Even if you don’t know what inbound marketing is, you must have heard of the term. It’s important to know that inbound marketing is so much more than just another passing trend. It’s a newfound way of marketing that poses a serious threat to traditional outbound content marketing services. Research shows that 68% of inbound marketers claim that their marketing strategy is effective – but only 48% of outbound marketers can confidently say the same.
So, the question is what makes inbound marketing so effective? Let’s establish the basics.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy aimed at drawing visitors to your company’s products and services. Instead of competing for attention, inbound marketing uses relevant content that naturally appeals to the reader.
Outbound marketing is the traditional form of adverts that includes print media, television ads, direct mail and cold calling. As you can imagine, this sort of marketing is more invasive and is more likely to lead to a dead end. It was fruitful during the pre-internet era when that was the only way to communicate your products and services to the world. However, times have drastically changed, and outbound marketing is now viewed as rather aggressive and pushy.
Inbound marketing is all about going against the norms of outbound marketing. Its existence heavily depends on people being able to connect and interact with each other, as well as with companies 24/7.
The idea behind inbound marketing is that instead of demanding the audience pay attention to your adverts, you create a high-quality experience that your customers will actually seek out themselves. By finding your company through search engines or social media, your prospective clients tend to initiate interactions with you. This is because they choose to receive your marketing messages – this alone gives inbound marketing a huge edge over its counterpart. The mere reversal of the client-business interaction has completely changed the sales game, altering the dynamic of the entire sales process.
In inbound marketing, you basically adapt to two important concepts: the principle of relevance and employing a foolproof content strategy to create targeted ads that your audience will find appealing. But what’s next on the agenda? The next course of action is to try and convince potential customers that your products and services are exactly what they’re looking for. With every purchase, your offerings should be consistency in terms of quality and convenience so that your customers will consider returning. Inbound marketing is merely the ice-breaker – you have to know how to carry the customer to the finish line from there.
Although inbound marketing and content marketing are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re not the same. Content marketing is the same as it sounds: creating persuasive, engaging, high-quality online content aimed at improving a company’s rapport with a targeted audience. This takes several forms – blog posts, articles, social media posts, videos, or any other format that’s considered relevant to the target audience.
With inbound marketing, however, the content is divided into three categories according to the likelihood of purchase: the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel.
Aside from the above-mentioned content, inbound marketing comprises the following strategies to attract and convert leads:
There we have it – an essential guide to inbound marketing. It should be clear that it’s very different from traditional outbound marketing. And in today’s tech-savvy world, it remains the ideal way of ensuring the biggest possible audience for your products and services.
Online competition is getting more intense, especially with larger companies having budgets for SEO, social media promotion and email marketing. With all these resources, the bigger companies have more content and a hub for relevant tropics, making it easier for Google and users to find them. And they further consolidate this by employing content marketing services.
So, in a bid to scale competition, and get an edge over the big boys, you need a place where all your closely related topics can be found, which also entails the use of a great content strategy. It also means securing the services of a content marketing agency. The smartest way to do this is to build a content hub, where you have a focused topic and a set of contents around the same topic.
An example of a brand that does this is HubSpot. If, for example, your search for a post about email marketing on the same page, you’ll find related content – maybe five or more on the same topic.
A content hub is an online archive for focused content where you can offer thought leadership on a particular industry or topic. It's like a marketplace where buyers know where to find a particular item. A content hub makes it easier for users to interact with all the articles you have on a subject matter, and by doing so you will garner a reputation for thought leadership and content expertise.
Website visitors find curated, user-generated and other niche-related content at the content hub. It's an online platform on your site where visitors find their preferred information in the form they want. A content hub filled with value is the easiest way to keep your audience coming back to their favourite topics.
Picking a topic important to your audience is the first step to creating a content hub. You must think about the questions you want to be answered, the problems that need to be solved and the key phrases your audience is likely to search for when they use Google. When creating the hub, it is imperative to also see what your competitors are doing – this will help you plug the holes they are not filling.
Here we have laid out the key benefits of having a content hub:
Search engines are beginning to focus more on topics, with Google's new Hummingbird algorithm that is designed to look for contents that answer user queries in the best possible way. If you don’t organise your content around a central topic, Google may not rank it highly. It is very important to have a content hub if online visibility is a priority for your brand. Accordingly, a content hub strengthens the search visibility of your brand's website and allows your content to show up when Google is searching for relevant topics.
