This article is from Hubspot and is one of the best articles I've seen so far that explain what you have to do to attract your ideal customer, convert them and keep them coming back for more. I love the graphic because it clearly shows you how to move your customer through the sales funnel.
In today's marketplace attention is scarce and it's crucial that you present great information at the right time, where your customers are in an attractive manner.
It's importand to be clear on what inbound marketing is and how you can use this effectively for your business.
Here's what caught my attention:
Make marketing people love.
By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive. Now that’s marketing people can love.
Understanding Inbound Marketing:
Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is:
1.creating and sharing content with the world.
2.creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream
3.attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming
This is really a great piece by Roger C. Parker for Content Marketing Institute. We can all use a little help to increase our content marketing strategy, I found this two-step approach very useful and wanted to bring it to your attention:
Looking to increase your content marketing productivity? Get yourself started with this two-step approach to creating an editorial calendar.
Here are the benefits you'll receive by following this approach:
*Perspective: The Monthly Editorial Calendar work sheet creates a birdy-eye, big picture view of your editorial calendar, helpinng you focus attetion on your prospects' key goals and objectives
**Easier decision-making: Focusing on 12 mothly themes at the beginning of y our content development process helps reduce the number of decisions needed and increase the likelihood of getting a consensus on your ideas
**Consistency: Multiple projects that address different aspects of each month's theme reinforces your firm's key messages on a regular, ongoing basis
**Scalability: The two-step approach to creating an editorial calendar is efficient enough for small firms and self-employed professionals, yet it can be upgraded to create robust applications for larger corporations
**Efficiency: Identifying overarching themes that can be reinforced on a weekly basis also simplifies your efforts to reformat, repurpose or recycle your key messages across multiple media channels
I selected this piece (by Allyson Galle for Hubspot) because there are some great tips for using under-used content to shake up your routine and keep things interesting and different.
Here are a few that caught my attention:
**These are not to be confused with infographics - you should use this when you have an abstract or difficult-to-understand concepts that are hard to describe through text.
**Content visualizations can serve as great trump cards in the back pockets of content creators when it comes to getting prospects and leads to understand difficult concepts that your products and services help to solve.
**In this article, there is a graphic that shows how this is done by illustrating the concept of closed-loop marketing. It's easy to understand and pleasant to look at.
**This serves a dual purpose, content and traffic
**This is excellent for real-time engagement, traffic will be flooding into your site, Create a hashtag to accopany your livestreamed content, you can start a discussion before the event
**You can insert calls-to-action or product/service information if you'd like, but don't turn this into an infomercial
Are you aware of how well your content is working for you? Many marketers don't know how well they're doing or how to go about finding out
Scott Armstrong says there are three areas to look when it comes to optiizing your content
Here's what you should do:
**Keywords are important but you should think about your meta description as the first 160 characters that will draaw people into your content and motivate them to click your link
**When you're creating content, think like your customer, ask yourself whether you're addressing concerns or questions in an engaging manner
**Consider the state of your customer's buying cycle as this can influence the type of content they will find most relevant
What do my customers want to know, and am I creating content that answers their questions?”
A tool that can help you in this area is a content framework, or a template that outlines your customers’ needs, pains, and desired information. This will help you stay focused when you create content.
**Learn how many people are willing to give up their contact information for your content
**Ask your readers what they would find useful vs trying to make your content interesting
This piece was written by Ardath Albee, I selected it because I thought her insights were right on the money.
Everything has changed, B2B executives need to change their mindset to fit the realities of the "always connected consumer" They are bombarded with too much information. It's important to shift your thinking and change the way you relate to them. The old way won't work.
"Selling content marketing to B2B executives is hard. At least harder than it should be. But what strikes me as odd is their willingness to requestion their decision after they've finally been convinced".
