In general, producing and publishing quality content is a valuable practice for marketers but it comes with its fair share of challenges and problem areas. You see, in reality, content marketing is so much more than publishing a few blog posts every week.
As a result, it demands commitment in terms of time and resources and you may also come across several obstacles and roadblocks. Some are obvious and easy enough to deal with. Others may require an in-depth diagnosis to find a cure. Let’s look at 5 such content marketing issues.
1. No Objectives
Content marketing is like any other marketing strategy; it requires planning. Before you produce and publish content, you need to know why you are doing so because your strategy will be informed by it. For example, are you creating content to close sales more quickly or are you creating content to influence your industry and ergo inspire recognition and respect? Maybe you’re thinking about customer support! By the way, who are your main customers?
In short, no matter what your reason is for hopping onto the content marketing bandwagon, you need to have clear objectives and a strategy.
A few weeks back, Instagram celebrated its 5th birthday. Did you know that in just 5 short years, the platform has gone from a single post shared by Instagram’s co-founder, Kevin Systrom, to more than 80 million photos shared every single day from around the globe?
Indeed, from brands like Burberry and Levi’s to Ben and Jerry’s and PayPal, thousands of businesses are on Instagram, creating and sharing interesting and inspiring content. Instagram is, in effect, a proven way for businesses to raise awareness for their brands. The key to success is to know how to leverage its infrastructure to target your message more effectively and reach people based on what they care about. After all, Instagram is a growing community of 400 million and if you are not using the platform to be discovered by—and interact with—customers, you do so at your own peril. The things you can do on Instagram include:
1. Using the platform as your shop window to touch, inspire and move people
2. Using landscape photo and video to give your advertising a more cinematic feel
3. Video ads of up to 30 seconds for rich storytelling
4. Using Marquee to “own a moment” and drive mass awareness, perfect for things like a new product launch or a movie release
The challenge when it comes to Instagram is that as more and more people and brands jump onto the platform, the noise level for individual users is increasing. To really stand out from the crowd, you need to understand how to promote your content on Instagram for maximum reach and impact. Read more
Infographics represent a unique way of presenting a large amount of data in a small space (in one image) in a more different and more interesting way. Infographics were first used as an element of electronic presentations. Soon, the use of infographics has expanded and now this form of presentation has become accepted as an excellent way of publishing different information – mostly numerical data and statistics.
There are many reasons why people are using this type of content. Infographics are convenient for viewing, they look attractive and they are practical when it comes to presentation of facts and data that are not very interesting. On top of that, the human brain can memorize the data presented in this way much easier.
Infographics consist of three elements – visual solution, numerical data and short textual parts. Thanks to the advancement of technology, creating infographics has never been easier. In order to make them, you will need suitable tools. This is why we have created a list of 8 tools that can help you create the best infographics. Read more
In a world of short attention spans, YouTube presents opportunities for brands and businesses to develop content strategies that will resonate with 21st-century consumers. The trick is that as more and more ads become content that people watch on YouTube, the noise level for individual users increases. Content is being uploaded and shared through YouTube at record rates.
To really stand out from the crowd, your channel and videos must be remarkable, interesting and add value. In particular, your channel is like a storefront – give it the right look to show off your style and brand it like a pro. Read more
From connecting friends and family members to bridging the gap between brands and their customers, since its inception in 2004, Facebook has become a way for people to communicate and interact online. This makes marketing on Facebook a powerful and efficient way to:
- Drive online sales
- Increase local sales
- Promote your mobile app
- And raise brand awareness
In essence, Facebook connects businesses with people, helping you build lasting relationships with people beyond those that happen during normal transactions. These relationships, in turn, help in keeping customers coming back and increase both customer loyalty and retention.
The challenge is that, as more and more brands jump on the social network, the noise level for individual users increases. To stand out from the crowd, brands need to be unique and remarkable. A big part of doing this successfully is knowing how to promote your content on Facebook to ensure that it is seen.
Tips & Best Practices for Promoting your Content on Facebook
On Facebook, you can use your Page to bring your business to life. The trick is to choose what kind of content to publish, how to share and publish your content and earn familiarity, trust and likeability in your community. Read more
As a marketer, you may find yourself struggling when it comes to generating an unending stream of engaging social media content that gets read. Social media is one of the best sources of traffic for a blog but the competition for audience attention is fierce. This explains why a lot of businesses struggle to get a hold on social media. Social media marketing is not as easy as sharing every blog post you write on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. It requires quite a bit more effort than that starting with knowing the best social networks for promoting your business or blog and how to create interesting, unique and engaging posts for each of your chosen social media outlets.