Your content hub needs to become the destination to communicate your brand stories, share expert insights and visitor engagement analytics. The Neil Patel blog is a good example of a content hub offering expert commentary – Neil Patel provides the platform for external contributors to add their perspective of content marketing. A content hub also increases the chances of successful sales conversions, as consumers tend to trust you as an expert to resolve their problems.
Content hubs will foster engagement to your site, because users won't just skip past your blog. Even when they stumble on your content, the hub will keep them reading, sharing, signing up for newsletters and possibly becoming a customer. Your content hub creates a digital environment where people always come for quality content, compelling industry case studies and insight from your blog posts and articles.
A content hub will give your company detailed marketing insight. It will be useful in gathering metrics to inform your content team on what excites readers and what doesn’t. These insights will make you a more valuable and effective publisher. Without a content hub, you will be in the dark regarding the type of content that your readers are interested in.
When HubSpot started putting all related content on a particular page, its marketing blog earned more followers from salespeople, digital marketers and users interested in the topics. Having a content hub will grow your network, build partner relationships, and create more opportunities to collaborate.
A content hub is a forum where you can publish all the content that your audience likes – video, slides, articles, audio or any online content. You will appeal better to a wider range of consumers if you put in other mixes of media in your content. It might take time to build a content hub, but trust us, the effort will prove worthy when you become the Wikipedia of your industry.
A content hub is the go-to-place for influencers and thought leaders in your industry to draw up inspiration for their own content. Do not build your content hub with just your internal team – curate content from partners, influencers and users, and don’t forget to share on social media to drive traffic to your site.
If you need help with your content marketing or content strategy, please get in touch with us today. We’d love to hear from you.
One question I get from a lot of content marketers, creators, brand owners and even companies utilising content marketing services is how much content they should produce to get good returns for their brands, as well as the best content strategy to employ.
One thing is clear: if you want to get ahead of the competition, you should get in touch with a content marketing agency – not only do they understand what makes great content, but they’ll boost the fortunes of your brand at the same time.
By the way, content is any material or resources that are created with the aim of building a community or loyalty towards a brand. Content can include video uploaded on YouTube, images created on Instagram, and the article you are reading right now.
Content is the number-one channel for driving conversations and also helping conversions towards a brand. While SEO, PPC, and other marketing or advert are all well and good, the content remains the most valuable way for any brand to stand out. It is kind of difficult to put a particular number to the number of blog posts, Instagram pictures or videos to produce per month, because content creation also depends on strategy, company size and industry. However, let's take a look at some blogging data from HubSpot.
One fact that we can deduce from this data is that publishing more gets you ahead of the pack. Content marketers have also found out that more than 80% of their publishing leads come from older posts, which shows that older posts can gain value over time. Companies experience a spike in their traffic when they attain a particular amount of content, maybe their 400th blog post or 10th YouTube video, especially when it's done consistently. Consistent content helps you to maximise the value of your brand, as there are leads who are waiting to read your posts, watch videos or listen to podcasts at a particular time.
I had mentioned earlier that more is better, but more doesn't do the job alone. Here are three things you can do to make your content achieve great results:
Evergreen content can be repurposed. Blog posts from 10 years ago can be made into an e-book or turned into a script for an influencer interview or company podcast. Repurposing content can be a boost for SEO, as it leads to newer pieces of content on the same topic. The only caveat is to ensure that you add new value to the content. To use a culinary metaphor, you are not just reheating leftovers, but adding a new combination of spices to create a fresh meal.
The key to repurposing is to package older contents into different forms so it doesn't feel like rehashed words. You can turn an explainer video into an e-book, blog post or newsletter. Reusing evergreen content will save you time, give you more content options and assured traffic – but make sure you improve upon the original content.
Long-form content is not just about writing 4,000 words on WordPress or creating a lengthy podcast. Good long-form content requires research that will position you as a problem solver or educator to your audience. Nobody wants to read a 3,000-piece article and feel like they’ve just wasted 15 minutes of their life. Long-form content should always wow people. You should plan one long-form piece content twice a month (at least) to see a return in search engine performance.
When people read long-form content, they are of the opinion that this brand cares about me, to go to the trouble of writing a longer piece. Long-form content gets you more online visibility and gives you more credibility and trust as an industry expert.
In every industry, there are going to be the successful people that newcomers and industry experts admire. Look out for content creators who are already successful. Find the most successful content creators in your niche market and mimic their content strategy. Look out for when they post, what they post and which of their content is performing the best. You mustn’t copy their content, but you can get a feel of what makes them thick so you can replicate this for your content creation.
There is something successful content creators do right. Look for it and master it until it becomes second nature when it comes to creating your own content.
Content creation will not be the same for everyone, but it is obvious that there are some common themes. Content creation will depend on your brand goal, team size and experiences. And when you compare top-quality content with inferior content, you have your answer.
A lot of bloggers and content writers don’t consider image optimisation when publishing blog posts and articles. There are writers who don’t even consider searching for the right image to accompany their content, and either leave the post blank or upload an image that is unrelated to the words next to it.
Today, getting your images SEO-compliant has become an integral part of blog posts, web content and online articles. The internet is a crowded place with more than three million articles uploaded each day. And given this astonishing amount of content fighting for attention, image optimisation is a great way of helping get your posts high up on search engines. Here at Woo, we consider it one of the most important content marketing services on offer.
Image optimisation is all about getting your product, blog and article images to rank on Google and other search engines. It is about making your image one of the first that Google sees when it crawls for relevant content.
Images make your content more attractive and engaging to users, but they must be seen easily by search engines. An SEO-optimised image increases page rankings and content optimisation. So, if you’re keen to breathe some life into your articles, we will now explain in detail how to optimise images for SEO.
Your blog posts need relevant images to the content you upload, with the images illustrating the topic of the article. A great content strategy can help you out here. You should also keep images at the top of your post, and if it's possible just before your opening line so that the keywords are matched, and visible to search engines.
File names should always be the first place to start with image SEO because you want Google to know what the image is about. If you are writing an article on a Fast & Furious film, and you use an image of Vin Diesel in a sports car, the name of the image should not be ‘furious.jpg’ or ‘download’. A proper filename should be ‘Fast-Furious-Vin-Diesel-In-Car.jpg’, making sure that the subject of the article is at the beginning of the image. Google searches filenames for SEO, so your file name should be your focus keyword.
The proper image for your content depends on the kind of image you are using and how you want to use it.
These are images that fit every screen size and resolution, especially on mobile devices. If all readers or content surfers use the same-size screen or image resolution, then optimising images won’t be a problem. However, because users read from different screens, the best solution is the Srcset image attribute – this helps to adjust the images based on the user’s screen.
The aim of the alt text is to show the image description if, for any reason, the image can’t be displayed on the user’s screen. Alt text is used in situations where images are turned off, or a screen reader is in use – the alt text ensures that the image information is not lost. You should include the SEO key phrase in the image alt text, as it helps the search engine make sense of the image. When the alt text or information surrounding the image is relevant to the content, Google deems the image as important. Your alt text should also be relatively short – don’t stuff it full of keywords.
Captions are important in image SEO, because they are read three times more than the body of the content itself, so not using them risks an opportunity to engage with your audience. People tend to scan images and captions as they surf the web because these captions enhance your blog posts. Your image caption is what determines if a reader will click on your post – without the right captions, you will have an increased bounce rate – that is, people will look at the page then go away without bothering to explore your site further.
Images add appeal to your online content, breaking down ideas, supporting your posts and appealing to the mind of visitors because of their visual representation. Optimising images for SEO contributes to good search experience for the site user and Google. A content marketing agency is an ideal choice to do this – please get in touch with us if you need help with your SEO image optimisation.
Remember that you didn't create your site for yourself, nor published a post to hide it on the internet – so, if your goal is visibility, then try out these strategies the next time you upload a post. Do that, and you’ll notice a real improvement in your search engine performance.
Every successful content strategy is born from an excellent idea. It’s what makes your message stand out and makes your readers share it within their circles. Investing in a bad idea will alienate your audience and make you lose credibility over time. Coming up with a good idea is not as difficult as it might sound. The rewards of the same can be immense, from a high number of conversions to high traffic to your webpage. In this article, you will get a guide on how to come up with ideas to create a winning content strategy.
