SEO for Better Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 12/02/19 10:21

content marketing 0119As marketers we should provide our customers with quality experiences. One way is by implementing a customer focused content marketing programme.

 

Content marketing includes blog posts, infographics, email, podcasts, and many other content types. Every online channel provides a unique way for us to reach our personas. So, we need to optimise every piece of content to make it easier for people to find.

 

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher and it’s challenging to get your content in front of your personas. This challenge continues to become more difficult as over 91% of B2B marketers claim they already use content marketing. Although that number is high, many can better optimise their existing content.

 

Here, we’ll cover basic SEO tactics you can deploy to make your content easier to be found by search engines.

Keywords

The first step for writing online content is choosing the right keywords to target. Conducting keyword research is an important optimisation process. First identify a group of selective keywords that are semantically related, i.e., share similar interest to your personas. By choosing a semantic group of keywords to target, you broaden your reach by ranking for multiple keywords instead of just one main keyword as search engines are getting cleverer at determining what keywords are related.

 

To help explain semantic keywords, a keyword glossary would include the following terms for “marketing book reviews:”

  • Marketing book comparison
  • Marketing strategy book
  • Reviews for marketing books
  • Best marketing book
  • Marketing books to read

Your semantic keyword group should contain some long-tail keywords that are less competitive. Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for and brings most of your organic search traffic.

 

Another advantage of using a semantic group of keywords is the ability to sprinkle keywords naturally throughout your content. You will build relevance for the overall topic by doing this.

Content Marketing Structure

When creating your content, ensure you plan the structure. Content should be presented in a way that provides a solution for the issue your personas are searching for - answering a question, finding a product or anything else. Writing good content that solves a problem gains audience interest and potential visibility via social shares and links. Your engagement rate will be better, which sends positive signals to search engines.

 

Creating structure for your content is challenging. To create structure, fashion an outline of how you want the content to be viewed, with the most important information near the top of the page.

 

If your post gets long, use anchor links to push people to the content. Use heading tags (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to break content up to allow users to skim and scan the content. Avoid using long blocks of content, and if content is becoming long, visually break it up by:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Testimonials
  • Bulleted list

Creating a fluid structure for your content will help improve your audience engagement metrics by making the user experience friendly.

 

The structure of the content should be considered at the beginning of the optimisation process.

Build a Map to your Content

After writing optimised content, the next step is to build backlinks to it. Backlinks help people and search engines crawl and find your content more efficiently. They can be related to three areas - internal, external, and social links.

 

Building backlinks can be like a map. For example, you have the most amazing beach and you would like to charge admission. You’ve put in a lot of work to make your beach the best in the area and you know people would love to visit. The first problem is that no one knows how to find it. So, you build paths to make it easier for people to get to the beach (internal links). Next you place signs near your beach for local visibility (social shares). Now people start coming to your beach and they love it so much they go and tell their friends (external links). Soon, your beach is filled with happy and paying customers.

 

The moral of this scenario is to optimise your content by building links to your content. Links are still important to receive organic and overall traffic. The easiest way to get some links to your asset is to build internal links strategically with correct anchor text. Use keyword variations and long-tail keywords as your anchor text to not over optimise the content, which sends better relevance signals to the search engines.

Share your post on social media with a promotion plan to gain more visibility via referrals. Increasing social shares for your content sends more positive signals to search engines about how popular it is.

 

Lastly, focus of earning backlinks from credible sources on other websites. Reach out to influencers that might be interested in your content, so they can either share socially, or even better, on their website. Also, reach out to websites that are linking to the pages that are ranking for the keyword topic to see if they will link to your content. Hopefully, your amazing piece of content goes viral, which helps earn backlinks naturally and easily.

Writing more Optimised Content

This can be challenging. We can optimise content, so our personas can find it easily over our competitors. Optimised content will lead to more organic traffic and ultimately potentially higher conversions/ROI. We don’t need more content in general, but we need more optimised content that helps solve the audience’s problem.

 

For more on up to date SEO follow this link>>>

 

new website seo checklist

Tags: small business seo, content marketing, small business seo marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, seo for b2b business, b2b seo programme, website seo

3 Reasons you should be doing Content Marketing in 2019

Posted by frank harris on 21/01/19 16:23


b2b content marketing 0618Content marketing is a very general term that can be used to refer to many individual areas, from digital PR to the creation of blog content. Put simply, it is the creation of content that is shared online using a variety of marketing channels and assets. However, it can be so much more than this. Here are three ways content marketing can be useful for your business:

  1.  Stand out from the Crowd

In a world where almost everything is online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and that is where content marketing comes in. The aim is to provide content that is useful to the user so that people want to share and engage with your brand and in many cases, this means staying away from branded content that looks to sell.

