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 moreLeave a Comment
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 moreLeave a Comment
Founded in February 2007 and later acquired in 2013 by Yahoo! for over a billion dollars, Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking site that attracts tons of eyeballs and can be leveraged for business by marketers. Perhaps its popularity is best explained by the fact that it is a mix of WordPress, Facebook and Pinterest. After all, it has WordPress-like blogging functionality, Facebook-like social features and Pinterest-like image management. According to a post on DMR by publisher Craig Smith, as of April 2015, Tumblr has a reach of 420 million users with an average of 120,000 daily Tumblr signups. There are also other interesting Tumblr statistics and numbers relevant for brands. For example:
– Tumblr is home to 217 million Tumblrogs (blogs), a number much higher than on WordPress.
– Everyday 113.6 million posts are made on the microblogging platform and social networking site and the average post is reblogged 14 times.
– Every month, Tumblr receives 199.1 million global users, 69 million of which are US visitors and 50% of which access Tumblr on mobile.
– The number of monthly page views on Tumblr is 5.187 billion and the average time users spend on Tumblr is 12 minutes, 1.5 minutes longer than on Facebook.
With stats like these, as a digital marketer, you have no choice but to leverage the platform for business. The key is to know exactly what you need to do.
How to Use Tumblr for Marketing | 7 Good Practices
1. Use Great Images
Tumblr, as mentioned above is a mix of WordPress, Facebook and Pinterest. Therefore one thing that you can safely assume is that Tumblr posts that are photos and other images do well. They are also ideal for reblogging.
2. Define your Niche
The top Tumblr viral blog of 2013 was Reasons My Son Is Crying. Other blogs that do well on Tumblr include Cats That Look Like Ron Swanson and Accidental Chinese Hipsters. In short, focus on a very tight niche.
3. Link your Posts to your Main Website
If you want the Tumblr community to engage with your company off the social networking site, link every post you make to your main website. …Read moreLeave a Comment
Founded in October 2006 and later acquired in May 2012 by LinkedIn, SlideShare is a slide hosting service that began with a simple goal: To help people share knowledge online. Since then, the service has grown into the world’s largest and most popular community for sharing presentations averaging approximately 60 million unique visitors a month according to data pulled in Q4 of 2013. SlideShare also features in the top 120 most visited websites in the world and is used by individuals and organizations ranging from Guy Kawasaki to the White House and Mashable.
SlideShare for Business
Whether you own an online shoe store or you help companies grow their revenue, SlideShare has many applications in marketing. For example, as you probably already know, presentations work great for content marketing so one of the ways a business could use SlideShare is as a content marketing tool. You could use it to:
1. Tell a Story
It’s a tried and tested theory that personal stories make the best content inspiration source but to amplify the impact of your message further, you could leverage the power of visuals using SlideShare.
2. Embed Slides into Landing Pages
Whether you need to give people a preview of a product you’re launching or you need to explain a concept to your readers, few things can beat a well-crafted SlideShare presentation, which is also very easy to embed into any landing page.
3. Enhance Your Blog Posts
A great blog begins with the content you create and while there are many types of posts that you can write on your blog that will do well, embedding SlideShare content into blog posts should rank pretty high up that list because readers love it.
4. Brand Yourself the Visual Way
No one goes to a SlideShare presentation hoping to come across huge chunks of text. It’s clearly a platform for visual communication and this makes it a great tool to introduce people to your brand and what you stand for in a recognizable fashion.
So SlideShare has many applications. The other benefit of the slide hosting service is that uploaded presentations have great potential to generate traffic for your website. The key is to optimize them for both your target audience as well as the search engines.
How to Optimize your SlideShare Presentations so You are Using the Service to its Full Potential
1. Make the First Slide Captivating
When it comes to content marketing, first impressions matter so if you’re creating a SlideShare presentation for your audience, don’t under estimate the power of your first slide. Not to mention that it will be used as the thumbnail everywhere including social shares whether on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest. …Read moreLeave a Comment
Over the last decade or so, there has been an explosion of growth in the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as other platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. There is no denying that this is the era of social media and for the foreseeable future, the need for businesses to incorporate social media into their marketing efforts will only become stronger. After all, the rising stats of the social networks speak for themselves.
1. Facebook has over 1.19 billion active users monthly. Basically, if Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.
2. 1 in 5 young adults aged between 18 and 25 uses Twitter. The social network is currently adding 300K users per day.
3. YouTube reaches more US adults aged between 18 and 34 than any cable network.
4. LinkedIn saw a 105% growth between 2011 and 2013.
5. 72% of online adults are social networking site users
In layman’s terms, whether you run a small, mid-size or enterprise level company, the statistics above clearly demonstrate that your customers are online. They are on the social networks looking for information and entertainment and interacting with friends, colleagues and brands. If you don’t leverage these opportunities for responsive communication and interacting with customers on a huge scale including those who are right down the street from you, make no mistake that your competitor will be doing just that.
