of Internet users conduct product research online. Your website will likely be your potential customer’s first impression. Says HubSpot, “[This] means your new business card isn’t a business card—it’s Google.” (HubSpot)
  4. Companies that outsource are doing bigger projects, spending an average of more than $1 million lat 2013 with a 5.5% increase from 2012. (Adweek)
  5. Over 10 million Facebook “apps” exist. (Search Engine Journal)
  6. 61 percent of consumers claim to feel better about a company that delivers custom content. They are more likely to buy from such a company. (Custom Content Council)
  7. 78 percent of business people opt to use a mobile device to check email. (HubSpot)
  8. 80 percent of all Pinterest pins are actually re-pins. (Search Engine Journal)
  9. Interesting content is one of the top three reasons why people choose to follow a brand on social media. (Content+)
  10. Companies that opt to build a blog and post content regularly receive 55 percent more web traffic. (HubSpot)
  11. The 55 to 64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter. It has grown by 79 percent since 2012. (Search Engine Land)
  12. The Facebook and Google+ 45 to 55-year age bracket demographic have grown by 46 and 59 percent, making it the fastest growing social media demographic. (Search Engine Journal)
  13. In as few as two years, the number of marketers who believe Facebook is “important” or “critical” to their business has increased by 83 percent. (HubSpot)
  14. The +1 button on Google+ is hit at least 5 billion times per day. (Search Engine Journal)
  15. Blog and social media websites reach 8 out of 10 U.S. Internet users and account for 23 percent of all time spent online. (Content Marketing Institute)
  16. Since debuting in 2010, Instagram has seen more than 16 billion photos uploaded, which equates to approximately 5 million photos being uploaded every day. (Search Engine Journal)
  17. Thanks to blogs, websites get 434 percent more indexed pages and 97 percent more indexed links. (Content+)
  18. 91 percent of mobile Internet access is for social media activities with approximately 73 percent of smartphone users accessing their networks via apps at least once per day. (Search Engine Journal)
  19. Inbound marketing costs about 62 percent less per lead than outbound, traditional marketing. (HubSpot)
  20. LinkedIn produces more leads for B2B companies thanks to Twitter, Facebook or blogs, individually. However, only 47 percent of B2B marketers say they actively use LinkedIn, versus 90 percent on Facebook. (Inside View)
  21. During every minute of every day, there are 684,478 pieces of content shared on Facebook; 3,600 new photos posted in Instagram; 2,083 check-ins made on Foursquare. (Search Engine Journal)
  22. 67 percent of B2C and 41 percent of B2B companies have acquired a customer via Facebook. (HubSpot)
  23. B2B companies that blog produce an average of 67 percent more leads per month than companies that choose not to. (Social Media B2B)
  24. YouTube has over 1 BILLION unique visitors per month, and managed to reach the desirable 18-34 demographic more than any other cable network. (Search Engine Journal)
  25. When deciding to make a purchase, 46 percent of web users will look toward social media. (Search Engine Journal)
  26. While in-store shopping for an item, approximately 40 percent of U.S. smartphone owners compare prices on their mobile device. (HubSpot)
  27. Ever wonder about the male versus female ratio of social media users? Facebook is 60 percent female, 40 percent male. Twitter is 60 percent female, 40 percent male. Pinterest is 79 percent female, 21 percent male. Google+ is 29 percent female, 71 percent male. LinkedIn is 55 percent female, 45 percent male. (Search Engine Journal)
  28. 57 percent of businesses acquire customers via their company blog. (HubSpot)

 

A Shocking Drop of the Ball

 

Based on the stats above, it’s no secret that blogs are important to content marketing. So when did you last update your blog? How often do you add new content to your blog? Be honest! Here’s an even better question: how important do you think blogging is for your company or brand on a scale of 1 to 10? Did your opinion change after reviewing the stats above? Well, here are a few more blog specific statistics that might shock you:

29.   According to HubSpot, 57 percent of companies gain new customers from their blog.
30.   61 percent of online consumers in the United States decide to make a purchase based on blog recommendations. (HubSpot)
31.   67 percent MORE leads are generated via B2B marketers’ blogs. (HubSpot)
32.   60 percent of consumers have a more favorable outlook on a company after reading their blog. (Hubspot)

Obviously, blogging is important to content marketing and to any successful brand or business seeking to continue their success. Surprisingly, NAPW goes on to say, “one third of blogs are left inactive.”

Royal Pingdom published “Internet 2012 in numbers,” in January of 2013. While the 2013 version has yet to be compiled and published, we can glean some useful information from the 2012 statistics. When it came to blogs, in 2012 Royal Pingdom tallied the following:

    • 87.8 million Tumblr blogs
    • 59.4 million WordPress sites

We can extrapolate that out of approximately 147.2 MILLION blogs in 2012, one third (approximately 48.5 million), were left inactive. That’s 48.5 million blogs missing out on the statistics presented by HubSpot. The number of blogs likely grew in 2013, meaning the number of inactive grew as well. Is your company blog one of them? If so, it’s time to jump-start your way out of the negative inactive statistic. How?

 

Kick Starting Your Blog in 2014

 

Blogging is not for the faint of heart. It’s one of those things that if you half bake it, you’ll never reap all of the juicy benefits available. And as we’ve seen, blogs hold a ton of potential for generating web traffic, sales conversation and credibility. Luckily, NAPW gives us 10 awesome ways to blog and blog well:

  1. Listen and respond to your audience. When a client or prospective client asks a question on your blog, you are presented with a prime opportunity to show that you care about their questions, comments, and opinions. Use your blog to answer. Respond to comments, questions, and opinions. Encourage your readers to leave comments. If you leave the preverbal door open, someone is bound to walk in and strike up a conversation.
  2. Educate your audience. NAPW calls this “inform[ing] without the hard sell,” and says to, “Explain your product as it relates to your blog theme without blatantly ‘advertising’ your product.” Use your blog to produce educational, informative content about your product, service, or mindset. Don’t hard sell by being an annoying advertiser. Instead, slip in a reference to your specific offerings here and there. They trick is to keep it low key and relevant to your blog theme.
  3. Increase revenue through interaction. Encourage your readers to share feedback, whether good or bad. Start and promote an active dialogue that promotes interaction. Your credibility will increase and the interaction will create audience action. As the stats we covered earlier showed, people like custom content and are more likely to buy from companies that provide it. You can use social interaction as an unlimited breeding ground for new, in-demand custom content.
  4. Create a “culture club.” NAPW says to “think of your blog as a club [filled with] like-minded people.” Appeal to them to contribute, maybe even guest blog. You will be offering your readers varied styles and opinions. The more of a cultural melting pot you provide, the more of a diverse audience you will attract AND please.
  5. Use images. Enhance your posts with relevant, tasteful images. NAPW reports “blog posts receiving the most shares almost always combine images with text, with this trend expected to increase.” Whatever you do, don’t use images that feature inappropriate content, lack relevancy to the written post or overwhelm and overpower the post. Images are accents. Their purpose is to catch the eye, not anchor it. You can even use image tags to build in a little more search engine optimization.
  6. Don’t neglect the need to edit. It’s easy to write a longwinded blog because you have a lot to say. Write it all, but reread it and cut the fluff! It’s important to stay on topic. Be precise. Stay concise. And preserve your unique creativity. Also, format your posts so that they are easy for the eye to float over and scan. Most of your readers are busy bees. By giving them an easily scan-able piece, you’ll entice them to check back often and scan through more of your content.
  7. Consistency matters; don’t be part of “the one third.” This is where NAPW says it, “One third of blogs are left inactive.” Maintaining a steady stream of new blog content will make a good impression and increase your bottom line. Whatever you consistency timetable is (daily, weekly, bi-weekly), STICK TO IT through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. You’ll see monumental results.
  8. Ask for shares. It’s not rude! If you want your audience to share a blog, ask them. Promote shares of your posts by add social media buttons. This makes it wickedly convenient for your audience and servers as a secondary reminder to share and share alike!
  9. Promote you blog posts. Every time you publish a new blog, post it to your social media feeds. NAPW says to “entice readers to visit your blog with a catchy headline or teaser-style copy lines.” It doesn’t hurt to remind your audience to check your site often because “you are the ‘expert’ resource they need.” You can post little reminders via your social media channels, and slide in links on your promotional material.
  10. Establish your unique “voice.” Your blog gives you the opportunity to establish your “voice” and let it shine. Be entertaining and make an impact with your message. Avoid the stuffy, formal, lecture hall style of writing. Once you find your “voice,” avoid dramatically changing it down the road. You’ll risk losing your audience and depreciating your overall credibility, authority, and uniqueness. Consistency is key!

Low on topic ideas? Don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Learn how to make the most of your non-blog content in our blog about how to create blog content from webinars and more, or get a boost for your thinking cap with another of our blogs entitled, 20 Topic Ideas for a Steady Content Flow.

 

 

hyperlink copyrights

A Swedish Court Learns a Lesson About Hyperlink Copyrights (And We Learn 4 Important Lessons About Content)

Hyperlinks are easily one of the most important tools on the Internet. Linking to credible sites that back your site up may give your words a little more heft in the eyes of readers. Getting linked to by a legitimate website is a great way to get new viewers (and if that site is a business you look up to then you might get a little ego massage).

For users hyperlinks are even more important. They are the basis of search engines. Without search engines the Internet simply comes to a halt. We’d even venture a guess and say that most of the people reading this right now found this blog post from a hyperlink, not by typing in the website.

Not only are hyperlinks indisputably important, many people (users especially) consider them innocuous. Most people don’t even consider them as possible copyright infringements.

“Wait, wait…” we hear some of you saying, “Did you just say hyperlinks are ‘possible copyright infringement’?” Yes we did. For those of you who haven’t heard, there have been cases going back to the late 90s about whether or not hyperlinking was considered copyright infringement and, depending on the type of use, some of them were ruled one way, some the other way.

 

There are Types of Hyperlinks?

Indeed there are. It’s not just underlined text that you click on. The types of hyperlinks are defined largely by the things the users can’t see. Regular links, like this one that links back to our home page, has been protected repeatedly. Honestly, most of the time regular links do not come under question at all. Most of the disputes you’ll see in courts are regarding deep linking or inline linking.

Deep linking links into the site somewhere. The main difference between the two (because neither search engine rankings or HTTP sees it as any different) is that it’s avoiding a lot of the site that you may not care about. Rather than forcing the user to go through the home page and search through the site, you can just link them directly to what they were searching for in the first place. It’s the difference between taking the subway from one building to another building versus driving through the city yourself.

Inline linking is when you use an “<img src=” tag to link one page to another page. It can be useful for visual cues (as opposed to linking through a description) as well as image search engines.

inline linking

Copyright Laws and Linking

 

Deep Linking

Deep linking is a huge deal to some businesses for a few reasons. One of the main qualms that companies have with deep linking is that it can bypass advertisers and some sites even consider it a trespass (as if you were breaking and entering into someone’s house). In Ticketmaster v. Microsoft a judge ruled that Microsoft’s site Tickets.com did not infringe upon any copyrights when deep linking into the Ticketmaster website and that bringing users to relevant content was more useful than harmful.

On the other hand, in eBay v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc. it was argued that Bidder’s Edge’s (which is a weird possessive noun to type, by the way) deep linking to eBay was actually detrimental to eBay, according to Linuxinsider.com. Have you ever seen a celebrity get hounded by reporters and paparazzi after a scandal? They hop in the back of their car and it gets swarmed by photographers and microphones to the point where they have a hard time moving? That’s what Bidder’s Edge did to eBay, but with search bots instead of paparazzi. The court ruled that, in this case, the hyperlinks were actually a detriment to eBay and slowing them down. Just think, if they had used a captcha then the entire case may have been completely different. These two cases essentially set the precedent that hyperlinks could be used with impunity as long as it didn’t directly hurt the site (even if the link bypassed some possible advertising revenue).

 

Inline Linking

There are a few cases related to inline linking, but the Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier, end-all-be-all, case which all other inline linking cases will be brought back to is Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. Contrary to the idea that the name of the case might give you, Amazon doesn’t matter in this discussion. What matters is another company that Perfect 10 was trying to sue in the same case: Google. The court ruled that Google’s inline linking to their images was not an infringement of hyperlinks copyright because a copy of the image was not made and stored on Google’s servers (whereas when Google does cache a page then sites have the right to have it removed by contacting Google). The court basically set the line where the FBI warning at the beginning of movies does. It’s fine to watch a DVD with a friend but it’s a crime to copy the DVD and give it to your friend.

 

The European Union’s Decision

Recently the European Union decided on a case originating in Sweden regarding whether or not hyperlinks infringe on copyrights. This case is slightly different than any American case due to the way the laws work in the EU. In the EU the rights holders and producers have exclusive rights on how their works are made public.

The case originated when a site called Retriever Sverige (an aggregator site like Google News or the Flipboard app) began linking to published articles on the Göteborgs-Posten website in a way that may have implied that the content was that of Retriever Sverige. This caused two questions to be raised:

    • Does hyperlinking constitute communication with the public?
    • Can a site link even if there may be confusion about who is providing the content?

The EU ruled that hyperlinks can be used without permission and in any way that the linker desires without the permission of the linked site. The only exceptions to this rule was if either the linker charged for the linked site’s free content or if the hyperlinks circumvented a pay site’s registration (although they could link to a place that redirected to a registration page).

 

Lessons to Learn About Content Production

 

1. Use Your Own Content

Hyperlinking and referencing are, in the vast majority of cases, not going to be a problem but the best way to avoid it altogether is to have people link to your top-quality, authoritative content rather than you having to link out to anyone else.

This doesn’t just mean that you’re wording other articles in a different way either. After all, you don’t want a Vanilla Ice vs. Queen/David Bowie situation on your hands. Be sure that when you’re making your blog posts or web content that you’re providing your own spin or analysis because people go to sites for original web content and according to Kissmetrics.com, repetitive content will hurt your rankings. And, even worse, if you’re just using a competitor’s ideas then your potential customers will wonder why they’re not just going to the company with the real ideas.

 

2. Content Farms Are Bad

While you want to avoid plagiarizing other companies it’s important to make sure that your site is worth plagiarizing. If you look at your site at the end of the day and think, “If this wasn’t my site, and I was an unsavory rapscallion, I would be tempted to steal this content” then you’ve done something right.

Content farms are a vaguely defined concept but it’s best to do all that you can to avoid being called one. They are full of original content that has absolutely no substance or quality control whatsoever. You may be thinking to yourself that sites like YouTube can be, in a way, considered a content farm due to the fact that it lets anyone upload videos and content without much restriction.

While it’s true and YouTube does allow anyone to upload at any time there is quality control at play. There is a view counter (that is analyzed at 301 views to determine if the views are legitimate), ranking systems, and a host of other ways that they subdue useless content, promote quality content, and have directed content based on related views. They also have a habit of promoting fresh content rather than allowing any content to be promoted at any given time. This allows for a very democratic content farm where people with interesting ideas or presentations can succeed while people who are simply recycling content are usually blocked from getting too far.

As many updates to Google algorithms have been aimed (implicitly) at content farms there seems to be little or no reason to make one at all anymore. In fact, penalized content farms can hurt other businesses by making a legitimate site become associated with penalized sites.

 

3. How to Use Links

Because hyperlinking can be subject to costly, and just painful, litigation processes it’s important to know how hyperlinks can work for you and how they will get either hit with PageRank penalties or get hit with complaints from other sites.

The GoodGood hyperlinks to and from your site count as votes for PageRank algorithms and are essentially rewards for quality original content. They are a good pat on the back but they will also allow you to quickly gain more visitors without having to resort to shady, or copyright infringing, tactics.

Legitimate hyperlinks, in and out, can also be helpful because they can help readers and search engines be able to categorize your site. Without this help you may just be lost in the shuffle of random, uncategorized sites, which won’t help your links at all. Although linking excessively or irresponsibly may be considered bad form and may incur penalties, it likely won’t be seen as illegal.

The BadLet’s talk about link farming. Unlike content farming, link farming is a fairly well defined idea. Essentially, it is when a company buys up several domain names and puts up fake “content” to provide links to their central site. Although this isn’t illegal it will easily get hit with penalties for low quality content and fake links.

 

4. “Free” Linked Content Costs You Control

If you’re looking for ways to have content with very little work then you’re out of luck. And if you think that simply linking to other sites is a free way to get rankings then you’ve never heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Providing quality original web content to your visitors will allow you to set your own pace and create serial content that will keep visitors coming back for more. If you just grab links then you have no control over the quality of the content or how it is distributed. And having all kinds of articles from disparate sources from across the Internet may become confusing and make you seem unreliable.

Quality content is the food of your website. It fuels you. And if you cook it just right you may have the best steak and lobster meal in the world. If you’re just grasping around the Internet then you’ll just end up with jelly beans and broccoli stuffed in a duck. In other words, you’ll have an incongruous mess on your hands.

Another aspect of your site that you lose control over is the all important call to action, according to Rightmixmarketing.com. Sure there’s a call to action but it’s not for you, it’s for someone else. And it’s quite likely that the point of your site isn’t to advertise for other companies so you may as well have your own call to action. You’re not a billboard, don’t act like one.

 

The How-To Guide to Original Content

If we’ve convinced you that original content is better than shamelessly hyperlinking around the Internet and risking (sometimes) frivolous lawsuits then that’s great. But now you have another problem: how do you create original content? Lucky for you there are plenty of ways to go it alone and have others do it for you. In the latter case, just remember that you get what you pay for and if you’re outsourcing to other countries to write content (even English speaking countries) you may find that you have some serious editing to do to fit it into your regional dialect and make it sound natural for your market.

 

Rewrite the Site

They call them “fixer-uppers” for a reason. They can be fixed up and salvaged. If you like the heart and soul of your landing pages or blogs then there’s no reason that you can’t hire a good writer or editor to make sure that your site conveys the message you want to send in the best possible way.

 

Guest on Other Sites

Your original content doesn’t have to only be on your site. It just has to be your original content. Speaking of content syndication, don’t shy away from being the one paid to guest blog or write somewhere else. Just make sure that you’re getting links back to your site.

 

Figure Out What’s Popular

Original content doesn’t mean anything if it’s not content that visitors want. Finding out what your specific market is into, what they’re talking about, and what they’re reading will allow you to stay one step ahead of the game and have links coming to you instead of hyperlinks going outward.

 

 

How to Improve Your Content Strategy by Learning from Your Competitors

Let’s say you are a small business on the road to formulating a great content strategy. There are numerous ways you can come up with great foundational points for a content strategy. Check out our video on content strategies and our blog on how to create a content strategy.

But today, we’re here to talk about a niche topic – getting inspiration from your competitors. That’s right – the guys you might evil-eye the rest of the week as you pass their super-successful, vibrant and busy offices. This time, it’s time to put your feelings aside and see just what you can learn from others who are successful in your industry.

3 Ways to Determine Who Your Competitors Are

How do you find your competitors? This is a very simple question, but an excellent starting point.

1. Internet Searches. Searching the Internet is a very good way to find out who your competitors are. It seems overly simple, but by using the keywords you would use for your own business, you will be able to find businesses that do similar things or sell similar products. This will be helpful as you create your 2014 content plan. By doing this search, you can see new ways your competitors are trying to sell a product or service. This can give you ideas on how to implement a similar strategy. Notice, we say similar, not exact! Do not steal their ideas out from under them. That is highly unprofessional and will give your company a rather negative reputation. Instead, brainstorm with your team members and decide new and unique ways to implement the ideas you found interesting in your own content strategy.

  • Use What the Internet Gave You. Finding tools to help you keep up with your competitors will be useful as trends change rapidly. According to INC.com, GoogleAlerts is a great way to be notified about new updates on products or services relating to your company and can be used when tracking what your competitors are up to. INC.com also suggests GoogleTrends, which maps the current trends within your area all the way to incorporating trends worldwide.

2. Social Media is More Useful than You Realize. Social media is not only important when attempting to engage with clients or to reach out in order to bring in new clients; it can also be used to spy on your competitors. We all know how to do it. In fact, we have all done this in some fashion with different friends and relatives. Why not implement this when researching your competitors? You can keep track of what your competitors are up to by following their Twitter, Facebook, and various other social media sites. Seeing how they interact on a social media site can give your company ideas on how to interact with clients. Many businesses have yet to become socially savvy online, so do not follow blindly exactly what your competitor does on social media. The Internet is a whole different game from face-to-face interaction. If your competitor happens to have a successful social media presence, then start gleaning from the field of social media information they have provided when developing your content strategy.

3. We the People. Info Entrepreneurs states that distributing questionnaires and talking to customers will help you learn more about your competitors and will help you understand how they are able to keep customers or even how they chase customers away. When you learn of any negative transactions with customers, do your best to stay away from repeating the same action. A typical example of a negative transaction with customers would be customer service. Many places have customer service policies that they are meant to follow, but not all companies follow the policies. You know that customers are what keep your business going and growing, so by listening to their wants and needs you can build a successful 2014 content strategy that beats your competitors.

5 Ways to Learn Content Strategy Tips from Your Competitors

Competitors can offer sage advice on how to formulate a 2014 content strategy. While they may not realize that they are helping you improve your company, they are, in fact, doing just that!

Following a few of these tips can help you as you seek ways to learn from your competitors and implement your new ideas.

1. Their SEO Strategy. What keywords are they ranking for? We are not talking about copying and pasting their list of keywords (which they likely won’t take kindly to) – but what can you learn from their keywords and implement into your own? For example, do they use location keywords? If you are location specific, consider using your location in your website page meta tags and keywords. According to CopyPress, MOZ is a leading website that helps companies such as yours learn about your keywords and pulls in information that will help you create a better SEO strategy for your company. Using this tool for your company will end up being very beneficial and help you as you fight the good fight with your competitors.

2. Their Blogging and Content Strategy. Blogging is a major aspect of the Internet. Everyone loves to read updates on their friends, family members, and what their favorite business are doing. Blogs offer a great form of interaction with customers and potential clients, keeping them “in-the-know” and feeling included. When it comes to your competitors, look at their blog presence and see how they work with it. You will be able to learn and implement many helpful tips just by reading their blog!