Here are some highlights:
**Content marketing is not a campaign With no stop date, it violates the nature of traditionalist marketers to be able to box in a final result and say "it worked"
or "it could have been better." At least not quickly
**content marketing isn't three touches and a sales pitch, your department may not be shuffling as many leads to sales.
**If the change we make isn't driven by what our buyers want, it's driven by what we want. What we want isn't going to convince buyers to buy. Especially over the longer-term, complex buying process.
**Here is two things to do to combat Shiny Object Syndrome:
First - determine ways to measure your incremental wins with content marketing that tie to business KPIs. That's one thing that marketing automation technology and analytics can help you with.
It's also something that salespeople can help you with. When's the last time you spoke with them about the leads you sent over?
"Only by compartmentalizing our distinct lives as brand stewards, lead generators and media mavens, can we help educate others (CEOs, peers, our teams, ourselves), who may think of “marketing” as a monolithic and mysterious blob......
Second - put some fun into your content marketing!
**Take a look at your personas and figure out a new way to approach them. Put a new spin on a topic you've grown bored with
**Use a new format. Do it to engage yourself as much as you do it to engage your buyers.
This infographic from Hubspot posted October of 2011 is surely as relevant today as it was then.
We've long known that business blogging, social media, and great content creation are the keys to successful inbound marketing
** To learn more about how often you should be blogging, curating or creating content and how your website traffic increases as your social media presence grows, check out this infographic, "Act Big to Get Big"
B2B Content Marketing is the best way to create top-of-the-funnel excitement that translates to revenue down the road.
Businesses that succeed in developing timely, relevant, non-promotional content reach potential buyers both directly and through the most persuasive channel of all: word of mouth. Exceptional content, like remarkable products, induces conversations and incites sharing.
Tips and best practice advice to improve the return on your content marketing.
Content marketing is the art of creating, curating and distributing valuable content, combined with the science of measuring its impact on awareness, lead generation and customer acquisition.
Simply put, it’s business-relevant communications minus the selling. It’s the antidote to “interruption marketing.” Instead of pitching products or services, a content marketer equips buyers with the knowledge to make better-informed decisions.
Central to content marketing is the belief that if businesses deliver consistent, helpful information to buyers at the right time, then prospects will ultimately reward the company with their purchase and loyalty.
This Whitepaper - http://bit.ly/JnyPYd - is a bitesized look at everything you need to know to implement a content marketing strategy, showing you why businesses need it, what different types of content marketing there are, best practice tips to bear in mind and how to measure the results from your content.
I selected this post by copyblogger because I thought the suggestions here were very valuable for writers, content creators or curators. I don't know about you but having tips like this loses its value. Whether you read this once or twice, it's something you might refer to everytime you write, curate, create an article for new, fresh and compelling ways to be effective in your content marketing efforts.
Here are a few things that caught my attention:
*GREAT CURATORS Understand your readers. Know their fears, dreams, and desires. How can you engage with someone you don’t understand?
**Don’t write for a large audience. Choose one person, picture him, and write to him as if he’s a friend.
**Use a conversational tone of voice. Nobody wants to chat with a company.
**Be engaging. Using the word you is the most powerful way to be more engaging.
Be remarkable. So much content is out there, how can you stand out?
**GREAT Creation or Curation comes from CONTEXT Disclose your point of view, tell your personal story, and develop your ownvoice.
**If your readers feel they know you, they will connect with you.
**Use familiar language. Check Twitter, Facebook or Google’s Keyword Tool – and find the wording your readers use.
I selected this piece from Simplyzesty because search is an important topic to all of us and as many of us know, it's currently in a transition period now.
As algorithms become more complex and the major search engines introduce new features, it's clear that our expectations about how search should work and what it can do for us has risen with every new development.
**We demand that relevant information comes faster, becomes more acurate and matches our tastes and interests.
**Throw Siri and Google Now into the mix and the idea that the very concept of search will be radically different in three to five years time is a distinct possibility.