How to Create Engaging Content to Get the Most out of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
1. Identify the Social Networks that Your Target Reader Prefers
Over the last few years, there has been an undeniable explosion in the popularity of social media networks. Whether you’re running a small, local business or heading a global operation, your customers are online. It’s just a matter of determining where to focus your social media energy. Correspondingly your strategies and tactics to ensure your content is seen and to stand out from the crowd will vary. The key to success is to be remarkable, interesting and add value.
For example, if you use YouTube for video advertising, to make sure you deliver your message to the right people at the right time, each video you upload should include the following elements:
- A title that gets people to click and watch your video
- A custom thumbnail that looks great
- A description that uses keywords and includes links to your site
- Calls to action to increase likes, comments and subscriptions
- Tags to help your video rank better in YouTube search
There are best practices for creating engaging social media content for all social media sites and platforms out there. Read more
By now, we’ve all heard how valuable (or even essential) social media can be for brands and businesses to interact with customers, engage with a community of people and build relationships with their customers beyond those that happen during normal transactions. These relationships in turn increase both customer loyalty and retention and increase your returns.
The key is to decide where to focus your social media energy. After all, not all social media sites and platforms are created equal so which social media channel makes the most sense for your efforts will differ for each and every business.
One network that has been consistently helping businesses to drive awareness, shape perception, develop relationships and turn their target prospects into leads and customers is LinkedIn. It is the world’s largest professional social network that connects colleagues, businesses and current/potential employees, all the while enabling community development and content sharing.
Available in 24 languages and with more than 364 million members, LinkedIn is a robust network to build authority and establish thought leadership with nearly three times the conversion rate of Facebook or Twitter.
Why Build a Presence for your Business on LinkedIn
1. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network with over 364 million registered users.
2. Two new members are added to LinkedIn every second.
3. The network is a gateway to top results in Google.
4. LinkedIn promotes personal branding. It also, like Google+, lends credibility to brands and businesses.
5. LinkedIn is a trusted platform.
6. It is a robust network for community development and content sharing.
6 ways to Optimize your Content Marketing on LinkedIn to Build Your Brand and Boost Quality Leads
1. Deliver the right content, at the right time, to the right people
Last year, LinkedIn opened up their publishing platform to all members empowering users to post original content, which becomes part of their profile. The challenge is to optimize your content to increase your business reach and impact. For example, if you want to increase engagement on LinkedIn:
– Focus on when to post. The best time is in the morning, Monday through Friday.
– Focus on post frequency. Statistically speaking, 20 status updates a month can help you reach 60% of your unique audience monthly.
– Focus on what to post. LinkedIn members are interested in things like industry insights and new products/services.
– Focus on content type. Increase your LinkedIn engagement by including a link with your post, using strong images, making your headlines clear and compelling and linking to relevant videos. Read more
From Mercedes-Benz and Levi’s® to Taco Bell and Ben & Jerry’s, Instagram – a community of over 300 million, is being used by brands and businesses to reach an engaged audience, build awareness, deliver captivating imagery for rich visual storytelling and publish content in a creative environment. After all, every brand has a point of view and Instagram lets you share yours.
The social networking service has the following benefits:
1. Instagram is home to an engaged community. Instagrammers are passionate about the platform and are open to new perspectives.
2. The singular focus of the platform is captivating imagery. This is a fact demonstrated to best effect by Instagram’s simple design that ultimately allows captivating imagery to take center stage.
3. Instagram is a beautiful and high-quality environment to tell your brand’s story.
Additionally, the statistics for Instagram are baffling. The photo-sharing and video-sharing social networking service has:
1. 300 million monthly active users
2. The service is home to over 30 billion photos
3. Everyday, 70 million photos are added
4. Instagram photos generate 2.5 billion likes daily
Clearly, if you ignore Instagram’s potential as a marketing channel, you do so at your own peril. Equally important, if you want Instagram to fit into your overall marketing strategy and in turn increase awareness for your brand, shift perception and/or reach a new audience, you need to be aware of tactics for success.
In truth, as more and more people and brands jump onto Instagram, the noise level for individual users increases and for your content to really stand out from the crowd, it needs to be remarkable, interesting and add value. The content also needs to be optimized to make sure it is seen.
