That it will bring you followers, traffic, leads and sales?
Quite a lot I bet.
But then how often does your content actually bring in followers, traffic, leads and sales?
If it’s not working out like you’ve been promised then it’ll have something to do with your approach.
Whether it’s a lack of copywriting or design skills, you don’t understand how to target your audience, or you don’t apply SEO techniques – there’s a lot that can impact the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
It’s easy to create content that you think will work, but if it doesn’t resonate with the needs of your audience then you may as well throw in the towel right now.
And that’s why a buyer persona can help you!
A buyer persona enables you to define your target audience so that you can speak in their language and resonate with what they care about.
This eBook from Wyzowl will walk you through all the steps that you need to create your own buyer personas for your business. It’ll get you to assess everything about your customers including demographics, buying trends, values and goals.
2. The marketer’s crash course in visual content creation – HubSpot
Considering articles with images get 94% more views, a well-designed piece of content really can make a huge difference.
But if you’re not a designer then it can be hard to know what looks good, or even how to make something look good!
This ebook created by HubSpot is the perfect guide to use if you’re not overly confident with your design skills. It offers a crash course in visual content creation with plenty of tips on how to get it right.
The ebook includes:
How to create visually appealing content on a budget
3. Copywriting 101: How to craft compelling copy – Copyblogger
Anyone can string a bunch of words together and claim that they know how to write, but how often do you read copy that makes you want to read more than just the headline?
Contrary to popular belief, copywriting isn’t easy. Readers get bored and/or they don’t have the time to read paragraphs of text – unless of course the writing is SO good – it captures their attention throughout.
So what better way than to learn how to write awesome copy than by reading an ebook from Copyblogger – the original copy experts!
In this ebook you’ll find plenty of tips on how great storytelling can help you create great copy.
Did you know that over half of marketers don’t measure the ROI of their content?
It’s probably not a lack of time that’s the problem, more so a lack of understanding how to measure content marketing ROI. But in the world of marketing everything should be measured, otherwise how do you know if your strategy is the right one for your business?
This ebook that has been created by Kuno, will help you think about the goals that you want to achieve with your content, and how you can go about measuring them.
5. The definitive guide for social listening for smarter business – Meltwater
There are plenty of brands using social to promote their content – and why not – social can give your content the publicity that it deserves. But how often to you listen to your followers? And I mean, really listen to what they have to say.
Social media isn’t a place to simply talk at your customers. It’s a place to gather data and find out what your customers care about, so that you can start to create content with them in mind.
This definitive guide for social listening, created by Meltwater, can help you discover more about why you should give social listening a go, and how you can do it.
So you’ve created an awesome piece of content that ticks all the boxes. But if you only promote it on your own channels then you could be missing out on a huge chunk of people consuming it – mainly your audience.
Content promotion is a must and in this ebook from Relevance, you’ll discover how to create an effective content promotion strategy.
This ebook includes:
The difference between paid, earned and owned media
10 essential tools for content promotion
How to create a promotion strategy
Best practices and top tips for content promotion success
Content marketing really does work, so long as you have the right strategy in place! Be sure to download these 10 useful ebooks and put the tips you’ve learned into action today. And if you’re looking for more ebooks like these then check out Publi.sh – a marketplace full of free guides and resources!
Guest Author: Sarah Quinn works over at Publi.sh - a free marketplace full of guides and resources for marketers!
Do you ever look at prolific blogs and get frustrated by how easy they make it seem?
Thousands of people read, comment and share each new post on the blog.
It can be discouraging, especially if you’re a new blogger.
In contrast, your blog may only get a few dozen hits each post. And the only shares that happen come from your own social media accounts.
“Why aren’t people reading my blog posts?”
This same question may have popped into your mind. I know it’s one I’ve struggled with before. Every new blogger has struggled with the concept of traffic, audience and building a successful blog. And that’s why many give up on their blogging before they see success.
Don’t be another one of these failed blog statistics.
Identify the reasons people aren’t reading your blog. Then take strategic steps to improve.
These 27 reasons will help get you started on your quest:
1. You haven’t identified a strong audience persona
You can’t create compelling content without an in-depth knowledge of your audience. Personas not only help you create better content, but they also help guide your topics, strategy and monetization efforts.
2. You aren’t creating content specifically for the persona
It can be tough in the face of competing priorities, but create a schedule and stick to it.
7. You aren’t creating content that provides enough value
Time is a precious thing. If you don’t offer immense value, why should someone waste what little time they have consuming your content?