With social media developing at a rapid pace and search engines becoming smarter, the emergence of social search was expected to be the next big thing...
Here are the highlights from this article:
** Where is Social Search headed?
**The development of Mobile search
**Web & Mobile analytics tools
** Social & Mobile SEO Practices
**Oopinion & Analysis
Here's what caught my attention:
**According to a BIA/Kelsey report, mobile search will generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop search by 2016.
**Mobile will generate 113.4 billion queries and desktop generate 85.6 billion.
**9 our of 10 mobile searches lead to action, over half leading to purchase
Create mobile-friendly content
**Your regular desktop content can stay the same provided you’ve reformatted it for mobile users (see last tip), but the best thing to do is to host your homepage and mobile only pages on m.domain.com subdomaion or /m subfolder.
**State of Search explains why good content strategy is crucial for social search
**eConsultancy lists four major reasons why mobile search is different to traditional search
Selected by Jan Gordon covering "Curation, Social Business and Beyond"
You’re finally convinced that content marketing is critical to your marketing strategy.
When we think of content, we often think of a compilation of words, words that tell a story relevant to our buyer and connect to our brand. The problem is that our prospects have less time to read these words, even when they tell a well-crafted story that can be useful in their jobs. Why?
Content is evolving. No longer are white papers and webinars the secret to inbound marketing success, visual is becoming the norm. Get ready to kick the tires and light the fires around your content strategy as we show you how to effectively utilize visual content like Infographics, video, visual note-taking, memes, and even Instagrams into your marketing campaigns.
We’re in a state of information overflow and many are looking for a way to dig out.
Simultaneously, we have learned to digest information faster – sometimes even at a glance.
This quick consumption of data lets us know the big message and allows us to decide whether or not we need to keep reading. The headline of an article is commonly used to make this decision, but how can we rely on more than a headline to get our point across?
The answer - Visual Content Marketing
Visual content marketing is the utilization of images to engage your prospects through the buying cycle. This can include Infographics, images, charts and graphs, memes, comics, photos, videos, and even visual notetaking. http://bit.ly/Qa2XZ3
What’s critical is that they help tell a story related to your brand. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean a sales pitch. Rather, visual content is created with the goal of appealing to your prospects and is meant to offer them a solution for a pain they may have.
This presentation, created with Column Five - http://bit.ly/LooubE, not only explains different types of visual content, but also to give examples to inspire your own visual content creations.
Walking the B2B Marketer through the steps necessary to produce and promote great visual content, from content purpose and distribution channels to idea creation and proper usage. It also goes into the theory, history, and practice behind visual content.
I selected this piece by Tom Bishop for B2C Community because there are good suggestions to help you stand out from the content marketing storm.
He was inspired to write this article while he was hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire with his kids. They experienced thunderstorms suddenly that caused whiteouts, where they couldn't see anything. He saw similarities with all the content coming at our readers and how important it is to have some tools to help you stand out and weather the content storm.
Are you prepard to take your content to the next level? There are 10 things you have to do so your content doesn't get lost
Here are a few things that caught my attention:
**the author says you should allow your ideas to flow like water, they are the most important item on the list.
**Keep your mind open, be inspired by your readers, your surroundings, what others have said. Sometimes our greatest inspiration comes when when we least expect it
**Solutions make up the fuel that drives a robust content strategy. Your ideas must be supplemented by a steady diet of problem solving for your audience
**Make sure to have plenty of tools, resources, advice, strategy, anything that helps your readers otherwise your content will not be sustainable
**It is essential to build and maintain relationships online by generating opportunities for engagement between people
**People find your content on Facebook and share it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Linkedin, they make comments, ask questions. This is a great way to engage with them and get to know how you can serve them better
**Your content should have the ability to drive activity that spreads as it generates interest from one person to another - this is what helps you build a community of loyal followers that keeps them coming back for more
**Be sure to choose the right tool for customer relationship maintenance
**Customer relationship management tool, e-commerce software, social media management and content collaboration application to help you create, store, publish and share your material
because I thought it had some good suggestions based on research about the role of content marketing and its importance in competing in today's marketplace.