  • How do they blog? Look at the content they use in publications and see if there is anything you can gain from it. You never know, but by simply reading your competitors blog you may learn something new to you and be able to implement it in your 2014 content strategy. Do not be afraid to learn from your competitors. It helps your business grow, and they may even be learning something from you! Pay attention to how they format their blogs and if customers accept that format. You can easily tell if customers like or hate the format by simply reading comments on any of the posts. People are not shy when they are on the Internet, and they will say, “I hate this format! Why do you use it?” or “Wow this is great!” If customers hate the format, do not replicate it! If they love it, create a similar, but different, format. Do not copy their webpage exactly, your competition will not appreciate it, and the Internet will talk about it constantly.
  • When Do They Blog? The “when” of blogging is very important. Let’s say that again. The “when” of blogging is very important. You need to know when to blog and how often to blog while participating in the Internet world. Companies that blog often tend to have more readers, whereas companies who hardly blog will eventually lose readers. When it comes to blogging often, you need to find a good balance between “often” and “far too often” because blogging too much will also lose you readers and followers. People do not like spam in can form or on the Internet. Watch your competitors to see how regularly they blog and how their customers and the community take to it. If customers find a blog too tedious, find ways to implement those comments into creating a blog they will like and if a customer comments in approval of a certain post, find a way to implement that, as well. (Using originality, that is! Just say no to plagiarism; OK?)
  • What Received the Most Comments? Often one of the best gauges of successful online blog and article content is which topics and postings received the most comments. An abundance of comments means success in Internet-land. How can you replicate that topic and create your own original content from it? You might want to shy away from imitating the topic, but it is possible to duplicate an idea without plagiarizing it when writing new content. If you come up with a new perspective on the subject, it will be refreshing and help you standout from your competitors.

3. Check Out the Website. Your competitor’s website is the key to finding out what they are doing and if it is successful or not. Scour every inch to see what they post about. Do they post tips and tricks on how to use their product in everyday life? Tips and tricks are great things to have on a website because people love learning new things, especially when in list form! Next, look at how they have incorporated website design changes and possibly how often they go about changing their look. You can learn many things from how they use their web content. Do they interact more with customers and do customers appreciate it? Is their web content positive and bright? Informative? Take these things and discover how you can use them for your company. Also, see how your competitors offer information on their products or services, and learn how you can apply their ideas into new and unique ideas for your company. Once you have checked out their website, why not sign up for their newsletters and updates?

4. You’ve Got Mail! According to an YP article on how a small business can check out the competition, signing up for your competitors newsletters will help you properly gauge what they are up to and teach you new ideas to implement in your own company and newsletters. You will be able to see what new programs your competition is planning, gaining new insights into how to run your own company. It is also a great way to see how they go about sending newsletters out. Do they have more than one? Do they send them all at the same time or different days throughout the week? They may be overwhelming their customers’ inboxes, making for some pretty upset customers. Gaining information on sending out newsletters and what to incorporate in them is priceless when it comes to keeping your customers.

5. Once Again, Social Media. Social media is tops when it comes to creating a competent content strategy for 2014. Statistic Brain states that as of January 2014, 1.4 billion people use Facebook worldwide. Statistic Brain also states that 650 million people use Twitter. That is a lot of people online! Meaning, a lot of people your company can reach. As you can see, creating content for social media is imperative in 2014. It provides the chance to spy on your competitors to see how they run social media. We already discussed part of this in point 2 of learning about your competitors. You already know you can use social media as a way to keep up with what they are doing and how they interact with customers. Pay attention to how often they update or tweet, as well as paying attention to how their customers and followers react to their social media presence. If there are negative reactions to the social media presence, be sure to implement ways that are not negative for YOUR customers. Customers who are disappointed in the service provided online will be looking for new companies who have good social media etiquette.

Final Thoughts

Your competitors are some of your best teachers when it comes to a new 2014 content strategy, just as you are one of the best teachers for them as they go about creating a new content strategy for themselves.

We are all here to help each other develop in our fields, and while we want to be the best in our fields it is great to know that we can also help others grow. This blog has provided you with a few tips on how to go about learning from your competitors’ mistakes and their successes. As you begin planning your content strategy for 2014, try to implement some of these new tactics and see how easy your planning meetings become!

6 Ways to Convince Your Clients & People to Invest in Content Marketing

Content marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that will yield a high return on the investment.

Especially in today’s online era—and as long as it’s done properly and thoroughly.

But, you cannot convince someone to use a strategy or sign up for your services if you cannot express the benefits of why (in other words, the benefits of content marketing).

Showing the benefits, however, doesn’t mean spouting off a list of advantages. It is all about backing up your ideas with facts and presenting your sales pitch in a beautifully wrapped package.

If delivered properly, your recipients will be ecstatic to start using content marketing by the end of the pitch.

So, to help get those customers clawing at the doors to get access to your genius powers, we’re going to help you better understand those benefits and more importantly, show you how to demonstrate them.

You can take the credit.

It will be our little secret.

convince your clients on content marketing

First, Help Them Get Over The Assumption It Doesn’t Work

Unfortunately, even in today’s internet age, there are still plenty of people that don’t embrace content marketing.

The reason you aren’t getting traction with this group is likely because you don’t exploit the benefits of content marketing, and there’s plenty of them to use.

KISSMetrics came out with an insightful blog that highlighted why content marketing strategies are failing. If you think content marketing isn’t worth it, or your clients are rejecting the idea, it is likely because they’re committing a deadly marketing sin of their own. We’ve also written a guest piece on SiteProNews with more on the subject.

What are those sins?

4 Reasons Content Marketing Isn’t Working (So You Can Stop The It-Doesn’t-Work Argument In Its Tracks)

 Before we go into the six major do’s (how to convince), let’s talk briefly about the don’ts, so you’re not unconsciously scaring anyone away.

1. You Don’t Have A Refined Strategy

If you haphazardly threw something together and then prayed it would work, you’re going to be disappointed.

Content marketing requires constant changes, innovations, and updates. If your strategy is even three months old, we recommend changing it up. You’d be surprised at the progress you will make by doing so.

2. You’re Not Putting In The Effort

Again, content marketing requires work. It doesn’t self-automate here. If it did, we’d all be billionaires.

In the content marketing world, you get what you pay for.

So, if you don’t see any improvement, look to see where you’re spending your money and see if you can squeeze more out of the budget to put it toward content marketing.

3. Your Content Sucks, Sorry

Bottom line, content marketing will never succeed when the content holds no ground.

Your content needs to be on point, relevant, interesting to read, and worthwhile for today’s reader with the epically short attention span.

4. There Are Too Many Brand Inconsistencies

A brand should be definitive.

If you read one piece of content from a particular brand, it should have the same tone, flow, and style with every other piece out there. When everything appears disjointed, mismatched, and doesn’t meet up with the mission statement, it won’t be effective, according to Mike Templeman at Forbes.

Now, Let’s Move On To The Good

Okay, now that we’ve dispelled some of the reasons you think content marketing doesn’t work (or the reasons your clients assume it doesn’t work), now we’re going to dive right into why you need to use it.

6 Ways You Can Encourage Anyone To Use Content Marketing

Sure, you need a compelling sales pitch.

But, you can’t just say “content marketing works,” and expect the world to jump on board.