 

It’s important to consider what your personas wants to know or talk about, this information can be found on

platforms that are probably already used by your business such as social media or social news aggregators.

  1. Brand Identity

Initial thoughts are that content marketing does not benefit a business instantly or directly however it can

help build relationships and loyalty. This is developed over time and whilst users are engaging, they are also a persona, providing an emotional aspect that the user can relate to in a digital landscape.

 

So, the next time potential customers look for answers or need a certain product your brand will be there in the forefront of their minds ready to assist and provide the answer.

  1. Learn about your Personas

Understanding consumers wants and needs can sometimes be baffling, especially at the pace they change today, so running content marketing campaigns means you are always monitoring your target audience’s interests. Ultimately, providing a deeper understanding of your market, which can be useful when looking to expand or change your product offering.

 

However, content marketing is experimental so not every creation will be a success, but you can learn from this. It is all about the research, talking to your users, experimenting with mini campaigns, and learning from

experiences. Analysing the performance of a digital campaign is much easier than a traditional marketing campaign, if you choose your platforms wisely.

 

Just like most elements of marketing, nothing stays the same for long, so how do we expect content marketing to grow in 2019?

2019 Content Marketing Trends

We are now in the age of assistance and so the content we produce may see a change in 2019. Providing content that answers a question for the audience will meet the need for assistance, whilst also positioning your brand as thought leader in the industry.

 

During 2016, there was an 80% increase in live videos viewed online, and in 2018, 78% of people watch videos online every week, and 55% every day. With video playing such a big part in daily life written content alone just won’t cut it – it is time to use video to share content, of course written content still has its place, and it’s important to accompany any video with some optimised text.

 

Authenticity plays a big part in marketing today with consumers wanting to know where, when, and how products are made. When it comes to content marketing, authenticity can come into play with the type of content you create and the way that it is shared.

 

To get the best content for your industry is essential. The toolkit that you can download from the link below will give you many great tips:

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, b2b content, small business content, content marketing strategy

10 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Posted by frank harris on 28/11/18 15:32

online marketing 1018A content marketing strategy plays a crucial role in digital; marketing as it tells you how successful your programme is going to be. It’s about planning, strategizing, execution and measuring results.

Why you need Content Marketing?

Here are 5 reasons why you need it:

  • Trusted by customers - When you write a blog post or publish an eBook, that content will be trusted more by your customers than the marketing copy on your website.
  • Supports purchase process - A sound strategy helps guide your personas down the marketing funnel to conversion.
  • Feeds social media - With social media, content drives behaviour. It’s not just the cat pictures that people like and share on Facebook but also content that your personas like. Your content distribution feeds your social media channels.
  • Delivers your message multiple times so customers believe it - You can produce the same content in different formats like blog, eBooks, infographics, video etc. In doing this your customer has more chances of believing it.
  • Is less expensive - There is a cost in producing pieces of content. It comes from the time you spent researching, writing, editing, designing that piece of content.

So now let’s start your content marketing strategy with our 10 Steps:

  1. Establish your content marketing goals

Be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Goals may vary per campaign e.g., building your brand or generate leads and sales?

  1. Know your personas

If we try to market to everyone, we reach no one.

 

Start with identifying a simple demographic and then expand. This link shows you how to develop personas:

 

personas cta

 

  1. Determine information needs

What information are your customers seeking? Providing something they need and want makes you a useful source. Not sure what your audience wants? Test. They may want answers, product information or how to tips. Ensure any ratings or reviews are accurate and legitimate. Honesty is a must!

  1. Select Content Formats

Content comes in many forms so decide what works best for your brand and your personas.

 

Once you start to relate to your personas and develop a better understanding of them, you’ll be able to cater for their needs. If you use a format and determine an alternative would be better, don’t worry change tactics!

  1. Tell stories

You can share stories, but you must allow your personas to do the same and remember it’s not always about you.

  1. Brand content

You have to take everything you do and make it consistent. Colours, text, sound, and even the structure of your language.

  1. Develop an editorial calendar

This ensures you stay on track with your content marketing efforts and will save you time in the long run. To create an editorial calendar, decide its structure. Decide how many posts you will be sending out daily and the metrics you’ll track. Remember seasonality and holidays to embrace content like seasonal tips to humanise your brand and directly relate to your personas.

 

Your calendar allows you to establish recurring content features and decide on your major content offerings. It also means you can do some advanced keyword research and enhance your content’s SEO.

  1. Optimise search and consumption

If no one can find your content, no-one can consume it. It’s easy to get close to your business and become removed from your personas are searching for. You must start by finding out! Your headline is crucial so ensure that it is attention grabbing. Your content should be visually appealing with eye-catching images. Write your content around one keyword phrase that your personas are searching for.

  1. Distribute and promote content

After creating content, distributing and promoting it will determine how successful your content marketing efforts will be. Start by placing it on your website, then promote and direct people to it from your social media platforms. Include links in all communications and incorporate your content into offline interactions.

 

It’s important to ensure that people are aware of and can find your content, otherwise all your hard work won’t bring the rewards they should.  Attend events relevant to the topics you have covered in your content and spread the word!

  1. Track results

You have established your goals, implemented a strategy and worked on creating and promoting your content. Now, track the results.

 

What were you trying to accomplish? If you were trying to increase traffic, did people come? Have you generated leads?

 

To make things measurable, you need to create a sense of urgency by including a promotional code, a call to action or insert a tracking into any links that you share beforehand.

Conclusion

Content marketing is about establishing goals for your target audience and then determining their needs. It is also about selecting the content format that your personas use along with keeping your branding in mind. Finally, it’s about being focused with the help of a content calendar and then optimising your content and distribution and measuring results. Content marketing is hard but if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

 

To get my toolkit to help you further, click on the link below>>>

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, content calendar, real time marketing, call to action, content marketing strategy

7 Ways to Humanise your Brand through B2B Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 09/11/18 10:38

B2B marketing 1018Some B2B content is so flat and boring that it can be hard to read.

 

No one wants to be faced with an article that is corporate, uninspiring, and feels like it has been written by a robot.

 

Behind every brand is a human being that is passionate about the industry they work in and is driven by their area of expertise.

 

But how do we make the human side of a brand come across? Being authentic in your content marketing efforts is key.

 

If your audience doesn’t feel like they are talking to and engaging with a real human being, they will likely lose any connection they have with your brand and start to look elsewhere for a brand they can relate to.

 

If your social media accounts look robotic, and the content you post becomes repetitive, you will start to lose your fans and followers and may even drive customers away.

 

Content marketing provides the perfect way to humanise your brand, so here are 7 ideas:

  1. Buyer Personas

A humanised approach to B2B content marketing means focusing on the behaviours, goals, and needs of your target audience.

 

Focusing on sales and conversions takes any human connection away, resulting in corporate-based processes and communication.

 

You need to know who your audience is in order to create content that meets their goals and needs. So you need to create Buyer Personas.

  1. Write for People, not Bots

The easiest way to humanise your brand is to talk to your personas whenever you can.

 

Remember, you are writing for people, not search engines, and while optimising your content is important, don’t detract from your brand’s personality with keyword stuffing, misleading headlines, and bland topics.

 

Ensure your readers’ interests and requirements are always at the front of your mind when you publish B2B content.

 

You are writing for another human and therefore their experience is important.

 

You want them to see your content as helpful and informative, and repeatedly return c your site, with the end goal of a conversion.

  1. Tell a Story

With so many online platforms, you must tell a meaningful story through a clearly thought-out B2B content marketing strategy.

 

Focus on the people who use your products, rather than the products themselves.

 

Use blog posts, pictures, videos and live engagement, to tell a story and show your human side through the content you produce.

 

The most successful stories are those that generate emotion and social engagement and help the audience feel closer and more connected to you.

  1. Keep up your Engagement

Don’t always use social media as a platform to promote your products and services.

80 20 rule

 

While this can be a good place for self-promotion, keep to the 80/20 rule and try not to drive followers away with constant promotional noise.

 

Social media should be used to build relationships with your personas, by showing them your brand’s human side in a real, meaningful way.

 

Different customers will engage with you through different social media channels, so it’s important to remain consistent with how and when you interact with your personas.

  1. Think like a Journalist

The best thing about content marketing is that it allows thought-leaders to demonstrate their expertise by communicating directly with readers.

 

This is good for readers as content is more likely to provide detailed insight into specific areas or topics.

 

By writing about your brand’s current trends, you’re automatically encouraging engagement from a large audience and presenting yourself as a personable, knowledgeable business that people can turn to for advice.

  1. Create B2B Content Experiences

Providing information to your personas is great, but it’s better to entertain your audience, connect with them, and keep them coming back for more.

 

Use videos and pictures to keep them up to date and share funny, serious, and interesting moments with them as they happen.

 

By creating experiences around your brand, you’re showing your personas that you want to involve them in your business.

 

By using the human aspects of your brand and showing your humorous/emotional/personable side, you’re providing your personas with entertaining or interactive content.

 

This encourages them to connect with the people behind the business, not just the external face of the brand.

  1. Listen and Respond

Online marketing gives your audience a platform where they can comment, reply to, and share your content.

 

It’s one thing to listen to what they have to say, but you should show you have listened by responding to them with an action.

 

By doing this, you gain their trust and respect, and, most importantly, build brand loyalty.

 

This could be by answering questions as quickly as possible or fully reacting to customer feedback by introducing a new loyalty scheme.

