Category: social media
Recently, we’ve been speaking to a fair few B2B marketers wondering how to take their content marketing to the next level to drive sales momentum.
At first glance, it seems that these businesses are doing everything right:
With dedicated marketing teams in place, their websites have been upgraded with customer-centric content and active corporate blogs are in place.
Social media activity is being used to support all content posts and each is effectively sticking to the golden rules of content marketing:
1) Don’t talk incessantly about yourself
2) Provide useful information that offers value to your customers
3) Avoid product-focused content at all costs
What’s more, each marketer we spoke to was experiencing a certain level of “success” with their content efforts. Their videos were being shared on Twitter, images were being pinned on Pinterest and blog posts were re-appearing on Facebook timelines.
Yet with aforementioned best practice in place, even the most stellar content can still fail to gain traction and translate into sales. Without a coherent strategy, marketers risk creating superb standalone pieces of content that people read, enjoy and share without ever being motivated to go on to purchase. More »
The link between business blogs and social media is fairly straightforward to most businesses: publish a post and then promote it via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
While there’s clearly nothing wrong with such a strategy, promoting corporate blog activity only after posts have been published runs the risk of limiting exposure and reach. The ideal strategy strikes the perfect balance between being well-planned, yet also opportunistic.
As a guide, prolific social media and content commentator Lee Odden suggests that in order to effectively scale blog promotion efforts, around two to three times as much work should go into growing social networks as goes into linking content to them.
Building social networks can seem like a constant and largely uphill struggle, yet without this activity even the most ardently planned editorial calendar can fall foul of online invisibility.
With its content calendar established, a business then needs to consider outreach activity on the core five social networks: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. If the corporate blog publishes a significant amount of video content, then YouTube is a logical addition to bolster a video SEO strategy. More »
Keeping up with the continual updates to Facebook can be a full time job. The latest change, announced last week, will significantly affect the way in which fans engage with brands and their content on the network. In case you missed last week’s news feed update, here is a breakdown of what the changes are and how they will impact on content marketing strategies.
What’s the latest Facebook update?
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced some major changes to the news feed, largely focused on design and functionality. Perhaps the most important revelation came in the opening moments of his announcement, when Zuckerberg said that almost 50% of News Feed content today is comprised of photos and visual content. In response, Facebook has overhauled the design of the feed to be far more visually focused.
Change 1: ‘Rich Stories’ – photos and images take centre stage
The focus is on “bright beautiful” stories, with the redesign ensuring that photos and visual content are displayed prominently. The updated feed highlights the content being most shared on Facebook, with larger, more vivid photos now taking centre stage.
What it means for content marketers: Now that an entire feed has the potential to be solely comprised of images, it’s imperative to create visually compelling content. This can require a modicum of creativity. Brands more comfortable with text-based posts could think about making jazzy text-based visuals – prioritise design to ensure your messages stand out from the crowd. More »
There was a time when a company’s content marketing was as good as the copywriter it hired to tell its story. Now, words are still as important as ever – in fact, with consumers demanding more value from branded content, quality control is imperative – and images and other visual content have become an essential part of the mix.
Whatever your approach to content marketing (and we can advise on establishing a content strategy whether you’re in nascent or advanced stages), all the effort will be for nothing if content isn’t discovered.
If you’re concerned about competing with journalistic content, try not to be defeated. The rise of social media and the fact that many web users completely bypass mainstream media channels means that a vast quantity of the content consumed online is now socially mobile, generated and shared within social networks.
A vital component of any content plan is facilitating content discovery. Customers are hungry for great content and it can be tempting to adopt a scattergun approach, seeding content in as many channels as possible. Effective content discovery, however, means taking steps to get content in front of the right people at the right time in the right channels. Here are some tips:
1. Prioritise engagement over lead conversion
The biggest no-no in content marketing is to optimise for lead conversion, however tempting the short-term gains may seem. Think of content marketing as a marathon rather than a sprint, using metrics such as bounce rates, time spent on pages and number of page views per session to analyse effectiveness. More »
Are you planning to increase your spend on content marketing this year? If so, congratulations, you’re bang on trend with your budget allocation. In fact, more than half of B2B marketers are set to boost their spend on content for 2013, revealing a bright future for the sector.
Such optimistic figures continue the growth trend of the past year, with average content budgets swelling from 26% in 2011 to 33% by the end of 2012. And dedicating more spend to content marketing should pay dividends –a recent study found that the most effective B2B marketers are those who allocate the greatest percentage of their marketing budget to content marketing.
Assuming that you’ve already decided to, or are still considering doing more with content in the coming months, here are a few top trends within content over the past year as garnered from a recent study involving 1,416 B2B marketers from the US from the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.
1. Content and social media are perfect partners
According to this study, a healthy 87% of marketers used social media to promote and distribute content. In fact, social media was more widely used for content marketing than articles, email newsletters, ebooks, case studies and other tactics. The popularity of social above other content marketing tactics, even knocking articles off from pole position, reveals that B2B marketers are wisely ‘fishing where the fish are’. More »
Marketers are now wise to the need to create and curate quality content. The common challenge remains finding the time and resources for business blogging. One of the smartest ways to get around this conundrum is to learn how to repurpose existing content, constructing a well thought-out strategy to extract the maximum potential from each post to drive traffic, bring in leads and generate sales. The results? An abundance of content for maximum results with minimal time wasting.
An intelligent content strategy takes into account which blog posts have gained the most traction, and considers how to present them in new, fresh ways to various relevant online audiences. It absolutely always prioritises the needs, preferences, taste and style of its potential audience and always keeps the overall goals of the content in mind. Here follow a few really simple ideas for repurposing blog content:
1. Social media updates
Every time you blog for business, post a short-form version of the content to all social media channels on which your brand has a presence, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Use links to make it easy for your social audience to journey on to your website for the full version.
If you are sticking closely to a cohesive blog editorial strategy, the chances are that you’ll frequently cover the same topic from different angles. Consider bundling posts on similar topics into an ebook, which you can then offer as a free download which should drive traffic to your blog and attract new readers. Readers are generally receptive to informative, well-designed ebooks which help them solve a problem or teach them something. More »
The ‘Official Google Webmaster Central Blog’ no less, on whose words any SEO expert worth their name hovers, yesterday outlined ‘six fundamental SEO tips’ and I was gratified to see that at least four related to blogging & social media:
1. Do something cool
Well we come across some pretty dusty old static news sites on our travels around the interweb, you wonder if Lord Lucan perhaps wrote one of the early items.
What cooler then to just add a little button saying ‘blog strategy’ onto the old corporate menu and start posting lots of cool content, marketed through social media channels to your own community.
2. Include relevant words in your copy
You need to know your keywords, with a bit of analysis, then make sure you have one in your blog headline and the first paragraph, ideally linking through to a landing page of the same name, bang, sale, exercise justified already. More »
Corporate strategy and plan in place? Check. Relevant, regularly updated content ready to go? Check. Smooth technical functionality? Check. Creating an informative, intelligent and glitch-free blog means nothing, however, if it doesn’t attract readers. Start proactively promoting your business blog following these simple steps, and in time the traffic will flow.
Create sticky headlines
Make sure headlines are compelling and super-shareable with some tried-and-tested formulas, such as this crop published by Copyblogger.
Leverage your blog via social media
Assuming your company already has a solid presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media channels, leverage your fans, followers and contacts to help promote your blog posts.
Every time a new post is published, create a tweet with a short link back to the post and link from your Facebook page. You’ll also want to think beyond Facebook and Twitter to other online communities and forums where you can create more exposure for your blog. More »
Two US-based studies released recently by HubSpot and Edison Research are serving up some valuable insights into how to grow lead generation through an enhanced social media strategy.
While Edison Research confirms that social media use is now most definitely mainstream (with more than half of Americans aged 12+ now using a least one social media account), Hubspot explores in-depth the wide array of factors that influence lead volume. Harnessing data from 4,000 businesses, the results are detailed but the good news is, it’s not necessarily difficult to bring in viable leads. Here’s how:
1. Create frequent business blog posts
Is there a magic number when it comes to blog posting? Perhaps so – businesses that post daily will generate five times more traffic than those that post weekly or less, according to Hubspot, with the likelihood of customer acquisition increasing significantly in line with frequency of posts. If high-quality daily blog posts are unfeasible, then aim for as often as possible to edge noticeably ahead of the competition.
2. Grow a steady library of blog posts
Naturally, it takes time to accumulate posts, but a well-tended blog will outperform other blogs in terms of traffic and lead generation. Hubspot’s stats reveal that blogs that have built up at least 51 posts see 53% more traffic than those with 20-50 posts. Interestingly, blogs with more than 100 posts see triple the traffic, while those that have racked up 200+ posts experience 4.5 times better results. Although it can take six-12 months to start seeing improved lead generation, don’t give up and post at least two to three times each week. More »