Instead, you need to deliver a convincing pitch that makes it almost seem as though without content marketing, the internet world would fail.

1. Sites With Excellent Content Marketing Grow 7.8x Faster

Content marketers are the leaders in site traffic.

You could be one of those leaders.

According to Aberdeen and mentioned by Neil Patel, each year, unique website traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders than followers.

The team at Search Engine Journal is one you can reference. (I love them and write for them consistently.)

They keep up with consistent, high-quality content (there’s that quality content reference again), and they are at the forefront of content marketing.

Even better, they churn out over 900,000 unique visitors per month according to their LinkedIn profile.

So, how could you implement this fact and amplify your content marketing strategy?

  • Start working on high-quality blogs. We’re talking long-form, short-form, research and newsworthy reads.
  • Be a leader that sets the standard for your field. Whether you’re blogging about peanut butter muffins or your love for coupons, you need to establish yourself as the authority in that area.
  • Track what other leaders do in that industry, see what they write about, and learn from their examples.

2. Sharable, Great Content Is What Is Trending

Content that people want to read is the cornerstone of a great content marketing strategy.

After all, what is the point of churning out all that content if no one shares it?

A great offering for content marketing managers would be creating shareable content and then actually sharing it on social media for their customers.

This means sharing on brand-owned social media channels, sharing content at the right time on social media, linking up with other similar or competing brands, and providing valuable information that people will continue to share.

According to Pew Research Center:

65 percent of adults now use social media networking sites.

This was a ten-fold jump from last decade. So, if your websites aren’t going viral, you need a strategy to help them capture at least a handful of those millions of people engaging on social media.

Here’s another fact to chew on:

DemandMetric states that 78% of content marketers believe custom content is the future of marketing.

It’s true.

With everything trending online, you need content that is unique, custom and tailored to your readers — the people that will ultimately share your content online.

3. Show The ROI Potential

Everyone wants to see what they get in return for spending money on something.

When you buy something, you are doing so for a reason — and what you buy will improve your life in some way.

The same goes for content marketing.

If you’re offering content marketing, you need to show the ROI potential for someone investing in your service.

Since most are afraid to invest in content marketing, you need powerful stats that help them overcome those fears.

According to Dan Radak at Business2Community, 65% of companies think they’re already overpaying for content marketing — that’s a big assumption to overcome, but not impossible.

The reality is, you get what you pay for in content marketing.

Using traditional marketing tactics to generate leads can cost a business an average of $373. But, when they use content marketing techniques, they can spend less than $150.

So, with more than 50% savings and more lead generation, you already have a great pitch ready to prove the ROI is worth every penny.

Need more inspiration? Jayson Demers at Entrepreneur has some great reasons why people should invest in content marketing — and he may help you cultivate a compelling ROI argument.

4. Conversion Rates Will Get A Big Boost

Conversion rates are a constant struggle for website owners, but with the right content marketing, they don’t have to be.

In fact, it has been shown that content marketing improves conversion rates by six times more than those without content marketing, according to Jodi Harris at Content Marketing Institute.

5. Content Marketing Is What Will Help A Website Survive SEO Competition

Search engine algorithms are constantly changing. Already we’ve seen Panda, Hummingbird, and Penguin.

Before the next animal-themed blast strikes the web, you and your clients need to take control of your SEO strategy.

To do that, you need content marketing.

Content creation currently ranks as the most effective SEO technique, according to a post on Content Marketing Institute. In fact, content marketing is essential when developing a top-ranking page.

6. The Biggest Names Out There Use Content Marketing Managers

Companies from around the world are using content marketing managers to build their brands and increase their revenue. This is because these businesses have realized how trustworthy they become just by creating engaging, custom content.

In fact, the Altimeter Group found that 78% of consumers trust a brand more when they create custom content for their websites and social media.

By creating content that is useful and attracts people to your business, you can increase brand awareness and trust — meaning people are more likely to buy or use your services.

Even better, DragonSearch found that custom content influences 61% of consumers. So, if you have the right skills behind that content, you will see a higher conversion rate.

Ready, Set, Sell! Get People On Board With Content Marketing Today

You now know the things holding back your customers from content marketing and how to reel them in.

The time to set the bait and start encouraging customers over to the content marketing side is now.

With more websites entering the internet each day — and over 1 billion already active according to Internet Live Stats — sites can no longer ignore the need for content marketing.

You have the tools necessary to craft the perfect pitch.

So, take your expertise, use your personality, and of course, boost the stats so that you can entice your customers to take the leap and invest in content marketing.

Not sure where to go from here? Express Writers can help you create custom, brand-worthy content, develop a strategy and even handle your content marketing with ease. Visit our Content Shop to order up our services today.

short vs. long content

Short vs. Long Content: What's Better For Rankings, Engagements & More (CASE STUDY)

At Express Writers, we serve nearly a thousand international clients monthly by providing content pages that are 99% web-based (utilized on blogs, as landing pages, website articles, etc.). This means that we have to keep up on the latest and greatest know-how to provide our clients with the best, highest quality content possible—closely tied in to how well the content will perform on Google and search results.

If you’re an Internet Marketer, you most likely know very well by now that the Internet is ever-changing, and Google’s guidelines for ranking web content have significantly re-formed in the past 12 to 24 months. Big names in algorithm updates were Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.

Since these algorithm updates, we’ve seen some solid trends favoring specific attributes of content that were previously overlooked in rankings. Specific attributes now being favored by the SERPs include:

  • Long content is given preference above shorter content
  • Less focus on keyword-optimization in the content and more of a real-world, researched, and reader-friendly oriented focus
  • Well-formatted and visual-oriented blogs that get shared

Let’s delve into the first attribute. Why and how, exactly, is longer content preferred and given a front row seat by the SERPs versus the previous standard of short, 1-page content?

 

What Is Longer Content?

Before we can successfully make an educated comparison of long versus short content, we need to fully comprehend just what long content is. Copyblogger first put a finger on it by writing a blog, “How to Write the In-Depth Articles that Google Loves,” in mid-2013. They called it “cornerstone content.”

Cornerstone, or longer content, is the kind of content that is both thoughtful and in-depth. It is well researched and presents a battery of proven facts, much like an essay. Long content comes in different styles, strongly dependent on the company or brand creating the content. It is primarily conversational, educational, and informative. Some of the most SEO successful long content pieces range from 2,000 to 2,500 words, which is approximately a 5-page piece of writing. Let’s see what some experts think about long vs. short content.

 

The Conundrum: Long vs. Short

According to the Rank Correlation 2013 Study on ranking factors in 2013, published by SearchMetrics.com, “Content factors correlate almost entirely positively with good rankings and were apparently – when compared with the previous year – partially upgraded.” This fact proves that Google’s updates did indeed change, or upgrade, the system for ranking web content.

A good percentage of ranking factors in 2013 went to quality content. According to SearchMetrics.com, the average number of words in the text was 576, which was up from 2012. The trend of rising word count in content has continued into 2014.

A QuickSprout.com contributor, Neil Patel, decided to test out the new waters favoring long content. He swam to the newly popular deep end of the pool and created a test homepage of 1,292 words versus a second homepage of a mere 488 words. Both pages had a fill out form at the bottom. Although he initially thought the longer content would decrease his conversion rate, the results of his test were intriguing:

  • The long content converted 7.6 percent better than the shorter.
  • The leads resulting from the long content proved to be of better quality.
  • The long content boosted conversions and SERPs.