"The term “content marketing” is gaining currency in recent months, becoming the new lingua franca of online marketers. But what is it?'
Earlier this year, creative firm Outbrain surveyed senior-level brand marketers and agency executives
**100% of brand and agency marketers surveyed utilize content marketing in their overall marketing strategies.
**Of those surveyed, 82% of brand and agency marketers expect to increase content marketing efforts in 2012
As consumers become more reliant on the Internet and social mobile for information and purchase decision, the demand for informative and relevantcontent will continue to grow apace.
**No company is immune to this online evolution.
**In order to compete, brands will have to adjusttheir marketing efforts to the new realities of our content-driven era.
**For many, outsourcing content creation will prove a more efficient and affordable alternative to building an online marketing team.
Jan Gordon: It will be interesting to see how content curation evolves in this whole process. A blend of created and curated content can be very powerful as long as it is relevant and valuable for your audience on a consistent basis.
These steps apply to your overall content marketing strategy whether you're creating or curating content.
**Companies are now left trying to make sense of which ones they should be paying attention to, what they need to be doing in these channels to gain a competitive advantage, and how it all ties into their overall content marketing strategy.
**In today’s rapidly shifting web, it’s essential that companies start to take a more holistic approach to content marketing and connect moreeffectively with their various stakeholders across a number of web and social channels.
Here are the four steps:
As we awaken to the new realities of content, here are four ways to rethink your content execution, and take advantage of the new content life cycle.
**Structure your content marketing strategy as a holistic system that allows you to connect more effectively with various stakeholders acrossa number of social channels, drive conversation, and influence customers.
**Open up content contribution to more users across the organization, providing more opportunities to connect with and engage customers in social channels, and extend your online reach.
**Be sure to remove any technology or process roadblocks that inhibit the expansion of your contributor pool — the more people who are able to contribute easily, the more content you will have to push across your channels.
**Deliver fresh, compelling and timely content that engages users and keeps visitors returning to your site, and then be sure to extend that content into your social channels.
**Be sure you are listening to the online conversations of your targetaudience, and optimize your content and content strategybased on the insights you gather from them.
If you're looking to make money from your blog, here are three ways to use old content to monetize your blog and create regular passive income.
From having advertisements on your blog to selling affiliate links (or your own product), it’s clear that bloggers want to be able to make money from blogging – it’s just a matter of how (and without upsetting your readers).
Look back at your content, and see if there’s an ongoing theme that can be fine-tuned and made available as a premium publication.
2. Create an Educational Video Download
Check your analytics, and see which posts had the most traction. That suggests that there’s an audience for that content, and while your written word may have been popular, a video overview will be even more so.
3. Host a Premium Webinar
If the written word becomes valuable, you can imagine how valuable a live webinar, with the ability to ask questions on the fly and see something happen in real-time, can be.
Ulimately, If You Can Create It, You Can Sell It
Quality never has a price limit on it.
Find the content you feel offers the most value and opportunity to turn into a premium offering.
The good news is, the audience is waiting – you just need to provide."
SEO Trends and the Impact of Blogging infographic is a glimpse into the direction of search engine optimization an where it is headed.
**We have all heard content is king, but with SEO the king is exercising his power as we move forward on the internet. Social media and blogging is starting to grow in importance. Audience engagement and the tools that measure it are going to be more and more important.
**A friend of mine asked me the other day, “Why should I care about Klout, Kred, or Peer Index type sites?” I told him that these tools not only measure activity and engagement, but they provide a social proof and standing that reflects you value online.
**Sites like Google are essentially doing the same thing behind the scenes. Google is Klout for websites. Google is looking at people’s reaction and engagement as a factor in determining your websites value.