Answer: They shouldn’t.
As an example, take a look at a recent Currency Liquidator post on the Iraqi Dinar. Clocking in at nearly 2,500 words, the post offers the kinds of in-depth statistics those interested in foreign currency need to make investment decisions:
Formulas and the success of others don’t guarantee your success.
Use your social profiles to test several variations of headlines to see what kinds work best to capture clicks from your audience.
23. You don’t promote the post on social media enough
Don’t post just once.
That’s a huge mistake that many bloggers make. People consume more information in a day than most of their ancestors did in their entire life. Go ahead and promote your new post a few times. You might just be surprised by the results.
24. You haven’t reached out to influencers about the post
No man is an island.
Successful bloggers are always leaning on the influence of others to gain readers. If you want readers, reach out to the people in your industry that already have them. A few ways you can build a connection include:
Adding immense value to influencers by providing your assistance.
Asking for their input or expertise on an upcoming post.
Interviewing them for their new book release.
25. You aren’t building a targeted social media audience
It’s great if you have thousands of followers. But if you’re running a marketing blog and you’ve bought a bunch of fake followers, what good will those bots do for you?
27. You don’t update your email list about new posts
Anyone who’s starting a blog needs an email list.
But if you don’t do anything with that list, it won’t do you any good. Set up your email marketing service to update list members each time a new blog post releases. This can typically be done automatically, giving you a quick and easy way to get more people reading your blog posts.
It’s frustrating when people don’t read your blog posts, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Which of these areas are you struggling with on your blog? I’d love to hear about your challenges in the comments below.
Guest Author: Aaron Agius is an online marketer, web strategist and entrepreneur and you can check him out at AaronAgius.com
There are times when you want to update your status, send out a tweet or reply to a fan while on-the-go. This is when you rely on social media mobile apps to make it all possible.
Social media mobile apps give you the flexibility to work from anywhere and they let you get things done with a simple touch on your phone.
They also eliminate the need to return to your desk every time you want to post something to your social media accounts.
Here are 5 social media mobile apps that can make on-the-go social media marketing a breeze for you.
DrumUp is very different from other social media management tools. It searches for content that relates to your business and gives you a fresh stream of recommendations everyday. It also allows you to schedule the content on your social media pages like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
For businesses that require a constant stream of good quality content, DrumUp can work wonders.
To start getting your content, all you need to do is fill in some keywords that relate to your business.
For example, if you run your own photography business, you can input keywords like photography, wedding photography, camera techniques etc. DrumUp will give you interesting, share-worthy stories that can be posted straight to your social media accounts.
These stories are then queued for publishing based on a schedule that DrumUp thinks is best. You can even set your own time for posting the content depending on your preferences. You can also review and edit the queued posts before they are published.
DrumUp has a simple user interface that is easy to use, and acts as a central dashboard where you can manage multiple social media accounts.
It uses NLP (Natural Language Processing) and machine learning algorithms to return good quality content recommendations and there are plans of improving the application such that it can generate content that is specific to a location by learning and understanding keywords.
DrumUp is being offered for free, and is a definite must-have social media mobile app because of the convenience it brings to your content discovery efforts.
You can download and use it for free on your Android devices.
If you have been looking for a way to monitor your brand and keep track of how it is performing on social media, Mention is the mobile app for you.
The Mention app gives you an insight into what people are saying about your brand, and whether the buzz around your brand is positive ot negative. Using the application is quite simple.
You can put in keywords that are specific to your brand, and the application will monitor the web for those keywords. It will also send across real-time alerts whenever your brand gets talked or written about.
As a business owner, you might be in need of an application that lets you tackle any kind of emergency damage control. With Mention’s real-time alerts, you get quick notifications if something requires attention and prompt action.
You can also get notified about whether your brand mentions are positive, negative or neutral – which can be quite beneficial when it comes to creating a proper social media marketing strategy.
Image Source: Google Play
If you see a brand mention, you can easily see the person it came from and respond to it from directly within the application without having to open another website or replying via email. The free application lists all your alerts in order of priority and gives you the ability to assign certain tasks to other team members – all from within the application.
Mention app is available on Android and iOS devices.
3. Facebook Pages Manager
While Facebook might get used for more personal activities, Facebook Pages Manager makes it possible to use Facebook for business with just as much ease. For Facebook page administrators, this tool brings a lot of convenience in updating business pages on-the-go.