 

Because you have taken on board what your customers have said will make them like you, stay with you, and tell all their colleagues about you.

Finally

In a busy world of B2B digital marketing, you need to stand out from your competitors, and shouting the loudest isn’t always the best way.

 

It’s not about what you say, it’s how you say it and who’s listening.

 

Think about who your personas and talk to them as you would a friend.

 

A little can go a long way when it comes to human interaction and regular engagement – just keep your tone and content consistent, and try to be reactive online.

 

To understand your customers and their journey to become one follow the link below>>>

 

Your perfect customer journey

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, digital marketing, b2b, b2b marketing blog, b2b customers, b2b customer experiences, b2b lead conversion

Internet marketing tips for small businesses: 5 Questions on Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 21/08/18 15:19

small business content marketing 0718The small business content marketing gold rush doesn’t seem to be slowing, and articles advising brands they need to jump on the bandwagon continue to plague the internet like timeshare salesmen in 1970s Spain. 

 

But does your brand really need content marketing? 

 

Maybe. Personally, I’m pro-content, but I also don’t believe enough thought goes into why and how brands are doing it. 

 

If you’re currently planning or re-evaluating your small business content marketing efforts, you could save yourself a lot of wasted time and effort by using these internet marketing tips for small businesses to answer these five questions on content marketing first.

1. Why are you doing it?

In marketing or any other fast-moving industry there is a tendency for fear to trump logic. The idea being that if your competitors are doing something then you ought to be too. 

 

Nobody wants to be like those poor brands who saw the value in social media five years too late. 

 

But content marketing requires an enormous amount of investment – time, effort, money, resource – to do well.

 

So rather than saying brands shouldn’t do it at all I’m simply suggesting it needs to be for the right reasons, i.e. not a vanity project but something your customers want or need. 

 

But this question is about more than that. What are you hoping to achieve as a business by investing in content marketing? 

 

We all know the standard answers: brand awareness, building credibility, generating leads, and so on. 

 

Those reasons are fine, but you need to work out what you want your specific business to achieve through content marketing because that will ultimately help you determine whether it’s right for your company and, if it is, what your content strategy should look like.

 

The vast majority (88%) of B2B businesses currently use content marketing, yet only 32% have a documented strategy.  

 

These statistics suggest to me that most brands have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to content marketing, yet they’re ploughing on regardless. 

2. Who are your customers?

I’m not talking about their age, location, occupation, etc. If you don’t know that then content is the least of your worries. 

 

Who are your personas? What makes them tick? Which publications do they subscribe to? What specific articles are they reading? What problems do they face on a day-to-day basis ad which brands are already helping them solve those problems?

 

There are a number of tools you can use to find this kind of information. Here are a few to get you started:  

  • Buzzsumo – analyse a competitor’s best-performing content and see trends around specific keywords for all websites in your industry.
  • Google Keyword Planner – find out what people in your industry are searching for.
  • Google Trends – see how different keywords have performed over time.

Or you could collect first-party data and build your personas to give you a starting point from which to work. 

 

Personas made up of first-party data are perhaps the most accurate and effective way to find out about your customers, but also the most time/budget-consuming. 

3. What do they want?

Small business content marketing, contrary to what some misinformed people will tell you, is not the same as advertising. 

 

With advertising you are directly prompting somebody to take a specific action, and you pay to put that message in front of a pre-existing audience. 

 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t include calls to action within you content, but the theory behind content marketing is that you’re giving your target audience something of value in return for brand awareness, consumer trust, and so on, ultimately culminating in increased sales. 

 

Take this blog as an example. My customers – as in the ones who actually sign up for subscriptions, download reports, buy training – are small local, mainly B2B businesses.

 

Because I am also a small business I can answer their problems through posts like this. 

 

The best part is that if you truly understand the challenges people face in your industry and produce posts that help them overcome those challenges, there’s a good chance those posts will become evergreen and show up in the SERPs for years to come.

 

The cost of not really understanding what your customers want from content? Well, they’ll simply ignore you. 

4. Which medium?

Almost half (45%) of small businesses say blogging is the most important part of their content strategy and 69% said they were planning to increase their use of blogging in 2018. 

 

I’ll wager a good percentage of those are doing it because it feels like the right thing to do rather than because they’ve done their homework and discovered that’s how their specific customers want to consume content. 

 

Every brand wants to be a publisher these days, and most seem to assume that automatically means editorial content. 

 

There are an incredible number of mediums out there now, from imagery to video as well as live-streaming.

Video for example, accounts for over 50% of all online mobile traffic now, 78% of people watch videos online every week and 55% every day. 

 

How-to guides, for example, are often best-served via video. Or at least with plenty of imagery to show visual examples. 