Not to mention that social media can be a springboard for marketing success through other channels too because it takes your existing brand and solidifies it. It captures your company’s voice and propels it far and wide into the world opening up opportunities in other inbound marketing channels including but not limited to SEO, branding and public relations. Through social media, you can:
- Build relationships with customers. These will then serve as the foundation upon which other aspects of your business will flourish including advocacy and loyalty.
- Get feedback – on the social networks, information is shared at the speed of light so if you know how to take cues from your audience, social media can become an invaluable tool to gather insights and feedback.
- And finally, when integrated with the rest of your marketing efforts including branding and PR, social media can help you create a scalable experience for your customers, which will, in turn, amplify and solidify your work.
So as a business, having a successful social media presence can have a far-reaching impact. But how do you know if you’re doing it right and your social media marketing efforts are paying off?
This is where social media metrics and ROI come into play!
The Importance of Social Media ROI
There is a bunch of reason why online marketing appeals to many businesses and one of them is the fact that you can measure nearly everything you do. Once you collect the data you need, you can derive actionable takeaways. The challenge it seems is to remember that measuring and collecting data is only effective if you know what to measure and why. The point is to measure any return on your investment (ROI). …Read moreLeave a Comment
To understand copywriting for social media, perhaps you first need to understand what copywriting is and more importantly, how it differs from content marketing, with which, it is often associated, interchangeably used or confused for. In truth, copywriting and content marketing are not at all synonymous with one another but businesses do have to get both concepts home and right to bring in new customers and at the same time, enjoy success.
Basically, content marketing is a strategy of producing and publishing information with a marketing purpose. The content builds trust and authority among potential customers and drives sales without resorting to actual “hard sell” tactics. In contrast, copywriting, which is used for landing pages, sales pages, and infomercials is producing content striking and compelling enough to make readers take a specific action whether you want them to make a purchase, opt in for an e-mail newsletter or go in store to check out a new product.
Now in social media, copywriting has a very special place. Why? Because whether we are talking about Facebook wall posts, Twitter messages or YouTube video descriptions, you only have so many characters in which to fit your message and the message needs to be powerful enough to make people on the social networks either
3. Or Respond
4. Or any combination thereof
Also you need to account for the fact that in social media, communication is now two-way or more. Gone are the days when you could get away with business messages like “ Product X rocks. Get it and it will be your best buy this year and your best friend for as long as you live!” Remember that on social media sites, your customers get to respond to what you post and if you post a message like the one above, you’ll probably end up getting a “Bullshit!” thrown your way. Your message needs to be more human and should resonate with your target audience.
About Effective Copywriting for Social Media
If none of your Facebook fans and Twitter followers are clicking on your links and no one is commenting on your posts and/or sharing them, chances are, your copy sucks. It could be something else but for sure the first thing you need to re-evaluate is your copywriting. Probably a few tweaks are in order! To get more attention on social media:
1. Every Product has a Unique Personality, Fully Understand What you’re Selling
For any copywriting project, the first task is to know exactly what you’re selling. Know your product inside out because your unique selling proposition is what will differentiate you from your competitors and the crowd on the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
2. Focus on the Benefits of your Product just a Little More than on the Features
Because of the distinction between the purpose of content marketing and copywriting, when you’re crafting a copy to post on social media about your business or product, highlight the benefits of it in terms of the needs, wants and emotions of your readers. Such a message will resonate with readers more and impact them. …Read moreLeave a Comment
If you want to generate more traffic to your website and get more attention and higher rankings in the SERPs for your content, sometimes it takes more than creating quality content and hitting the publish button. One thing that is starting to have a huge and significant impact on these goals is social media. After all, Facebook has over 1.3 billion users, and a few hundred million people are spread across other popular social networks like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and lately Instagram.
As such, if you want to reach and impact more people, increasing the number of social shares for your content is definitely something worth considering. Think about it: If you create and publish a post that gets 500 Facebook likes, 400 tweets and 200 +1s and you do this consistently, how much traffic to your website does this translate to and how much of a bump those posts will get up the SERPs?
The question is, how can you get people to share your content across the social media sites? Let’s look at 4 ways in which you can do this.
4 Ways to Get More Shares across Social Media
1. Make it Easy for People to Share your Content
If you want more social shares for your content, make your social sharing buttons obvious by placing them in prime real estate. For example, you can use a dynamic and customizable vertical box that contains buttons and/or links to the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Reddit and which scrolls up and down a post to match the scrolling of readers. Alternatively, social sharing buttons at the end of posts is also very effective.
2. Encourage your Readers to Share your Content
Here is the deal: Most people, when they read something online, won’t immediately think “I want to share this”. You have to spell it out for them. Sometimes a few simple words strung together like “Please RT” can generate 3 times or 4 times as many retweets as you would get without such a call to action, a fact demonstrated to best effect by the studies and experiments outlined by Dan Zarrella in this post on copyblogger.com.Leave a Comment
As it stands now, YouTube has over 1 billion users.
