With the recent upheaval in the online world caused by Google's Panda and Penguin updates, it's difficult to know on any given day which search engine optimization (SEO) strategy works and which doesn't. But there's one strategy that's still clearly "Google approved" and likely always will be: Content marketing. Google has made clear that its long-term vision is to reward helpful, authoritative sites in the natural search results. That means it's critical for websites to provide valuable and informative content that will both build relationships with users and yield high rankings in the search results.
You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want.
Writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read could be all you need to do to attract and hold attention.
Jakob Nielson’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79% of web users scan rather than read.
Think about how you use the web. You’re in search of information. And if you don’t find it on the page you’re visiting, you click away and look elsewhere.
What can you do to engage your readers so they lean into your content, stay on your pages and interact with your information?
Make it snappy
To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class.
Accept that people scan web pages rather than reading them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fighting it.
Structure your paragraphs in the inverted pyramid style. This means stating your conclusion first, then supporting it with the sentences that follow. This helps scanners to move from point to point, and decide where they’d like to dive in deeper.
1. Embrace the line break
There are few easier ways to make your content more readable.
And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.
2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
One technique taught here at Copyblogger is to write your headline and subheads first.
Make your subheads intriguing, but informative, too. Web readers have well-honed BS meters, so don’t exaggerate or you’ll lose credibility. “Compelling” is not the same as “hypey.”
Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?
3. Use bulleted lists
They create fascinations your readers can’t resist They’re an easily-scannable way to present multiple points They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader
4. Use deep captions
Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”
Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig in to your whole article.
5. Add highly relevant links
Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material.
External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and want to highlight other experts.
Good content uses both to expand your reader’s understanding and add value.
6. Use strategic formatting
Add emphasis to your web copy by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance.
Emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.
7. