Helpful Solutions To Some Common Content Marketing Roadblocks

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.

content-marketing

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.

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A Guide to YouTube SEO

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-logo

About Metadata

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.

Thumbnail Optimization

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

Linking to Your Social Profiles | Why, How & Where

Just so we are on the same page, this article is not about building social links to your website (or sending social signals); it’s about linking to your social profiles (like your Twitter or Facebook profile).

social-media-link-building

Now, Why Would You Do That?

Reason #1: Exposure

Remember that the “number of backlinks” was originally meant to measure a website’s or webpage’s popularity or level of exposure.

So the first reason would be to increase the exposure your profiles get, and eventually hope for (well, work towards) more likes, comments, shares, +1s, retweets, mentions, leads, etc.

Reason #2: Dominate the SERPs

Sure, having your website on Page 1 of the search results is nice. But how about having multiple spots on that page (less spots for your competitors?). You have probably already noticed how Facebook and Google Plus profiles appear on Page 1 anyway. They have the potential to rank high; building links to them will only help them get there.

Reason #3: Dominate the Social Network Itself

While we don’t exactly know how social networks rank their own pages and profiles in their own search engines, the number of links pointing to them might very well be one of those factors (And if they are not yet, they are very likely to be in the future, so why not invest in it now, before most other people).

Now That We’ve Got the Why Covered, Let’s Get Into the How and Where, Okay?

From your Website

Ignore the “2-way linking doesn’t work” advice some marketers like to give without any further explanation. Sure, if your link profile consists of 100% link exchanges, you might be flagged. But it’s (very) normal for a business to link to its social profiles. These are actually useful links, as the user can learn more about the company (by looking at reviews for example).

Simple ways of doing it are:

  • Icons (or text links) in the sidebar, footer, or even header of your website linking to your social profiles
  • Using scripts that the networks and third parties provide that allow people to connect to your network directly (It’s not technically a link, but serves almost the same purpose)

On Other Websites

I’m not talking about spamming. I’m talking about when you are a contributor (or guest poster). Insert your links in your author bio. Most blog owners won’t mind (as in, they won’t count it as part of your “maximum links allowed” if you ask nicely).

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The Truth About Some Common Content Marketing Myths

In 2013, we saw content marketing progress from a buzzword to a legitimate and highly valued mainstream marketing strategy. In 2014, this validation is expected to persist and for businesses, this makes content a key component of marketing. With the increased rave about content marketing that’s got marketers all over the web on their toes, everyone has something to say about it; every one has opinions to share. Dozens if not hundreds of articles are written about content marketing everyday, about tips and tricks and, often, conflicting advice. It’s got to the point where you can hardly trust things people write about content marketing anymore. There are so many myths and as a business, you obviously don’t want to get tangled in misconceptions.

Content-Marketing-myths

So let’s talk about some of the most common myths that cloud the concept of content marketing. We should probably start with really understanding what content marketing is all about.

By definition, content marketing is, obviously, a marketing strategy that revolves around producing and publishing information with the aim to build trust and authority among your customers. It is, perhaps, the most remarkable and effective way to build relationships with your target audience and a community, so people feel loyal towards you and your brand. To that end though, you need to structure and manage your content marketing efforts. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to decide what you want to accomplish before you jump into content production and writing.

3 Things you Need to Know about Content Marketing

1. Long-form Content v/s Short Posts

Up until the Google Hummingbird update happened, there was a general misconception among website owners and marketers that web visitors, because they are time strapped, tend to scan first a page before deciding whether or not they want to actually go through the content. This led to marketers deducing that shorter pages and posts are better than long-form content.

Then Hummingbird came along and made us all re-think about the way we write content. Google figured that short pages and posts lack substance and genuine value. A good content marketing strategy should be designed to be comprehensive and answer the needs of people.

So at the end of the day, you want to create content that resonates with your audience. Forget about length. Every website is different and use a content marketing strategy that you have found to appeal to your audience.