Patel concluded, through his research and case study, that longer content is indeed better for rankings, engagement and more versus short content. He also concluded that in 2014, content truly is king and if we’re wise, we’ll invest in the creation of well-written, authoritative, and engaging content.

 

The Express Writer’s Long Content Case Study

After identifying the trend to longer content and seeing what the experts had to say, we decided it was our turn to join the deep end of the pool. We put this trend to a wheel-grinding test just before Christmas 2013, by writing 2,000-word, highly researched, niche topic content blogs, and posting them on our blog. The results were phenomenal: Google loved our content and we gained significant keyword rankings that grew steadily.

 

Screenshot of our rankings Dec 2013:

December 2013 rankings

 

Screenshot Jan 2014:

January 2014 rankings

The rankings were closely tied to the actual blogs we posted, for example this blog on how to deliver compelling content, that was ranking for the keyword web content writing tips:

blog rankings

Lastly the Feb 2014 Rankings:

Feb 2014 rankings

 

How Can You Jump Into The Deep End?

Now that the experts have waded into the deep end and shared proven results, the rest of us can jump right in. But how? Where’s the diving board?

One of the most common questions we hear businesses asking is how do I write long content without overdoing it (being wordy, boring, etc.)? If you’ve asked this question, you’ve pinpointed the biggest obstacle to long content: HOW THE HECK do we come up it? Even Internet Marketers are asking this question.

SearchEngineLand.com published eight means of creating what they refer to as long tail content for SEO. The article drives home the point that while SEO isn’t dying, it is evolving. You cannot create content merely for the sake of keyword searches and traffic. You have to “shift toward a more user-content-centric view of the world.” You can accomplish this feat and generate great long content by:

  • Gathering your best people and brainstorming. You know whom we’re talking about. Those elite few within your fold who have a talent for brainstorming fresh, cutting-edge ideas. Pull these folks together and start brainstorming content ideas. Let creativity get a foothold, and then move to the research phase.
  • Become familiar with the needs of your audience. Pinpoint the top 5 to 10 needs of your audience. Then, brainstorm topic ideas that allow you to cover each need and the solutions you offer in a lengthy, well-researched piece of content. When you delve deeply into the needs of your audience, you’d be amazed at how quickly you’ll compile pieces that exceed 2,000 or so words and need to be trimmed back or split into two distinct pieces of content.
  • Give your audience more than just your solution. Once you’ve pinpointed the needs of your audience and derived how you can provide a solution, research complementary products and services. At first, this might seem counterproductive. But remember that content needs to be “user-content-centric.” By introducing them to the part you solve, and pointing them toward complimentary avenues of solving an aspect to the problem you don’t, you build credibility and authority. The user will be impressed and see you as a business looking out for their needs over your profit margin. As a result, you’ll begin building trust and loyalty alongside sales conversion.
  • Check out the competition. It’s a good idea to research your competition. Your goal is to do better than they do. Avoid copying their content strategies. Instead, plan your own geared toward excellence.
  • Test the waters. Once you’ve brainstormed, researched, and planned, it’s time to test the water. Create a few pieces of content and an initial design. Test them with your audience. Use the feedback to improve before initiating your final content strategies.

 

Is Short Content Still Valuable?

We hear this question a lot; it isn’t, is short content still valuable, it’s where is short content still valuable? No lie—it still has its value. Not only will you still find short content all over the World Wide Web, but you’ll still be creating it in 2014. Here are some examples of where shorter is still better:

  1. Specific marketing content, such as e-mails
  2. Product descriptions
  3. Social media posts
  4. Video presentations
  5. Podcasts
  6. Webinars
  7. Infographics

Today’s audience is pressed for time, which is why short content is still very much valuable. Yet, our audience also knows when to spend a little extra time reading content that presents value. And that is really what the long versus short content conundrum is all about. For years, we’ve stuck to publishing short articles and content, thinking it was the best way to blast a message to our audience and see results. It worked, for a time. However, today our audience is demanding more.

Case study after case study is proving that our time-strapped audience will not only take the time to read lengthy, well-written content, but they also demand it. As a result, Google is pushing the primary use of long content in 2014. There’s no doubt that we will continue to see the evolution of search engine optimization and content as the year progresses and the next 2 to 3 unfold.

Yet, based on the information we’ve just covered, we can state one thing with certainty: the ultimate trick to staying ahead is to always keep your audience at the center of every piece of content you create and publish. If you’ve done this from day one, adapting to the trending change of long tail, cornerstone content will be as simple as expanding word counts to offer even more user value. Continue to keep your audience as your true focal point, and you’ll easily transition as the Internet world keeps on evolving.

 

 

content marketing predictions

6 Online Content Marketing Predictions for 2014

2014 is here! We’ve all ushered in the New Year, some at small, intimate gatherings and others at large, happening parties. Now that the celebration is over and the hangovers are subsiding, it’s time to dig back into the hardy topics at hand. Content marketing predictions are one of the meatier online conversation topics. Social Media Today hit this topic square on the head by presenting a beautiful infographic depicting the digital marketing trends of the New Year. They boldly stated that 2014 will again transform the digital marketing landscape in the form of: content marketing, advertising, big data and mobile marketing.”

 

The Rise of a New Kind of Content Marketing

 

In truth, during the last two quarters of 2013, we saw an unprecedented transformation in the what, where, why, who and how of content marketing. To a large degree, the very definition of “content” underwent transformation from a keyword caterpillar to a content-rich butterfly. Reputable online sources have published hundreds of articles with 5, 10, 15, even upwards to 50 online content marketing predictions for 2014. While most of these prediction hold a certain amount of merit, which ones should you zero in on as we plunge into an exciting year of content-focused marketing? That’s what we’re here to discuss:

 

Prediction #1: Content Will Be Its Own Full Fledged Department

According to a Mashable post on content marketing in 2014, CMOs and agency heads are already “looking to hire new roles with content in the title.” In the past, we’ve seen journalists enlisted to run editorials, but in 2014, we can expect to see Content Marketing Managers, Directors of Content, and Chief Content Officers. Their talents will be in high demand as content becomes its own significant department.

The Moz Blog, a strong source of dependable predictions, says, “Resumes listing ‘content marketing’ will grow faster than either SEO or ‘social media marketing’ [resumes].” This is because the new motto of 2014 will be “less isn’t more.” Content in 2014 is the killer strategy for rankings, engagement, credibility, and authority.

Here at Express Writers, we predicted in December that 2014 would be “the year of the Informer.” In essence, if your content isn’t informing, you won’t be ranking. Content needs to be your new priority, and here’s how you accomplish this:

  • Plan content ahead of time. Don’t fall prey to the pitfall of “winging content.” Instead, take time to plan. Brainstorm topics and research their appeal to your target audience. Review the analytics of your website and see which pages are getting the most visits. Use the content of these pages to stimulate further content ideas. With a little planning, you can even repurpose old material—such as presentations and speeches—for articles, blog posts, press releases and social media. If you find your creative well running dry, join communities and subscribe to feeds in your niche to generate new ideas. Try to plan a daily—or at least weekly—release of new, engaging content.
  • Keep content interesting. The average person spends about one minute on any given webpage. Your goal should be to make content impressionable and easily digestible in this timeframe. Keep paragraphs short and insert attention catching subheadings and lists. Include client reviews and success stories. Stay hip by referencing pop culture or current events; this can keep your content fresh and timely.
  • Keep content relevant and fresh. You’ll miss the point of quality content completely if you don’t keep copy relevant and fresh. Relevant copy informs the reader how your product or service relates to their immediate needs and why they should choose you over the competition. If your content lacks relevancy, don’t expect potential customers to spend more than a minute skimming your page. They will quickly move on, giving their business to the competitor who provides relevant copy. Likewise, fresh copy is all about keeping the material fresh. You can do this by referencing current trends, new information or approaching the topic from a unique or new perspective. The last thing a potential customer wants is to read stale content.
  • Search engine optimization still matters. Although we are trending away from keyword stuffing, optimizing your content by including keywords and keyword phrases is still important. Therefore, properly done keyword research should still be a priority for the content department.
  • Create backlinks. Your content should be created with backlink opportunities in mind. Season the content with links back to your website, social media profiles, blog, or previous posts. This practice will help boost your search engine ranking. You can even comment on blogs, articles, and forums around the web with links back to a relevant post on your website. But, be sure your comment adds value; otherwise, you will risk being branded a spammer. Remember: linking is about adding value. Do not randomly link to credible sources just for the sake of linking, as this will detract from ranking. Links should add value by furthering the discussion.
  • Use social channels. In 2014, social channels are going to work hand-in-hand with content. Your content department should be nurturing this relationship. Use social platforms to promote blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, press releases, whitepages, and any other content you release. You can even submit this type of promotion to discussion pages, groups, and communities that encourage it.

Content marketing is going to tie in with every other avenue of online (and even offline) marketing in 2014. The Content Marketing Institute is an unrivaled source of content marketing predictions. In fact, they’ve been around longer than any other content marketing predictor on the planet, and they make it very clear in their “50 Predictions for 2014” that quality content is at the heart and soul of success in 2014. It will affect everything, from Google SERPs to sales conversions. If your content is weak, your entire marketing plan will likewise be weak. Moving forward, hiring a content professional or content agency will be in your best interests—even if they are only on-staff for consulting purposes.

 

Prediction #2: Mobile Marketing Is Exploding, Catch the Wave

Our obsession with mobile devices is no secret. We like convenience. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love having the Internet at my fingertips. I can be anywhere in the world and have the ability to look up whatever I need whenever I need it, instantly. I love it, you love it, and customers love it.

In 2014, mobile phone traffic is expected to exceed that of traditional desktops. Over 50 percent of mobile users depend on local searches, and this percentage will only increase. As a result, mobile marketing is imperative to success in 2014. Websites need mobile optimization in order to display properly across the variety of devices currently used by potential customers. By catering to local and mobile searches, you can be sure of increasing your Internet traffic, which leads to higher sales conversion.

Mobile marketing strategies will need to be built into your content. Daily blogging, press releases, and articles can hit your audience instantly via their mobile devices if you plan it well and tap into social media channels as a distribution source. A lot of people feed RSS and subscriber feeds into their mobile devices. It will be important to ensure your content is visually appealing and easy to digest as readers view it on the go.

 

Prediction #3: Location-Based Marketing Will Matter

Google search engine result pages are not static, which is one reason why keyword stuffing isn’t going to do you any good in 2014. And as we said, mobile searches are skyrocketing. Google is catering to the individual searching from their cellular device, likely endeavoring to find a local establishment that meets their query. As a result, marketing strategies need to include local search parameters.

In many ways, location-based marketing is great news. It’s handing you the opportunity to increase sales in your own local community. Embrace this change by getting more involved with the audience right there, in your local community. People want to connect to local establishments, and will likely stream to your social media channels if they know you exist.

National and even international search parameters will also be important, as these will be separated from local searches. Location-based marketing will be a heavy focus for advertisers and businesses. Expect a need to incorporate location-based keywords and keyword phrases into your content.

 

Prediction #4: Everything Will Start and End with Your Customer

An article published by Business2Community had this to say about content and your customer: “You know what you’re selling. But just as important is figuring out who you are selling it to.” Everything from your content creation to content marketing must start and end with your customer in mind. In the competitive, mobile world of information, people won’t spend time reading or listening to content that doesn’t:

  • Affect them emotionally
  • Apply directly to them
  • Address an issue they face
  • Effectively solve a problem or issue

It’s imperative to feed the greatest need in marketing today: people want to be educated. They want to make informed decisions. They don’t just want a service or a product from a reputable company. They want to buy from a company that has a story.

 

Prediction #5: Stories Will Sell

Since the dawn of literature, great storytelling has been at its heart. We’re all attracted to a good story, the kind that reaches into our soul and provokes thought. Content marketing is starting to incorporate this staple of literature into copy.

Why does your audience love social media? It’s because it gives them the opportunity to cultivate a one-on-one relationship with individuals, organizations, and companies. People want to be a part of something, not a sales number that hits your quarterly report. They want to matter, and they want to know why you matter. Therefore, it’s important for them to see beyond your company logo. They need to see the people behind the brand, the inspiration, and passion that lead your business to the place it inhabits today. They want to see the struggles you’ve overcome and be there for the next hurtles you’ll face. They want to see you in the community and contribute to your own internal community. In 2014, stories will make a huge impact on content marketing. We just might see copy that includes stories like:

  • How the business got started
  • Who started it and what makes it unique
  • Why your niche is whatever it is
  • What prompted your business to reach out to the community or adopt certain values
  • How customers have been affected by your business
  • Why customers keep coming back

Content isn’t just about presenting statistics, specs and facts. It’s about connecting with the audience and making them feel a connection to you. This type of association builds trust and loyalty between customers and businesses.

 

Prediction #6: Content Translation Will Increase

The Content Marketing Institution made the interesting prediction that as the need for quality, relevant content increases in 2014, “the need for translated content will increase, perhaps exponentially.” As your business reach expands from the local to national and eventually international level, you will find that an English-only strategy is limiting (even if you only conduct business within a single country). It will be time to step into the world of translating copy into multiple languages to reach a diverse audience of potential customers.

 

2014 Is All About One Killer Strategy: Quality Content

As you can see, 2014 is most definitely “The Year of The Informer.” Informative, engaging content should be at the center of everything your business endeavors to achieve. Content doesn’t have to be a headache to create. Today you have numerous avenues to create and display engaging, relevant content through:

  • Daily blogging
  • Informative, technical or educational articles
  • Press releases
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • E-books
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • And More

The styles and avenues you can choose to present your content to the world are practically limitless. One common denominate is the 2014 essential: creating killer content. It’s the best content marketing strategy for achieving rankings, audience engagement, established credibility and more.
 

content writing ideas

20 Topic Ideas for a Steady Content Flow

A lot of content marketers and bloggers have made a firm resolve to produce more content to increase their page ranking. Smart move!

As a serious blogger, you know that every single blog post you churn out breathes life into your content marketing strategy. You take pleasure in turning a website into a watering hole for those who thirst for knowledge on a particular subject. Writing is no doubt the easiest part when it comes to content creation, but the real pickle is coming up with great ideas to keep the reader glued to each crafted sentence. Oh yes, it can be pretty difficult to keep coming up with exceptional content that readers cannot get enough of. Writing good content all the time will require you to be pretty creative.

 

How to Write Good Content? Put On Your Thinking Cap!

Pretend that you are the head fashion designer for a fashion house that makes and sells great clothes and accessories. The challenge is getting your readers to feel the creativity, love, and sheer passion that you put into creating your fashionable pieces in less than 300 words. You do not want your content to read like a boring textbook – most readers cannot stand that! Let’s face it; this is America, where almost everyone owns a fashion line. How do you develop blog content that will help fashionistas and fashion conscious folks find your website and persuade them to purchase from you instead of the other fashion houses out there? This is the part where you simply turn to your creative super powers.