- Everyday people spend hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube
- Every year, the number of hours people spend on the website increases by 50%
- Every minute, 300 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube
- The video-sharing website is available in 61 different languages and localized in 75 countries
With stats like these, it makes sense why many businesses and marketers are jumping on the YouTube bandwagon in an attempt to harness some of the benefits of having a presence on a platform, which is as much a community site as a search engine. And while each channel on YouTube has its own approach to publishing, some of the most important actions when uploading a video on the website can be grouped into a simple checklist.
After all, making a video and uploading it to YouTube is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in optimizing the content and engaging with the community to make sure your video reaches the widest audience possible.
The checklist to upload a video on YouTube and successfully promote it is as follows:
This includes proper formatting, writing the metadata and creating an eye-catching and more importantly, a high-resolution thumbnail.
Any video you upload on YouTube should be properly annotated with a subscribe button, community CTAs and/or links to related content. Consider adding the video to a relevant playlist.
3. Engage & Outreach
To increase the reach and impact of your content, post it on Google+. You can also reach out to relevant blogs and/or online communities or you can engage with people in the comments section of social media sites and other online spaces.
Optimizing and Promoting a Video for Maximum Reach & Impact
So you created a video that’s creative, insightful and spot-on in terms of what your YouTube audience wants. Now what? The inclination is to sit back with some popcorn and watch the view count rise. If you do that, you will end up sorely disappointed because creating a great video is only half the battle. YouTube is home to a ton of great content. To really get your video out there, you need to optimize it. To that end:Leave a Comment
Take a second and imagine that you are in front of your target audience. You have a very short span of time to keep their attention. This is a situation similar to speed dating, except that you have to send your message to everyone at once and try to win as many people as possible on your side, because right after you are done, your main competitor will try to attract them.
From the moment visitors land on your website, they are found in a similar situation and that’s why you will hear many internet marketing experts repeating the words of Bill Gates – Content is King. However, the creation of content that will attract exactly the groups of people who need to view those messages has never been more demanding.
Competition is forcing content creators to come up with new stuff all the time. This means that in order to run a successful website you have to come up with some great blog ideas and content. A brief search on the Internet can make you feel like all the ideas in every possible industry has been exploited…but that’s not true!
The reasoning behind this conclusion is simple – there are still many question-and-answer websites that are very popular. People have questions and they can’t find answers in the articles found on the Internet.
A good example is Quora. Quora is actually an online collection of user created questions and answers that can be edited and organized by each user. Their main goal is to become the best possible source for anyone who has an issue or question and that each question becomes a collection of the best answers to that question. The users themselves vote for the best answer and in this way they rank the best answers.
Using Quora to Generate Blog Ideas & Content
Thanks to the system used by Quora you can easily find hot topics. The questions that have many answers are usually ranked higher and they are also ranked by the views. What makes Quora different from other similar services is the fact that people are looking for some specific answers that can usually be answered by experts, scientists and people who have a lot of experience in those fields.
1. Since the questions are grouped by areas, you should focus on the questions related to your niche. You will find many interesting questions and even more interesting answers that should be enough to construct a skeleton for your blog post or simply give you an idea for a topic that you can develop. You can use the questions to generate headlines, but you should never copy/paste those questions or the answers because this is bad for SEO.Leave a Comment
Everyone knows the deal when it comes to the critical role content plays in inbound marketing. You need content to:
- Drive sales without resorting to hard-sell tactics
- Build trust and authority among your buyers
- Build a loyal community around your brand and
- Become recognized as a thought leader in a specific industry
The challenges marketers face in regard to producing quality content are numerous. In particular, it’s easier said than done to produce enough content and to produce content that’s interesting and valuable enough to get read. But some of us do our due diligence and devote time, resources and energy to create unique and engaging content.
And it pays to do so because if you get the hang of creating content that sparks discussion, goes viral and drives business, you’ve essentially ticked all the boxes when it comes to the aforementioned goals and benefits of producing and publishing content.
But the web does not only consist of honest people. Instead of investing the time and energy it takes to create good content that people would want to consume, some opt for the easy way out, which is, stealing. That simple! They steal your content and use it to grow their business. After all, your content sits in plain sight on your website. In truth, at any moment, anyone in the world, with just a few keystrokes namely CTRL + C and CTRL + V, can steal your content and paste it onto their own website, sometimes verbatim, claiming it as their own.
Plagiarism is today a serious plague on the web and one that should not be taken lightly. But how can you protect your website against theft?
We’ve got some ideas!
What Copyscape Recommends
According to Copyscape, if you want to fight and prevent plagiarism, there are three things you can do.
- You can use a plagiarism warning banner on your website to deter content thieves from stealing your work
- You can assert ownership over your work by using copyright notices on each page
- You can use Copysentry to automatically monitor copies of your work over the web
What DMCA Recommends
In addition to Copyscape, DMCA also recommends certain steps to fight plagiarism and to prevent your content from becoming easy targets. To protect your website against content theft:
- Consider naming, dating and titling all the content you publish on your website within the code itself
- Place a DMCA Protection Badge on website pages. This extra layer of protection can go a long way in deterring thefts and safeguarding your rights against plagiarists
- And finally, to protect the non-written content on your website, watermark your graphics, images and photos. For this purpose, DMCA’s watermarking service is very practical