An excellent content marketing agency is one that promotes the creation of ideas. If you work as a content creator. You need a data bank of ideas. You can record these on project platforms such as Trello, Pinterest or Evernote. You will need to keep populating this data bank as your ideas keep coming. You may have the next best campaign, and you may not even know it. Brainstorm regularly with your team so that everyone can contribute to the common goal. The idea of a data bank is not only to offer you inspiration, but it can also be a great resource whenever you feel that your creative juices have run dry.
Brainstorming if done well can result in killer content. Before you settle on any one particular idea, explore different options of the same idea space. Take into account input from others as this gives you different perspectives. Great brainstorming sessions do not involve arguments or negativity. In the beginning, every idea that is suggested is still viable. Ruling them out from the very beginning can stifle the creative process.
Great brainstorming sessions require a mix of people. As a team for a content marketing agency, you may need to involve your designers, writers and project managers. This mix of people offers a different point of view around the same idea. Designers know what is pleasing to the eye, writers have a way with words and project managers know how to execute effectively. The ideal number of people is between five and seven. If you have a larger group, you can break it up into smaller groups and have these report back after their sessions. Coming up with a content strategy is a collective effort that requires input from different team members.
Parameters are vital content marketing tips that you should employ. Each campaign should target a particular market segment. Always consider how many people you are targeting. They are the core group of who will share your information with the rest of the world. The time that your content will stay online is equally important. Content that stays too long can run stale very quickly.
Here are more tips to get you brainstorming like a champion:
You are not the only content marketing agency that exists in the market. Find out who is the go-to guy for the different campaigns that are running. Your competition will always want to get ahead of you. A great place to start is on the search results page – the brands that rank highest are doing something right. Find out what it is so that you too can be ahead of the curve.
As you do your research, here are some crucial things to keep in mind:
Google Alerts is a great way to identify what people are talking about. You will have an idea of what the internet is saying about your brand as well.
At any one time, there is always a trending hashtag. Using these hashtags is a great way to ensure that your content will be visible to the masses.
Keywords are what will determine how your content ranks on search engines. Simply measured, Similarweb and Google Analytics all have tools to help you identify what the leading keywords are.
Social media can offer you a lot of insight into what people like, and the type of audience that your competitor is engaging. As a content marketing agency, leveraging on social media can help you immensely by amassing a loyal following. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the go-to platforms for online content. Followerwonk is a great tool to see who your competitor’s followers are and who they follow as well on Twitter.
As you now start creating content, always keep it current. Look for topics that people are interested in and familiarise yourself with what is hot now. Keep abreast with the latest news if you are not sure of what is currently happening. You can also engage with your active following to get a feel of what is of interest to them.
Now that you have the content marketing tips, it is time to make your vision a reality. Make sure that you have a specific target audience in mind and focus on making your content easy to consume. If you nail these down, your content will spread like wildfire.
Everyone has come across the term ‘marketing’ before, but do you know what content marketing is? Indeed, content marketing and marketing are two distinct terminologies, and this post will give you a clear explanation. Besides, this post will also discuss some of the aspects of content marketing, such as the content marketing services you can access, content marketing agencies and content strategy.
Let’s begin with a simple step-by-step definition. Content marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on the creation, publication and distribution of content for a targeted audience over the internet or online. If you are a business owner, whether large or small, you will be interested to know that your business will benefit from content marketing for several reasons.
For instance, content marketing allows your business to establish itself in the industry and generate more prospects, not to mention the expansion of your customer base. Content marketing also allows increased brand awareness if you deal with the production or providence of certain goods and or services and will increase brand engagement in potential customers who are on the web.
Therefore, the main goal of content marketing is to increase traffic on your company’s or organisation’s website. Why build trust among new and existing customers and provide new and delightful services for your customers from which they can benefit?
Content marketing began with the creation of the internet, but businesses have been using it for years. For instance, charts and graphs will be useful in a sales pitch since they provide meaningful and understandable information and ideas.
However, content marketing is not to act as only a sales pitch. Therefore, an organisation should not use language that urges consumers to buy a product, primarily when information is provided in a blog post.
With this in mind, content marketing takes on different approaches guided by different sets of content. One content strategy may be efficient and effective for one business but maybe a total failure when implemented for another company.
Earlier on, we talked about the relevance of content strategy and how one content strategy may work in one business and fail when used in another company. But what is content strategy?
A content strategy is a field in content marketing that is tasked with satisfying the requirements of the organisation by creating and distributing content. Do not be surprised by this because currently there are a lot of people and teams who write and design content but content strategy means that a group or an individual is going the extra mile of asking the question ‘What does the business need?’, ‘What should be created?’ and ‘Why is this important?’
A content strategy will identify the interests of your business. It will involve certain activities such as:
Before a content marketing agency can get started on a job, it must first learn the intended audience for the content. The agency must also determine the message to be communicated and how it will be regarded by the audience. The content must be relevant, valuable, profitable, and optimised.
You should now have a solid idea of what content marketing is and what it entails. It’s often sensible to make use of a content marketing agency – they will produce and share videos, infographics and other written materials on your behalf and help your business thrive.
Many content marketing agencies offer an array of services related to the publishing of content – here are some of the few most common:
Here at Woo, we are experts in content marketing, so if you’re keen to boost this side of your business, please get in touch with us today. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
If you are one of those people who is sceptical about the value of content marketing, know this: it is the best way to market your brand online and stay ahead of the competition.
Getting noticed online is difficult these days without demonstrating value to your audience. This is where content marketing brings home the bacon, giving you greater visibility.
A content strategy could save you as much as 62% in advertising costs in comparison to a traditional marketing strategy, so neglecting it is as good as lowering your brand into the depths of online obscurity. A lack of knowledge about content marketing is acceptable these days, as you can always outsource the job to a content marketing agency.
We will be outlining 15 reasons why your marketing strategy is better served if you incorporate content marketing into it.
Content marketing focuses on driving a pre-planned agenda – marketing a select type of products/services. A cross-section of content marketing examples includes whitepapers, speaking engagements, recorded videos to market your product or service, webinars, and many more. Do not limit yourself to just blogging in choosing the best way to market your content.
The fact that content marketing costs less than traditional advertising methods has already been mentioned. Online marketing tools offer the opportunity to monitor traffic and surfing behaviour to help you determine if your strategy is working. This enables you to learn how to improve your content for better reception by your audience.
Every prospect or potential customer is at different stages in their decision to buy any product at any given time. Content marketing allows you to be able to address each section of your audience with information that nudges them one step closer to purchasing your product or service. To do this, you must be persistent in your resolve to gently guide them on the path to the realisation that purchasing from you is in their best interest.
Every brand, whether they outsource their content creation to a content marketing service or do so in-house, will agree that generating new leads can be frustrating. Content marketing makes this fairly easy, with its wide reach and options to subscribe in a few clicks as opposed to sending correspondence to do so. Reports from Curata back up claims that content marketing generates new leads, with 74% of participating brands saying the same thing.
If your website gives accurate information coupled with the right presentation, you stamp your proficiency in the hearts of your audience and improve your search rank when enquiries are made about a subject your content is centred on. Search engine algorithms determine whether to send your page higher up or down the results ladder based on a set of ranking criteria, for example, domain authority, bounce rate, and so on.
Marketing your product could come off as boring to your readers, but when you throw in useful tips that they find valuable in their field of interest (which your articles cover), you build trust with them and they can easily refer friends or share your links to make your post go viral. Content marketing will improve your online visibility.
This is done with a well-crafted content strategy. Remember that every reader is on different levels of the sales funnel, so to close a sale you need to keep them coming back. With the variety of content strategy services available today, this is not hard to do. You just need to understand your audience, demonstrate adequate knowledge of the subject of your content, connect and interact with them, and you will see your influence and followers grow over time.
With content marketing, you can always learn what works best with your audience because of how easy it is to use web analytics to learn more about their response to your content. This is easier with content marketing than with traditional marketing strategies. You can create polls, go through the comments section, and generally boost your rate of engagement with your audience to achieve this.
With content marketing, over three-fifths of your target audience are likely to be exposed to a new product every week. Try engaging other influencers or professional content marketing services to help you break the ice. The key here is to seek engagement from the followers of micro-influencers, as they are more likely to convert.
Quality content, when every other prerequisite is in place, will reward a content marketer with influence and widespread reach. If you deliver on the demands of your followers, you will earn readers’ confidence and you can easily connect with audiences in different geographical locations within/outside the country you live in.
Because content marketing focuses on the audience and trying to offer them the best value, a strong relationship is often built between a brand/content marketers and the audience. This creates loyalty in your regular readers, who will defend your brand when necessary. You need people in your corner for when it matters most in the future.
One of the advantages of content marketing is that it allows you to tell the story of your brand and manage public perception. This is why big companies sell a brand experience rather than focus their marketing on their products.
This is another plus with content marketing: you can always switch up a few things with your content and send it out again, good as new. This is something two-thirds of marketers do to maximise their articles. This means you do not have to overburden yourself with the pressure of creating new content all the time. If you do it correctly, you can make the most of the time and money spent developing some of your best content.
Ignoring content marketing is as good as giving your competitors a head start in the race for the scarce resources of the majority of the market. You cannot be serious about your brand if you are refusing to use content marketing whilst 37% of your B2C competitors plan to increase their content marketing. You need to give them a run for their money and get those sales over the line.
The emphasis on good content is because once you gain traction, it becomes like a rock rolling down a steep slope – everything in its path gets rolled in, too. If your content is that valuable, you can get other websites to promote it for you by plugging your links into their articles, which will do wonders for your page rankings.
Content marketing does not have to be complicated or expensive. If your team is too busy to invest their time in a content strategy, you can outsource to a content marketing agency. They will take the stress off you and achieve a lot more within a limited time scale.
If you would like content strategy advice or information, contact us today and we will be more than willing to help.
Knowing how to craft the perfect press release is essential for getting the word out about your business.
But it’s harder than it looks. A press release is essentially a pitch, so you must be careful to adopt the right tone and showcase the value of your organisation to stand out from the crowd.
Before you start, make sure the story you want to send is truly newsworthy and contains a fresh angle. Once you’re sure you have a winning hook, here are ten ideas for improving your press release content.
Just because you’re not writing a blog post, it doesn’t mean the title doesn’t matter. Put your copywriting skills to good use!
You want journalists to know your story is newsworthy enough to pull in readers for them. It’s important to get the right balance of ‘exciting’ and ‘clear’, though – don’t get carried away and think up some ambiguous headline nobody will understand.
A tool like Coschedule can give you some feedback.
Important as a headline may be, the struggle to stand out begins before your prospect even sees your press release. Make sure you get them the second your email lands in their inbox.
Nobody likes spam mail, so you don’t want to stand out too much by writing the most eye-catching subject line possible. Instead, make your intentions clear by labelling the email as a press release or storyline.
If you’re a writer, you’ll naturally want to impress your skill with a witty metaphor or poetic explanation. We hate to break it to you, but that won’t get you into anyone’s good books.
Journalists don’t want to adopt your press release because they think you’re a genius or that you craft a wicked metaphor. They’re looking for a compelling story they can work with. Remember, most journalists have dozens of press releases sent to them each day to trawl through.
If you’re not sure how to write your press release, check out some samples.
To make your press release writing readable and digestible, you need to follow a specific structure. Use the first line to provide a quick summary of the story. News articles follow this structure, too.
Ever heard of the 5 W’s of investigation (or the 6 W’s, depending on who you ask)? That’s what we’re going for here:
The best press writing examples use all six. If you can get all this information into your first sentence, you’re on the right track.
Noticing a theme yet? Journalists don’t have time for your drawn-out explanations and flowery language – just keep things simple and short.
Your entire press release should only come to around 400 words at most. It might be hard to keep things that short on the first draft, but after a few edits you’ll realise how many words you’re liking wasting on waffle.
Be sure to include a quote, too. Proper investigation uses sources and research to humanise a story and back it up.
If your aim for sending a press release is to get publicity for your company, you might feel tempted to dedicate the majority of the space to it. Any press release service will tell you this is a bad idea.
You must focus on the essence of the story. If you really want to add information about your company, include that as a note to the editor instead and let them make the call.