Okay, let’s explore 20 topic ideas for a steady content flow for a fashion house’s blog content. Please take note that each topic idea can actually be recycled and applied to your specific niche to make your blog interesting to read and the go-to resource for valuable content.

 

1. Emphasize on Products’ Uniqueness

You will need to master the art of focusing on the products you sell. One way of not running out of content to post is featuring your individual product pieces in separate blog posts, instead of re-writing the long list of shoes, earrings, gowns, shirts etc. in all your blog posts. You should pick an item and craft content about the item’s unique benefits. For instance, if the dress has a cut that makes the wearer look slimmer and appear taller, then by all means put it in the write-up! For some readers, wearing outfits that will make them appear slimmer and taller is the ideal purchase.

 

2. Tested and Trusted: Customer/Client Testimonials

After posting content that clearly puts each of your products in the spotlight, next you can create complimentary content that contain customer/client testimonials about the product, and then link fresh posts to the older relevant posts. People love to read about products that have been tried, tested, and trusted by other people.

 

3. Reward Readers

Create content to show your love and appreciation to your faithful readers by presenting them with great deals or giveaways. One of the best ways to get more people to subscribe to your blog or website is to use freebies or discount offers as bait.

 

4. Teach Them

Create articles to teach your readers how to use your products effectively and get the very best results. For example, you can create blog posts that will teach readers the following:

  • How to accessorize with a scarf, jewelry, earrings etc.
  • What colors to avoid
  • What colors are perfect for different skin tones
  • How to dress up for a cocktail
  • How to dress for the beach
  • What not to wear at a certain age
  • How to dress your age

It is impossible to run out of content ideas when you educate your readers on the best way to use your products.

 

5. Ask the Experts

Because you do not always have to talk about your products and business, you can search for ways to educate your target audiences. Ask professional models, make-up artists, and stylists to share their profound knowledge with your readers.

 

6. Help Them

Answering your readers’ questions is one way you can help them. For example, provide an answer or answers to questions that you know some of your readers will be dying to ask you. You should always continue to provide helpful tips to readers. Tell them the best ways to achieve a personal look that will help them standout in a crowd.

 

7. Share Stories

One of the great things about having celebrities in the world is being able to tell their stories to inspire, motivate, and even scare people into taking action. For example, you could create content around a fashionable famous person whose style has been copied over and over again. A really wonderful example of a fashion icon is Jackie Kennedy. She was known for her divine fashion sense. You could create an article on how to copy her style and make it your own using accessories from your fashion line. You could also share stories about celebrity fashion faux pas, and how to avoid it.

 

8. A Peek behind the Scenes

You can tell readers stories about a day in the life of a fashion designer. You may not find this interesting to write but there are readers who will be interested in knowing what goes on in a company and what it is like to walk in your shoes. You can also include what practices sets your company apart from the competition and why people choose to purchase your products.

 

9. Use Captivating Images

Tell a visual story with your products. This is especially important if you are in the fashion, sporting, or entertainment industry. Images give prospective customers an idea of what it is like to purchase your product. The pictures must be appealing to your target readers or consumers.

 

10. Share your Ideals

You can use your blog to share your ideas with your readers. One of the great things about blogs is that it gives you the opportunity to tone down legal jargon and make it understandable to readers. Why do you choose to use recyclable material to create your fashion accessories? Why do you choose to provide only quality products to your customers? Why do you take part in worthy community service projects? Use your blog to share your company and personal ideals.

 

11. Share Reviews

You can choose to review beauty enhancing products like wigs, hairpieces and other products and content related to beauty. Are the products or articles useful or a complete waste of time? Be sure to guide your readers to valuable resources.

 

12. Report the News

Talking about trending or important events is definitely one way to get fresh content. You can keep your blog or website content fresh by writing about target personas in the fashion industry on a consistent basis. You can also make announcement on the newest fashion events in town and create content on who was the best and worst dressed at the event. You can even get your readers to grade the best-dressed and worst-dressed person or celebrity at the event.

 

13. Award Shows

A standard blog post is 300 to 500 words, however it is best to create articles with longer word count on special occasions – this is the type of articles Google loves. Google loves articles that offer comprehensive information to readers. In the content, you could talk about celebrities that would be gracing the event with their presence and what they would likely be wearing at the event.

 

14. Predict

Most celebrities are known for wearing outrageous get-ups for big award shows, you can predict which celebrity will come to an award show dressed in something that looks like a movie sci-fi costume and which celebrities will play it safe.

 

15. Tutorials

Consider providing some training on how to make a simple garment or fashion accessory on your blog and see if your readers will be interested in learning from you. Or, you can teach your readers how to use your pieces to create different types of looks. You will be surprised to find out that a lot of people do not know how to dress for certain occasions. Providing them with the information they need to put their best face forward will make your blog more than a virtual clothes-peddling page.

 

16. Go Back in Time

You could go back in time! For instance, you could write about how the ancient Egyptians dressed and how they were fashion pioneers in their time. Egyptian men and women painted their eyes and wore clothes of a unique style, which have even been used in today’s fashionable garments. There is so much to write about when it comes to the history of fashion, technology, arts, sports, architecture, books and so much more.

 

17. Do Not Forget About the Environment

More and more people are becoming passionate about saving the environment. You can give tips and advice on the best way to save the environment by using environmental friendly fashion products.

 

18. Reader Contribution

Readers can share their stories on your blog. They could share their worst fashion mistakes or accessorizing disasters. This will give other readers the opportunity to comment on the post and share their own worst fashion disasters as well. Contributions from readers definitely apply to every industry. Think about it, if you produce content for an investment blog, don’t you think readers will appreciate reading a story (or reader contribution) of how a person lost thousands of dollars on an investment opportunity that seemed promising, only to realize that the offer was bogus? Most of us love to learn from other people’s mistakes or successes.

 

19. Comparison

Comparing one product to another is one way to get the attention of readers. But, you will have to be careful when comparing your product to that of the competition. You will need to be very smart when crafting words to make your product seem more superior to other products on the market. Instead of saying, “the material used in the construction of XYZ garments (the competition’s brand) is inferior to ours.” You could say, “Unlike other fashion brands on the market, ABC Couture does not compromise on the quality of materials used in the designing and production of its garments

 

20. Direct Correspondence

You should not ignore the questions of your readers. You may not have the time to answer all of the questions that they ask, but ensure that you answer most of them in your blog posts. For those who already have an FAQ section, repurposing or updating the text and publishing it in series will be a great idea.

 

In a Nutshell – Create Your Very Own Blogging Arena

Generating top quality content will help you boost your company’s media brand. Blogging is basically a platform that will you make a connection with your target audiences, so that they can trust you enough to type in their credit card numbers on your ecommerce website. When you choose to create blog posts that have a purpose, your blog actually becomes a trusted channel where readers can get valuable and helpful news. Blogs are more than a webpage on the Internet; they are the watering holes where readers come to quench their thirst for good quality information.

 

Doing the Smart Thing

You do not have to focus on running your business and still worry about creating compelling blog posts each day, you can leave the blog content creation to the experts. SEO content writers know how to create interactive, fun, and compelling content to get readers to take desired action. It is easy to think that you can keep up with the demands of creating top quality content, but who are you kidding? Especially when you know that you are up to your ears in administrative work and other stuff that comes with owning and running your own business – so do the smart thing, let the professionals handle your content marketing strategy.