 

But what if your personas prefer reading long-form written guides and don't care for visuals? What if they like text but in short, snappy soundbites they can read on the move? 

 

The mix of mediums you use should depend entirely on their suitability to your messages and your personas’ preferences. 

5. How are you going to measure success?

As small business content marketing success is difficult to measure is both a blessing and a curse, i.e. it’s hard to either prove or disprove that it’s contributing to the company’s revenue. 

 

In Optimax’s case we can see how many people come into the blog from Google, social, wherever, click on a link to a report or something similar.

 

But beyond traffic there are other things you can measure, and this links back to the first question: why you’re doing it. 

 

If you want to grow your social media community, for example, then you might measure social follower growth and engagement over time.

 

If it grows significantly after beginning your content campaign, it’s fair to assume you’ve succeeded. 

But you cannot answer the question of how to measure success until you have answered the first question in this post.

To recap…

  • Why are you doing it?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What do they want?
  • Which medium?
  • How are you going to measure success?

When you’ve answered those five questions, in that order, you’ll know whether small business content marketing is right for your brand and, if it is, you’ll have a much better idea of how to go about creating a content strategy that will actually produce results. 

 

For more help on this, follow the link below:

 

content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b small business marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, small business goals, small business marketing strategy

8 B2B Content Marketing Myths…BUSTED

Posted by frank harris on 30/07/18 15:27

b2b content marketingIt is a universal truth that a B2B company in possession of a marketing budget needs B2B content marketing. Or is it?

 

Maybe not as much as you think. 10% of companies are still holding out on using content to market their products and services. They haven’t adopted one of the most necessary and effective marketing tactics ever. This is a problem, especially considering that most of us could do more to optimise what we’re already doing.

 

Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about B2B content marketing…and the stats to prove it.

1.       Our type of audience won’t respond to content marketing!

False. 70% of consumers would rather get to know a brand through articles rather than through ads. People want to feel like you’re talking with them, and that you’re giving them information that’s useful (rather than just shouting at them to buy your stuff). Very likely your customer base is among them.

2.       Content marketing can’t work in our industry!

Some industries seem like they are better suited to content marketing than others – but only if you don’t understand all that content marketing can do.

 

While it’s easy to picture pinboards full of lifestyle photos, Instagram feeds with pretty meals aplenty, and blogs that tout the benefits of this or that beauty brand, consider that two of the best content marketing companies out there are in shipping (Maersk) and manufacturing (GE). 

3.       Content marketing costs too much!

Like any other form of marketing (including social media), you’re going to have to pay for it in order to make it work on a large scale.

 

Everyone is wise to us marketers which is fine – it’s just about putting your money in the right places. Content marketing clearly is that place. According to CMI, the most effective B2B marketers spend 39% of their marketing budgets on content.

4.      We don’t have the capabilities to create enough content!

64% of marketers do say that their biggest challenge is creating enough content, and yet 90% of them continue to do it. While content marketing is now front and centre in most marketers’ minds and budgets, many brands still have a lot to learn about how to do it efficiently. For starters, try recycling your content, hiring freelancers to help, or licensing content.  

5.      We don’t have an interesting story to tell!

If you don’t have an interesting story to tell, you wouldn’t be in business.

 

Whether you’re a company that has grown over the course of 100+ years to be a multi-million-pound enterprise or a two-person bakery, there is more than likely something interesting you can say.

 

Tell a story about the data or research you have on your own industry or customers. Tell stories of your employees and customers. Answer your customers’ most commonly asked questions. Every brand has a story to tell! 

6.      We can’t prove the ROI of our B2B content marketing!

What do you want to show?

 

Increased traffic? Well, 329 million people read blogs every month, and companies that blog get 5x more traffic than their peers.

 

Want leads? Active content marketing companies see 97% more digital leads than those who don’t. Set your goals and then build your strategy around them using content to move your customers and prospects down the funnel. 

7.      We can’t get leadership to buy in to content marketing!

Maybe you should mention that clicks from the shared content you are going to put out there is 5x more likely to result in a purchase, and that conversion rates are 105% higher for consumers who interact with ratings and reviews as a result of content marketing.

 

Your leadership is interested in their bottom line. So take the time to build a case based around your specific brand’s numbers.

8.       There are better ways to spend our marketing budget!

72% of your marketing peers believe that branded content is more valuable than advertising in a print magazine, and 69% believe it’s superior to direct mail and all that PR you’re doing. 

 

Clearly, content marketing is one of the best ways to diversify what you’re doing, if not the centrepiece. Did you know that 86% of people are shown to SKIP television ads these days. Traditional marketing is now less effective and certainly more difficult to measure its effect. 

 

So Ok you buy this so now see how to use it to get those new leads you crave……

 

b2b lead generation

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing

7 rules for Small Business Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 23/04/18 15:33

content marketing 2018 1Here are seven rules that we have recognised can help you optimise your small business content marketing.

  1. Create what your Personas Need (not what you want)

We’re all selfish, especially in our business lives. We want to accomplish our tasks, push projects forward and drive growth.

 

When we start planning our digital marketing content with sales goals or product features at the centre of the process, we create promotions and product guides. We tell personas what we want them to know without thinking about what it means to them. 

 

If we start with the needs of our personas, their interests and problems, their opportunities and hopes, we create business content that helps them, as it drives sales as well as sharing with them a deeper ongoing relationship.

  1. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy and Framework

Think about the purpose and goals of your content marketing. Consider what content you want to publish, for whom, where, when, how and why. Ask yourself who your intended personas are – who do you want to engage, for whom does the content deliver its value?

  1. Match Content to your Personas and your Goals

Consider the purpose of each piece of content and where the content will fit into a purchase or customer lifecycle. 

  • Transitional content enables a transition along the sales funnel. 
  • Transactional content persuades and enables prospects to complete a transaction. 
  • Relationship-building content builds trust, respect and loyalty in ways that transcend individual transactions. 
  1. Conduct a Gap Analysis in your Search Campaigns

Look for gaps on search engine result pages (SERPs) to identify valuable search positions that you do not currently own. Identify the type of content you should produce to increase the traffic to your website. Review the keywords used by your audiences, the volume of searches for a particular term and how these can be improved. 

 

Take a look at your competitors to see how they are performing and where you need to improve. 

Use Google’s Keyword Tool, your analytics and other tools for analysis.

  1. Adhere to Governance, Planning and Coordinating the Distribution of your Content

Without governance, strategy is merely a good intention. Follow best practice guidelines around standards relating to the creation, curation and distribution of your online content within a content schedule. 

  1. Deliver the Right Content to the Right Person at the Right Time

Consider how different content types can be distributed in different formats on different platforms to achieve different goals. To get you started on this have a look at Econsultancy’s Periodic Table of Content Marketing for guidance. 

 

periodic table of marketing

 

  1. Content Innovation and Agility

Digital marketing places emphasis on being able to respond in a timely manner. Identify opportunities where it is appropriate to put content out there, and then objectively and progressively adapt it over time.  Consider the 70:20:10 rule which translates to spending. 

  • 70% of your effort on the low-risk, bread-and-butter, tried-and-tested content. Optimise it, amplify it and refine it, but don’t break any rules with it.
  • 20% of your time innovating off what is known to work and what may engage more deeply with specific audiences, but is still likely to have broad appeal. This content stretches and tests the boundaries that constrain the 70%.
  • 10% spent on brand new high-risk ideas that, if successful, could become tomorrow’s 20% or 70%.

So, there are the 7 rules. If you want to understand why you should be executing digital content marketing, then check out the eBook from the link below now:

 

small business content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, b2b content

Why Content Marketing should be Central to your Marketing Strategy

Posted by frank harris on 06/03/18 16:23

Content_Marketing_Plan.pngLately content marketing strategies are everywhere.

 

If you are not actively and regularly creating fresh content – and I’m not talking about social media posts – you and your business are missing out. In 2018, you have to be constantly creating content.

 

Ok, social media posts are content, but that’s not what matters. What I’m talking about is content on your website. Blogs. Infographics. Video. Podcasts – i.e. things that will get indexed by Google. If you’re not feeding Google on a regular basis, it’s going to forget about you and you’ll be lost while our competitors will get prime spots at the table.

Why have a Content Marketing Strategy and Distribute Regularly?

Content drives people to your social networks

How often have you visited someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn page after reading a blog post or an article? Continually publishing new content gives people something to read and while they are on your website, they’ll stay and look around or click and visit your networks.

Content drives people to your website

Once you write it, you must promote it. One of the first things you do is share it over social media and email it out to your database. People will see it, click and visit your website. Having regular fresh content gives people a reason to return.

Content conveys a message to your audience

Your content should provide value to your personas. This could be through tips, testimonials or helping them solve a problem. Whatever it is, you are sending your personas a message. This is their way to get to know you.

Content sets you apart from your competitor

If you are a SME, I can virtually guarantee your competitors are not publishing fresh content. If they are, that gives you a reason to start. If you’re the first one doing it – great! You’ll have an easier time getting those people’s attention and web traffic. If you’re not, don’t worry – provide content of value and share it and people will come.

Content can give you authority

The longer and more regularly you produce content, the more authority you build in search engines. However, you’ll also build authority in your personas’ eyes because they'll see that you know your stuff and helping them out. Consider people who are influential and have authority – they’re publishing new content all the time.

How do you Spread your Content?