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5 Tips for Creating Content That Resonates With Your Readers

As a content creator, it can happen that you find it difficult to get your message across. Sometimes you think you did a great job with a piece of content but then to your utter dismay, your readers just don’t get it.

So what’s the deal? Why are your readers not responding to your content like they should?

The explanation is simple: Sharing valuable information is good, but it may not be good enough. You may have a lot of expertise when it comes to your line of work but the task is to create your content in a way that it resonates with your audience. This particular task is much easier said than done. It is a trait very difficult to master.

writing impactful content

But you got to do what you got to do, right? After all, you can create valuable content day in day out for as long as you live, but unless the content stimulates your reader’s fancy in some way, it’s not going to get shared, forwarded or linked to or do your business any good. Making your content more impactful is what is going to make people read what your message in its entirety and drive conversions.

So you know what you have to do to connect with your readers. The more important question now is how do you do it? How do you create content that resonates with your readers?

1. Understand Your Audience

understanding your audienceTo create content that resonates with your audience, you first need to know who your readers are. These are, after all, the people you want to convert into buying customers. Research and compile your reader personas. To do this, you can use an online template or you can independently ask the right people the right questions to the get the information you want. You could also look at this article which walks you through the process of creating reader personas.

2. Deliver Your Message in the Right Format deliver your message

It’s one thing having an expertise in a certain market and another getting your point across to an audience. You know how sometimes you find yourself debating whether you want a certain book on your tablet or in paperback form so you can actually flip through the pages as you go. That’s exactly the kind of mental debate you should have when you consider the best way to market your content. You need to think: What’s the best way to get a particular message across? In what format will the message have the most impact? Content can be presented in the form of a blog post, an infographic, a video, a checklist or even a comprehensive user manual.

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New: Social Maximizer Launches Its Content Writing Service!

website-content-writingSocial Maximizer is proud to announce the launch of its new Content Writing Service.

We have been in the business of social bookmarking, directory submissions, and link building since 2006.

There is one confession we are about to make. In over 6 years of seeing thousands of websites, there is one thing that many of our staff members have been constantly reporting: There are far more websites with crappy content than websites with quality content. However, being only a submission service, we only submitted the sites for the clients who ordered them, quality content or not.

Times have changed. Link building is still important, but the weight that quality content has in terms of search engine rankings is increasing drastically. Put simply, if you want to rank high, you need to strike a good balance between content and backlinks.

And as people obsessed with achieving high rankings, we just had to launch our own writing service.

The main goal of our Content Writing Service is to help people publish well-researched, original and useful content on their blogs and websites. In this way, the website owner is still seen as an authority for publishing articles researched and written by expert writers.

Other Aims of Our Service:

  • The client can spend more time on the actual marketing of his brand, product or website instead of writing (which can get mundane and boring if you are not really into it)
  • Actually really helping people out by providing them with relevant, real and accurate information pertaining to their search
  • Encourage lead generation and sales
  • Build our clients’ authority in a niche
  • Better rankings in the search engine results page
  • Higher engagement and social sharing with our integrated social bookmarking service

We promise top-quality content, in the form of blog posts, articles, web content, ebooks, press releases or kindle books.

Our system has been designed to make the order and delivery process as simple, seamless and intuitive as possible. Upon signing up/logging in, the customer can log into the Members’ Area, where he or she can fill in the Order Form with all the necessary details. Delivery is made via email. As for the turnaround time, it really depends on the volume of the order.

Customers can take advantage of the following discounts if they intend to order a minimum of 5 articles:

5% off when ordering 5 articles or more

10% off when ordering 10 articles or more

Our content writing service is available from today. Click here to go to the service page.

Content Marketing Ain’t Easy – 10 Things You Should Do!

Content-Marketing-Strategy

Content marketing has gotten more and more popular every year. Just a decade ago, having a “blog” was a unique concept. Today, it seems everyone and their neighbors are writing content, uploading videos, creating infographics and posting on social media.

This explosive growth in the volume of information on the internet has made it very hard to get noticed. If you want your content to get read, you need to stand out.

Here are ten essential tips for creating content that stands out and grabs attention.