As we’ve said already, your press release should be as digestible as possible. As well as keeping it to under 400 words and using simple language, you should use the correct formatting.
Sub-headings allow journalists to scan your text and get a gist of the overall direction. Bullet points are a great way to present statistics and facts without dedicating entire sentences to them.
We hate jargon with a passion, and so do journalists. If you’re sending a story about your business that’s heavily focused on your industry, you might find yourself slipping in sector-specific terms. Watch yourself on this one.
When including an expert quote, make sure it aids the story and isn’t just a load of technical language.
It’s bad practice to send an article pitch to multiple publications, but press releases are different. Maximise your chances of being published by sending your email to as many newspapers as you like.
But pay some attention to the editorial standards. Some newspapers have very strict guidelines and you want to send a strong signal that you’re a professional who’s done their research.
After putting so much work into crafting the perfect press release, don’t throw it all away by messing up the contents of your email.
Include a (very) short outline of the story, explaining why it’s relevant and newsworthy. This is different from the summary at the start of your press release because you’re discussing why readers will enjoy the story rather than explaining what the story is.
Also, avoid large images in your attachments. Journalists are short on time, so don’t give them an excuse to send your email to junk without reading it.
In an ideal world, all companies would have a public relations or media team to sort out their press releases for them, but small companies rarely have these kinds of resources. Getting press releases right can be hard for someone with no experience.
Even if you follow all 10 pieces of advice here perfectly, it can’t compare with using a press release copywriting agency to do the work for you.
Professionals know how to create a great hook, write for the target audience, and hone in on the most newsworthy elements of a story. It’s worth the investment for the exposure you’ll receive.
Content revolves around an assortment of web pages, blogs and Tweets that work in tandem with the objectives of a business. Well, that's what most people think, and it's partly right. Even though quality content, branding and social media outreach are the fundamentals of content management, when you put things into perspective, you’ll realise there’s a lot more to it.
Often, content marketers go straight to implementation without carrying out the basics of developing a strategy. Without a clear-cut vision and direction for how the content is supposed to drive results, marketers have nothing more than content that is at best disorganised – it might drive some traffic, but it won’t engage the audience in a meaningful way.
If you’re a digital marketer or on your way to being one, it would be best for you to have a good understanding of what it takes to develop a successful content marketing strategy. Let’s outline seven key insights that any content manager or strategist can leverage to create more effective content.
This is a simple technique that allows you to build stronger relationships with your audience. When you gate your content you inadvertently throw your chances of converting prospects out of the window.
Let’s consider this scenario:
Having said that, there are situations where you can gate your content. For instance, educational courses, webinars, product-qualified lead projects and exclusive subscription content can be gated, but you need to have a well-thought-out follow-up strategy.
Ultimately, when you make it easy to access your content, you end up gaining more customers than when you hide it behind a form and drive people away.
Over the years, marketers have been lethargic about investing in video and infographics, but we’re beginning to see a gradual change, and you need to keep up with the times.
It’s not enough to just make any old video. Instead, spend some money on educational series and animated explainers targeted at the top of the funnel, while the middle and bottom of the funnel should feature case studies and product videos.
When marketers have to find a way to work in highly regulated environments, it usually gets their creative juices flowing.
In sectors such as healthcare, financial services, oil and gas, and other highly regulated environments, a bad working relationship with compliance can hurt a content strategy. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as you can try out these tactics:
You should also invest in workflow technologies that can track audits, record-keeping, provide off-platform approvals, and flexible workflows. This allows you to easily incorporate compliance into the content creation process without getting drowned by loads of emails and spreadsheets.
When it comes to content, brands have one advantage over media companies; having access to proprietary data and research.
Original research is easily the best means of driving social engagement, press, and backlinks. All you need to do is take a closer look and try to find newsworthy data in your company that can be turned into a great piece of content.
Most marketers fail to spend money on content distribution – that is a big mistake. Paid media is the best means of building an audience, especially Facebook, which is still regarded as one of the most cost-efficient content distribution channels. If you spend good money producing top-quality content, you should be able to spend a little bit more to ensure you get three times as many people reading that content.