Facebook Pages Manager is quite similar in appearance to the regular Facebook application – which makes it easier to use and navigate.
The app allows page administrators to publish updates on multiple pages without any hassle. Page administrators can also look at all the pages they are managing, and the number of administrators there are.
It also allows you to see the account and privacy settings. All these settings can be easily seen on the homepage without having to switch between tabs. The best feature this application provides is the ability to separate personal and business pages – which helps avoid any kind of accidental posting.
Using Facebook Pages Manager you can monitor the performance of your content because the app lets you see the number of people who have liked, commented or shared your published content.
You can also give other administrators access to specific pages from within the application. This mobile app is a great way to keep your Facebook pages up-to-date even when you are away from your desktop.
The app is free for download on Android and iOS devices.
Image Source: Google Play
4. News Reader by Feedly
News Reader by Feedly is an awesome mobile application if you are constantly on the look out for great content. This free app is available on both Android and iOS, and it gives you the ability to discover fresh sources for content.
You can add various RSS feeds to the app, including feeds for your favorite website and blogs, and all the content will be available for browsing in one application.
Account set up is easy and can be done through either Facebook or Google. Once you have an account set up, you just need to add your preferred feeds to the application.
News Reader classsifies all content in categories like travel, marketing, films, photography etc., which simplifies the process of browsing through the content on your smartphones.
Most of all, News Reader by Feedly works with various social accounts like Facebook, Evernote, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more – so you can share your favorite content through these social media websites. It also lets you conduct a search for trending topics in case you are looking to discover new content sources.
Quite similar to News Reader by Feedly, this mobile application is pretty cool. The application is designed to bring up content recommendations that are based on your content preferences. This is made possible due to a specific algorith that the application uses.
The application allows you to search for content and filter it by adding keywords that are relevant to your area of interest. You can also add various social networks and other users if you like the content that a specific user is sharing.
Based on the content that you prefer to read regularly, you can create various “routines” on Sparksfly, making it easier to browse through content that you are interested in.
These “routines” give you great content recommendations which can later be shared on social media networks with friends, family and colleagues.
Image Source: Google Play
Sparkfly gives businesses an opportunity to appear in user routines and create a brand that is well known and can be easily identified. It also helps you connect with your consumers in a more personable way.
You can download Sparksfly for your Android and iOS and use it for free.
For businesses, social media management is a necessity, and these nifty social media mobile apps help cut down on the time it takes to handle multiple accounts.
Having mobile applications for social media management also means that you can have full control of your social media accounts even when you are traveling and away from your desktop.
Tell us about some of your favorite mobile social media management applications in the comments section.
Guest Author: Jessica Davis is a Content Strategist at Godot Media, a leading content marketing firm. She works with businesses and individuals creating targeted content for various requirements. She also manages a team of article writers in Godot. Other areas of interest include technology, science and fashion.
You know it and we know it – being visible on YouTube has become essential to any company that wants to promote their brand through video marketing.
The problem is that being found by your potential customers on YouTube isn’t that easy – you have to beat millions of competitors with larger budgets and brighter videos.
Being visible on YouTube and ranking high in its search results requires thorough search engine optimization (SEO), a wise distribution plan and, above all, a quality marketing video.
Today you’ll learn the basics on how to rank number one on YouTube with your own video. But I’ll not just describe how to do it; I’ll explain and demonstrate each step by using a successful case study from Yum Yum Videos: their explainer video got ranked number one on YouTube under the most valuable business keywords in just 3 months, so it will serve us as a clear example on each step.
Now let’s start this exciting video SEO journey with the first question:
You might wonder: why choose YouTube as a video hosting site? And why spend time and effort reading this piece to gain a good position in its search engine rankings?
First of all, with over 1 billion active users worldwide, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world (behind its owner Google, but above Yahoo! and Bing) so it’s not just an average hosting site.
Then, what many people don’t take into account is that YouTube is also a massive social network; it actually happens to be the world’s 3rd largest social network, behind Facebook and Twitter.
This alone makes YouTube a perfect spot on the web to promote your brand.
But the thing is, you can’t really be on YouTube without a video, and even then: you won’t rank high in the search engine without a quality marketing video, simply because yours need to stand out among the 4 billion videos that are watched on it every day… and that leads us to the next point.
The importance of having a quality video
The problem with marketing videos is that you need to make a quality one, or else YouTube will send it to the dark bottom of its page results, even if you spend your whole budget on advertising.