#1: Start With Planning

Creating content in a haphazard manner is a surefire formula for mediocrity. Every piece of content you put out should be a part of a larger, coherent strategy. Plan out your long term (1 year plus) plan, as well as specific content pieces you plan on putting out.

#2: Jot Down Unique Ideas

In order for content to be great, it needs to be seeded in unique, powerful and useful ideas. These ideas will most likely hit you when you least expect them to. It might be when you wake up, when you step out of the shower or while you’re out on a jog.

Write these ideas down and turn them into content pieces.

#3: Do Careful Research

Research can lead to fantastic ideas, fantastic content pieces and new insights into your market. What kinds of problems is your market facing right now? What kinds of trends are forming in your industry? What are the strengths and weaknesses to a certain way things are done?

Look beyond the surface. Share what you find, or use what you find to drive your content.

#4: Offer Solutions to Problems

One of the best kinds of content you could offer your readers is solutions to their problems. People are always looking out for ways to improve their lives. Be the one who provides that solution and you’ll stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

#5: The Right People

Yes, blogging and content creation is often a one-man show. Whether you’re a one person team or not, it’s still essential to support your efforts with other professionals who are great at what they do. You need great designers to help with your site. You need technical experts to help configure your servers. You need video experts to edit your videos. The right people can make all the difference.

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Relevance of Social Bookmarking in 2012 and till the End of the World

Okey, first thing first. The objective of this post is not to preach social bookmarking is the greatest social marketing tool in internet marketing history! And no, we are not talking about the end of the world; I thought that would help me get the best of your attention 🙂

Let’s move on to the topic. We all have gone through the process of bookmarking our favorite sites on our browsers, then advancing on to social bookmarking where we started bookmarking, tagging and sharing sites on social platforms. Now we use social networks and more advanced tools like Pinterest.

I have got a question for all internet marketers.  Aren’t we all trying to increase the traffic to our sites? Traffic which is relevant to our sites/blogs and business? If that’s the case should we ignore some tools just because they are a bit old? Because they are not the #trending ones? Or because they are not as good as they used to be?

Whatever is your answer, another question in your mind right now would be about the ROI. What is the ROI one can expect from social bookmarking? Let’s address that question now.

ROI from Social Bookmarking can come in two forms:

a) Increased Traffic

b) Increased Rankings

Some popular social bookmarking sites still do deliver plenty of traffic if your story is interesting enough to get voted up. There have been instances of many sites’ servers crashing because of not being able to handle the load of such traffic! However, that said, this won’t necessarily happen with every submission of yours but if you’ve invested enough in your content, there is some chance for it.

The other benefit of increased rankings is a possibility because there are a few social bookmarking sites that give out do-follow seo-friendly links for every submission. This is a neat way to garner some links to your article/blog post and over time such links could help to a certain extent in strengthening your domain authority.

So coming back to ROI, it’s up to you to decide what the ROI of those two benefits would be to you but as far as costs are concerned, it comes down to how much time you invest in your content and then going ahead and registering on the relevant social bookmarking sites and submitting your story to them. Alternatively, you could use a service like ours where we research and write quality content for you or if you have existing content, then you could have us submit those to the popular social bookmarking sites out there.

There are few things though that you need to be aware of before you start your social bookmarking campaigns especially after the recent updates such as Panda and Penguin. You may ignore the rest of the post if you are a Social Maximizer user, because we take care of these for you already 🙂

For all the others, make sure you or your social bookmarking service provider follow these guidelines. At Social Maximizer, our workflow is already fine-tuned to meet the following criteria.

  1. First thing. Your content should be interesting. No point in submitting not so great content to hundreds of bookmarking sites.
  2. Submit your sites/blog posts only to bookmarking sites which are indexed and cached regularly.
  3. Make sure you are not submitting to multiple social bookmarking sites which are hosted on a single ip address.
  4. Submit manually. Don’t use automated tools which do not care a thing for quality. Social bookmarking is effective only if you submit to most relevant categories, using proper tags, titles and descriptions.
  5. Use more titles and descriptions. Don’t use the same titles and descriptions for all your social bookmarking. For example, if you are submitting to 100 social bookmarking sites, try using at least 4 to 5 various titles and descriptions.
  6. Write your titles and descriptions keeping in mind the readers more than the search engines
  7. Submit to social bookmarking sites regularly. For example, whenever you write a new blog post, make it a practice to submit it to 100 or 200 bookmarking sites.

So now that you have all the information you need to promote your content, it’s time you got started!

Got any comments/suggestions/feedback? Sound them off below.

5 Ways to Build a Stronger Connection With Your Facebook Followers

increase-facebook-engagement

The more engaged your users are, the more likely they are to comment, share or like your content. Low engagement means your users may not even be seeing your content. It could also mean your posts are missing the mark with your users. On the other hand, high engagement means you have a healthy Facebook page. In order to use Facebook as an effective marketing tool, you should regularly check your engagement metrics and work to improve your user engagement.

That said, here are five different ways you can improve your readers’ engagement.

#1 – Ask for Feedback

feedbackCustomers are going to give feedback whether you like it or not. The only difference is, if you ask for it, they’ll express it to you rather than (or in addition to) their social network.

If your customers have a complaint, you want to hear about it directly. You don’t want them posting it to their walls. If your customers love your social media strategy, you want to hear about that as well so you can continue doing whatever it was that they loved.

#2 – Post When You’ll Get Read right-time-to-post

Post your content during times of day when you’ll likely be read by your target audience.

The best times of day are as follows. In the morning, between 10am and 11am is when people have a bit of downtime at work. People rarely check Facebook before work, since they’re in a rush to get ready. However, once they’ve settled down on their computer and gotten any urgent communications out of the way, they’ll often check Facebook.

Next you have 4pm to 5pm, when people get off work. Finally, you have 10pm to 11pm, when people do their late night Facebook checks. These times have come up time and again as the best times to post updates.

Make sure you’re posting during these times, in whatever time zones the majority of your audience is in.

#3 – Establish Alerts & Monitors

Setup-alertsSetup systems that’ll alert you whenever your brand’s name is mentioned on Twitter, the blogosphere or public Facebook pages. This will allow you to catch any potentially bad PR early on, rather than once it goes viral.

People want to know that you’re listening to their concerns. If a customer posts something to their Twitter and receives a response directly from your company quickly, it’ll diffuse any potential tension. Furthermore, you’ve increased engagement and opened a new channel of communication.

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How to Leverage Social Media for SEO

Twitter-Facebook-Marketing

By now, you’ve probably heard that social media is important for SEO. Yet most advice around social and SEO seems rather vague. How, exactly, does social media impact SEO? What can you do about it? How can you use social media to improve your own SERPs?

This question can actually be broken down into two parts: Part one is getting your social media profiles, like your Twitter feed and your Facebook page, to rank. The second part is how to use the power of social media to get your primary site ranked higher.

Let’s explore both of these avenues.

How to Boost Your Social Media Profile SERPs

Social-Media-SERPsImagine owning the top three spots for your primary search term: Your main site ranks, as well as your Twitter feed and your Facebook page. You’ll effectively destroy any other site(s) trying to rank for that position.

Of course, this is a dream scenario that rarely happens. However, getting your social media profiles to rank is certainly a worthwhile goal to shoot for. So how is it done?

The first and most important thing to do is to link to your social media profiles from your home page. This lets the search engines know that your social media profile is linked to you. This is actually perhaps the most important thing you could do to boost your social media profile rankings.

Next, build backlinks to your social media profiles. After all, they’re also webpages and need to be ranked just like any other page.

Get as many likes or follows as possible. The more likes or follows you have, the higher the perceived authority.

Use your product’s names and your brand’s names in your tweet. This will increase the relevance of the page to the keywords you want to rank for.

Finally, make sure you have your brand name and/or your keywords in your profile’s shortcode or URL. Having the keyword there will help with the rankings, help Google identify the “official” page and help users find your page.

If you follow all these steps, your social media page has a very strong chance of ranking.

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