Paid distribution has a remarkable trickle-down effect for excellent content. You can generate an increased number of email subscribers and social followers while driving a boost for your SEO at the same time.
A good place to start investing is the search budget. Consider Facebook, which is five to 10 times cheaper than Google when it comes to CPC for comparable topics and industries.
Content marketing has evolved to become more targeted at ROI over the past couple of years. Initially, it used to be all about reach metrics like impressions, followers, and page views. Then, in 2016, focus turned to engagement metrics like return visitors, time on site, and shares.
2018 saw a shift towards last-click attribution, a ‘transactional’ metric, which was very limited when it came to measuring the value of content.
Marketers will adopt a more refined tactic in 2020 by making the relationships they build with people the priority, and linking those relationships to revenue. The key KPIs will be a focus on return visitors and newsletter subscriptions, while they use the attribution modelling from Google Analytics to track audience conversions within 90 days.
The best way to build relationships with people is through content that teaches something new and assists them to make smart decisions. Communication is key. Here are a few tips you can use:
Content marketing is not difficult to do or understand, but it does take creativity, patience and an analytical outlook. Even though an effective content strategy requires logical thinking, it’s not that clear-cut or rigid, so there’s plenty of room for flexibility and creativity.
What you really need is a clear vision of your objectives so you can think ahead to come up with new solutions and tools that you can apply to constantly refine your strategy towards meeting new goals.
Content marketing is here to stay – it’s a proven strategy used by the world’s most successful marketing teams. Despite this, proving the value of your content to your bosses and peers is another task entirely. In theory, measuring the return of your content strategy sounds straightforward. You probably already have an idea whether it’s working or not. But how do you measure return on investment (ROI) in practice? Here are some of the best way of doing so.
In plain terms, to calculate ROI, subtract the spend from the return, then divide the return by the amount spent – in this example, our return is £20,000 and our spend is £10,000:
(£20,000 – £10,000) / £10,000 = 1.00
ROI = current value of investment minus cost of investment divided by cost of investment.
This will give you a decimal that can be expressed as a percentage (in this case, 100%). You’ll already know this but if it’s a positive number, well done, your activity drove more money than you spent. If it’s negative, it probably wasn’t worth the effort.
The actual formula for ROI is relatively straightforward. Adding up how much you spend should also be simple, providing you have kept accurate records. Add up everything from time spent, salaries paid, agency fees, media spend, design costs and anything else you can think of for the most accurate reflection.
The most difficult part with content marketing is putting a figure on the return.
Identifying the return is easier for some types of content over others. If your content is behind a lead-generation form that requires users to enter their details before accessing the file, you’re in luck. Evaluating the amount of business it drove is as simple as matching the lead value to the downloads. It may be worth doing this with potential lead value (whether it was won or lost) and actual sales value. This way, you can prove the worth of your content – it’s up to the sales team to close the lead.
You can see this method in action with Hubspot’s Complete Collection of Content Creation Templates. If you want to download them, you have to tell Hubspot who you are, and you can bet they’ll get in contact afterwards. If your lead-generation form is connected to your customer database – like Hubspot’s will be – then this process is even more simple.
For other types of content, it’s less straightforward. Blogs, videos, articles, guest posts, infographics, case studies and other pieces of content will all contribute to sales in various ways without getting that final conversion. To find the ROI for these, you’ll have to be more creative as there are many methods:
There are many ways of attributing the value of sales you have made to the marketing efforts that drove them. It’s a complex journey, because users move between channels over a significant period of time before they make their purchase.
Google Analytics is a great free tool that is helpful when evaluating the return of content. Its Page Value metric puts a financial figure against each page based on the contribution it makes to sales. The higher the number, the higher the value.
The tool also allows you to look at your marketing performance using different attribution models, providing you have e-commerce tracking set up. There are the standard models: first click, last click, time decay and linear. There is also the option to create a custom model. It’s worth looking at your content using different models to see how and where it contributes, so you can optimise it.
Evaluating the return from content marketing can be as complicated or simple as you like. Our advice is to start off small and grow from there. It’s better to have a baseline figure that everyone understands and gives you a starting point rather than spending time and energy on a more accurate figure that probably isn’t worth the effort. Once you’re confident, you can move towards an ROI value that is accurate and actionable.