Why is that? Because YouTube cares a lot about complete video views, and the amount of time people spend watching a video is one of the factors YouTube cares about when setting up its SERP (search engine results pages). And, let’s face it; no one would care to watch a video all the way through if it’s not well made!
Take a look at “What is the best explainer video style for your business?”, the quality animated video that made Yum Yum Videos rank number one on YouTube:
Now check out this simple YouTube Analytics graph to see how long viewers spent watching that video:
The graph reveals that the video reached a high audience retention rate with almost 1:20 minutes per viewer on average. That doesn’t cover the entire video, but it’s a great number, considering people’s average attention span is just 8 seconds.
You should keep in mind that only a quality marketing video makes people engaged and willing to watch it completely.
When we say quality, we’re talking about storytelling, design and animation; something that only a professional video production company with qualified experts in each production area can offer.
Long story short – you need a high-quality video to make your SEO strategy work and get your marketing objectives covered.
Video SEO and keyword planning
Ok, so you have a quality marketing video and you want it to climb up the YouTube results page. What you need now is a clever video SEO strategy and some wise keyword planning in order to optimize your video’s performance on the site.
Let’s learn the best practices in this area:
First of all, you should learn which words from your business niche come up frequently on YouTube and how many people usually search for a particular word by using a SEO tool such as Google’s keyword planner.
In the case of Yum Yum Videos the most relevant business keyword is “explainer video” with over 1,600 monthly search results in the US:
However, don’t fight over the most searched keyword terms because that would be really hard to rank for. I recommend using longtail keywords instead: they’re longer and contain more specific phrases, which do include your main keywords, but have less people fighting over them.
In our case study, the longtail keyword is “the best explainer videos”.
Longtail keywords drive precise views from potential customers way faster, helping your video to rank under the main keyword too. Once you find your own, don’t forget to use them everywhere in YouTube: titles, descriptions, tags, etc.
Titles help people get what your video is about before hitting the play button, so it’s vital to place your keywords in it.
Here’s the title from our case study:
Now don’t forget to keep your titles brief and direct. I recommend using less than 70 characters, because longer titles are cut off in the YouTube results page.
On the other hand, try to avoid writing titles that don’t represent the true content in your video. Tricky or misleading titles cause a huge drop-off that will reduce your video’s performance.
Thumbnails are essential SEO features because they act as the only preview for your video on the YouTube results page and suggestions. Besides, it’s proven that a spot-on thumbnail will invite more people to press play on your video, but a badly-chosen one will drive them away.
Therefore, you should choose your thumbnails carefully.
Here you can get a glimpse of the early-considered thumbnails from our case study (the upper-left one became the final choice):
As with your title, don’t cheat with a misleading thumbnail. People hate tricky thumbnails.
On the other hand, use only hi-resolution images (640×360 pixels at a minimum) and make sure that the thumbnail looks good in both small and large sizes and on different devices (TV, iPad and desktop PC).
If your image is not attractive enough, people simply won’t click on it.
Descriptions explain what your marketing video is about. You need to make them short and accurate (around 2 sentences are perfect) but don’t forget to use your business keywords.
It’s also mandatory to include a link to your own site within those two sentences, and you can add links to your social media channels as well. These actions will increase your website traffic and create a great opportunity to drive potential customers to your brand.
Check out the description in our case study:
Now, for this strategy to drive concrete marketing results apart from views and SEO purposes (for example downloading your content, subscribing to your newsletter, visiting your site, etc.) you need to encourage your viewers to take action by adding a clear call-to-action in the form of a clickable button.
Or you can use the YouTube Cards feature instead (which is a sidebar call-to-action), in order to lead your viewers to your website, landing page or any other video of yours that’s hosted on YouTube:
Distribution and link building
In order to set up its results pages, YouTube considers all the websites where your video is embedded and played on, and also takes into account the amount of YouTube views that come from those sites.
Then, if you really want to enhance your Video SEO strategy, you need to distribute your video in the right spot for potential customers to watch it.
Let me quickly describe those spots:
1. YouTube ads
Investing some money in YouTube Ads (aimed to the right target audience) can give an initial boost to your video marketing campaign, making you clinch a first bunch of viewers and allowing YouTube to start measuring your videos’ performance.
However, after that first push, it’s better to rank organically on YouTube, because it gives your video more credibility and fairness.
2. Link building
You must drive your marketing video forward to make it rank number one on YouTube. Besides embedding your video on your blog (and other people’s blog) use it in landing pages, press releases, email marketing campaigns and social media posts, to then measure its overall performance.
Remember that your video can turn into a powerful marketing tool to suit your online campaigns.
Here you can analyze the visit rates and sources from our case study:
As you can see, views came almost exclusively from the embedded player source -in light green- during the first 3 months (that’s blogging and guest blogging playback).
But then YouTube’s organic visits -in purple and dark green- (those are direct searches and video suggestions playbacks) began to rise, because that’s when the video started to rank number one on YouTube’s search engine results page.
Eventually, YouTube’s searches and suggestions’ playbacks beat the embedded player source:
From then on, the animated video started to gain 300% more views every day, comparing it with day 1. Views keep growing by a monthly 20% on average. As today, the video has over 30,000 views and holds the number one position under Yum Yum Videos’ most valuable keywords.
Now you’re ready to build up your own videos and set up a wise video SEO strategy to start ranking high on YouTube’s search engine results page!
Guest Author: Juan Jose Mendez is the Content Editor for Yum Yum Videos production company. For more tips on explainer video production, video marketing strategies, visit Yum Yum Video’s Explainer Video Academy, where you’ll get some free educational eBooks, infographics and slides.
Let’s look at why visual marketing is becoming a staple in the online consumer’s diet and how you can use it to your advantage.
Consumers prefer visuals
Today’s average consumer prefers visual content compared to word-based interactions.
Communication coupled with imagery – photographs or video – is easier to process and more entertaining than words on a blank canvas. Forbes Insight reports that nearly 60% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page.
Consider the response rate of tweets coupled with images. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. People feel compelled to share meaningful content, and the strongest way to enhance your message is by including a visual element.
Not only are consumers sharing visual marketing – they remember it as well. An infographic in AdWeek shared that people remember 80% of what they see or do, versus 20% of what they read. Imagery in content marketing is a “must” if marketers want to make a lasting impression on consumers.
Photo courtesy of NeoMam Studios
With this in mind, marketers should focus on creating visual content over text and audio. In doing so they quadruple the likelihood that a consumer will remember messages.
How can I make sure my visual marketing is powerful?
Not all visual marketing is created equal, and it is only powerful when executed properly. Marketers shouldn’t expect to see big changes by adding a simple stock photo to tweets.
There is an art to producing strong visual marketing, and it revolves around three key factors;
Pick the right type of content
Stock photos may be an easy way to add a visual element to a blog post, but there are better ways to execute visual marketing. Adding an infographic or a short video outlining key points can make content much more meaningful to the consumer.
In larger works, like eBooks and white papers, an animated character or theme can tie the work together while keeping the reader engaged.
However, if your hands are tied and you’re at a loss for original images, using a relevant stock photo is better than completely foregoing a visual element. Reports show that 40% of people respond better to text coupled with visuals than plain text. Although stock photos may not be ideal or original, these images will garner more attention than no visuals at all.
Make a call-to-action
Visual marketing can be an asset because of its ability to inspire consumers to take action. Marketers should ensure that they are taking advantage of this capability by including a call-to-action (CTA) with their visual marketing.
Calls-to-action can range from low action (check out our website) to high action (register now, make a purchase).
Not all CTA’s have to be obvious. By drafting creative, stimulating content, consumers will feel compelled to share your work with others. By simply providing a solid piece of imagery (think: infographic), you can inspire your audience to advocate for you without actually having to ask.
It is imperative that all visual marketing encourages consumers to do something. Otherwise, your content (and hard work!) is a complete waste.
Be aware of omnichannel marketing
You can tweet the best video content with links to landing pages on your website… But if your site is not optimized for mobile, this means nothing to the consumer trying to access your site from their smartphone.
This is one example of poor omnichannel marketing steamrolling a carefully constructed piece of visual marketing. Consumers should be able to access all touch points of your company without a hitch. Encountering an incorrectly linked landing page or receiving conflicting messages across two separate platforms can be a major turnoff for consumers. Ensure that you are producing seamless content with omnichannel marketing to avoid confusing or frustrating customers.
There’s certainly a lot to think about when integrating imagery in content marketing. But, if done correctly, visual marketing can be the most powerful tool a marketer can use to generate leads and make sales.
Guest Author: Savannah is a writer for SaaS platform NectarOM, and loves discussing marketing personalisation, automation, data analytics and CRM. Connect with her on Twitter or check out more on the NectarOM.