7 tactics for Marketing Success on Instagram
1. Cross-promote for Discoverability
One of the easiest ways to juice up your Instagram engagement and maximize your Instagram impact is to mention your Instagram account on other social media channels, your website and any printed materials. This will promote traffic and expand your reach to new or existing communities. In particular, be sure to capitalize on Facebook’s integration of Instagram to reach wider audiences.
2. Follow the Top Trends
As a social media marketer on Instagram, you need to be constantly aware of the top trends on the network so you can participate in those conversations when it’s relevant for your industry. The idea is that you want to match your content to the current season, holiday or event so you can hit your audience when they are already thinking about these things.
3. Engage your Community
Next up, the thing you need to understand about Instagram is that it is not a one-way channel for promoting your brand. As mentioned above, Instagram is an engaged community and to belong, you need to like and comment on other people’s photos and content. Interact with your followers and reciprocate their passion for your brand. Read more
If you’re interested in marketing your business online, there is one thing you can’t escape hearing about, and that’s content marketing and what it means for the success and prosperity of your business on the web. From building a community of fans and followers to increasing engagement and traffic to your website, content marketing is absolutely essential to growing your business online, because let’s face it, marketing in 2015 is about building relationships and driving sales without resorting to traditional “hard sell” tactics.
Consumers these days own a DVR. They skip television advertising and it’s not hard to shut out magazine advertising. As for banners and ads on the web, people have become and are increasingly becoming quite adept at taking in information without a care for banners and buttons making them irrelevant.
However, content marketing is not a walk in the park. It’s a big task with many roadblocks. For a start, content marketers need to create enough content while simultaneously keeping the quality of the content they produce high. This in turn means generating an unending stream of interesting and valuable content ideas and communicating those ideas using the right words and language to resonate with your target audience. Content marketing therefore demands a huge commitment of time and resources. This guide should aim you in the right direction.
Content Marketing Starts with Building a Strong Foundation
Here is the deal: You can’t confidently plan and create content if you don’t know why you are creating content and what you hope to achieve with it. For example, are you creating content to generate leads or you are creating content to close sales more quickly? Are you trying to inspire an interest in your products or are you trying to become recognized as a thought leader in your industry? You also need to define what your core message is; your core message is the primary benefit you are planning to offer your customers.
All of the above serve to lay a strong foundation for your content marketing strategy. Other things that fall under this category include competitive analysis, deciding who your target audience is and a strategy for creating and publishing content. For example, do you want to publish one type of content or multiple types and do your followers want to receive information in the format you are deciding on? Read more
Are you new to YouTube SEO? Do you need to polish up your knowledge? Here is a guide with comprehensive information you need to get on the road to professional quality YouTube SEO and, ergo, reach the widest audience possible. After all, you may create videos that are creative, insightful and spot-on for your YouTube audience but this only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content and if you want your channel and videos to succeed, you need to optimize them.
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Therefore, if you publish content on the platform, you better make sure you write optimized titles, tags and descriptions so your videos are easily discoverable and well indexed. The title of your videos, for example, is important for YouTube’s discovery systems and audiences to make sense of your content. A good practice is to keep them concise and include descriptive and relevant keywords early on in the titles. A video’s description field is also valuable real estate. As a matter of fact, put together, your video’s title, thumbnail and description should tell a cohesive story that compels people who come across your video to click on it. Tags, which are descriptive keywords, also play an important role in making sure YouTube’s discovery systems surface your videos to audiences.
If YouTube is a platform where you publish content then you would know that thumbnails appear all across it in different sizes and formats and sometimes outside of it, for example, if you shared a link to a specific video in a post on your blog. Basically, thumbnails act as miniature marketing posters for your content and if you want to attract viewers and make them click through to watch your videos, you need to choose a strong and vibrant image that’s eye-catching and that accurately represents the content of your video. In particular the image needs to be clear, in-focus and of high resolution. It also needs to be well framed and have a good composition.
Use Annotations Wisely
By definition, annotations on YouTube are clickable text overlays on published videos. When used wisely, they can increase viewership, community actions on your videos, and subscribers. The challenge is to use relevant and helpful annotations and not obstruct the actual content of your videos. Other best practices for annotations are:
– Avoid positioning them in the lower third of videos and/or along the very top of the frame.
– Don’t overwhelm your users. This renders the feel of your videos “spammy”.
– Set annotations to open a new window or to open in the same window when clicked as appropriate making sure they are adding maximum value and not taking viewers away from your videos prematurely or getting in the way of the viewing experience. Read more