Share on your social networks

This is a no-brainer. When publishing something new, share it on Google Plus (for indexing reasons), then Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. You want to share it in as many places as possible. You have a similar, yet different audience on each platform you are active on.

Ask any employees to share

Having an employee network that's active, and shares is great for your business. Your employees are vested in your business – ask them if they would share your business’ content posts on their social networks. Empower them to take an active role in promoting the business and your content.

Syndicate it

Syndicating content can work for your content. This is an easy way to get your articles out in front of more than just your audience. You can take advantage of sites such as Triberr or Business2Community, they can help to increase your reach.

Befriend your influencers

Your influencers want to get to know you. Build a relationship with them – tweet them, mention them in an article, send them an email. Befriending influencers and sharing their content will help your content marketing programme. Building an authentic relationship with those in your industry will pay off – not immediately as these things take time.

 

Your business’ marketing strategy must now include a content marketing strategy. You have to know what you are going to publish and where and to whom. The days of ‘just’ posting on Facebook or Twitter are over. You must have a plan and the right people to execute it.

 

For more on Content Marketing just follow this link:

 

content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, marketing content, sme marketing

5 Ways to Ensure Content delivers for your Business

Posted by frank harris on 18/02/18 16:18

content-marketing-2018 jan.jpgThe clear majority of B2B marketers today use content marketing in some form or other (most surveys put this in the 80% to 90% range). However, content is an area where the noise can often overwhelm the reality.

 

The prevailing wisdom (on many blogs at least) is that content marketing is essentially an inbound approach where, to succeed, you need to produce a high volume of quality content to attract people to your site.

 

Once you have them, you then nurture them with more content to help them move towards being sales ready.

 

So far, so good.

 

Except, while plenty of B2B marketers are seeing some results, too few are seeing the kind of results they want. In fact, according to a recent study by the Economist, 40% of companies feel they aren’t getting the return they need from their investment in content.

 

In short, it’s time for an upgrade.

 

In the guide that can be accessed from the link below, we focus on the five top uses of content in B2B marketing today. We look at the basics you should have in place (the price of entry if you will). Then we highlight what you can do to upgrade your approach (and your results).

 

It covers the following areas of content marketing:

  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Thought Leadership
  • Sales Enablement

One area that you might not quite understand the significance in this area is Sales Enablement. So, let’s see what the guide offers you in this area.

Sales Enablement

"Sales enablement is a terrible term. We should stop using it right now. While it’s well-meaning, it has become a lazy shorthand for the most basic marketing support – the kind of ubiquitous presentation and leave-behind combination that hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years.

 

It’s no wonder that SiriusDecisions found that up to 70% of content produced by marketing is never used by sales.

So, what’s to be done?

Firstly, understand that the line between marketing and sales is becoming increasingly blurry. This is a good thing. Customers do not recognise this division when they purchase from your business (though they may when they choose not to).

 

For them, the purchase journey is more dynamic, more seamless. It is all about determining their business need, assessing the available solutions and finding the right fit for their organisation. They should never feel the joins as they move from suspect to prospect to MQL (marketing qualified lead) to SAL (sales accepted lead).

 

This means that ‘sales enablement’ needs to take an end-to-end view of the entire sales process.

 

The basics start with positioning and messaging. Too often, marketing communicates one thing only for sales to talk about another. Ensuring there is alignment between the two is fundamental to ongoing success.

 

Importantly, this cannot be an imposition by one group on the other – it must be a genuine team effort. Where you are struggling, getting a third party in to help can often break down stubborn barriers to success.

 

From here, you need to understand and document all the key stages in a sale. From here, look at specific points of friction in the sales process – the places where sales get stuck, or go into reverse, or vanish from the face of the Earth.

 

Then work to identify the kind of content and tools that can help ease this friction to get the sale moving again.

 

Finally, determine what should be communicated by who and when. Effective scoring will help, of course, but this doesn’t have to be about the hard hand-off. For example, you may want communications from marketing to deal with higher level issues and be more ‘designed’ while those from a named sales person to be plainer and more granular.

 

There has been some excellent research into what makes the very best sales people outperform all others (in many cases by 200%).

 

The surprising thing is that it’s not all about relationships as many would expect. Fundamentally, the top performing sales people are those who can teach their prospects and customers something

about their own businesses.

 

This has a direct bearing on how you can upgrade your sales enablement. However, it does involve a significant rethink for many businesses.

 

Ensure all your content is active. By this we mean that each piece of content should have the next action baked in. Too often content can attempt to jump to a sale before the prospect is ready. Just as often, it can leave prospects in a ‘that’s interesting, so what?’ state. Yours should take its place in a carefully planned series of steps, each selling the next desired behaviour."

 

To get the complete picture, just follow the link below:

 

content marketing

Tags: content marketing, get more sales, b2b content marketing, online content

How to Repurpose Content for Relevancy and Reach

Posted by frank harris on 13/02/18 16:29

content-marketing-2018 jan.jpgYou’ve got a content marketing programme with a budget that you’ll want to maximise. One way to do that is by repurposing content.

 

Content repurposing is taking a piece of content and delivering it to multiple channels. The best way to approach repurposing is to plan it into your strategy from the start.

 

Let’s look of an example of how to do it:

 

Scenario

It’s Heart Health Month and you want to support heart disease prevention for women aged 35 to 65.

 

Your current content marketing tactics include:

  • A quarterly consumer print publication
  • A wellness blog
  • A monthly e-newsletter
  • Active Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter channels

What to do now?

  1. Know Your Audience

The audience have a wide range of interests and experiences. The younger one may be mothers of toddlers or teens. The older ones have experienced menopause, may be retired, and could be grandmothers. Some may be sedentary and unhealthy; some may be in the best shape of their lives. Some may have history of heart disease; others may show signs of the condition.

 

So, they have unique wants and needs, and content must be tailored to those differences. Creating personas- ideally three to five when communicating with this age range - will help you hone messages and show how to tweak a story for greater relevance and channel optimisation.

  1. Preferred Content for Each Persona

Some women may like to read articles or blog posts, others prefer the visual read of a slideshow, watching videos or infographics. The point is a single, well-researched story can provide information that can be repackaged to appeal to all in this diverse customer group. You just must know them and then identify what content to include.

 

For our scenario, say we produce a blog post to be repurposed as a slideshow, infographic, video.

  1. Story Angle

All personas are looking for solid advice on how to protect their heart. We’re going post a blog called “15 Ways to Treat Your Heart with TLC—Ticker Loving Care.” It’s general enough to appeal to all personas and provide advice for use after reading the content.

  1. How the Story Differs for Each Content Type

Be clear about how each content type will be unique and write it down. Here’s how the post could develop:

ARTICLE:

Open with about 75 words setting the stage for the story: 15 short pieces of advice on keeping the female heart healthy.

 

Tips should be short - no more than 75 words - including facts and figures and associated imagery. Create seven tips in three categories: food-related, fitness-related, and lifestyle-related, so the story can be presented in its entirety or broken up into three blog posts.

 

A sample fitness-related tip might read, “Get off the couch. According to Science Daily, 35% of adults are inactive. Yet 30 minutes walking a day helps keep your heart strong and adds an extra four

years to your life.”

 

SLIDESHOW

Present the three blog posts as slideshows.

 

PINTEREST

Create a “Heart-Healthy Woman” board on Pinterest and turn each tip and image into a pin. Tips should be edited down to 50 words. Invite followers to pin their favourite tips and re-pin them to your board. Then create separate boards for the food, fitness, and lifestyle tips.

 

INFOGRAPHIC

Pull out the stats and facts, and design an infographic for online consumption and poster format for areas of the hospital, e.g. cafeteria, where patients and family members congregate.

 

VIDEO

Turn the infographic into an animated video for your website, YouTube channel, and on monitors throughout the hospital.

 

FACEBOOK POSTS

Turn each tip into a 50 word Facebook post, with images, driving fans back to your website for related heart-health content or “likes” and comments.

 

TWITTER POSTS

Turn tips into tweets to drive traffic to website content and allow room for a shortened URL. Copy for retweeting can now be up to 280 characters.

  1. Research and Write

Identify resources that are legal. Put together a list of sources to use. Even if you’ll only cite sources at the close of an article, it’s best to associate each resource with each factual statement.

  1. Editing

After writing the main blog post begin the repurposing. Ensure the web post is optimised for search before transforming it into the other content pieces.

  1. Measuring Success

Each piece of content should have customer actions - the number of times an article was shared, how many names you captured from calls to action, the number of customer stories generated on your website and through social channels, or how many people signed up for your e-newsletter.

 

If the infographic is turned into a poster, add a QR code that drives people to the video, and track those who watched on a mobile.

  1. Measure and Refine

After releasing content across various channels, start gathering metrics to show that certain

types of content are preferred, and others are not as popular. This lets you refine your editorial line up and repurposing efforts to focus on content and calls to action to drive the best results.

 

Results are the name of the content marketing game. Positive results happen because of volume.

The more content you produce, the more you’ll be recognised by search engines and the more you can fuel your social media initiatives.

 

As demonstrated in the heart-health scenario, it’s not difficult. One article can easily become hundreds of pieces of content with a little savvy and advanced planning.

 

Proactively planning content for repurposing is easy with the right editorial line-ups that align stories to personas and themes.

 

To understand more why content is so important for your business check out our new eBook from the link below:

 

content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing

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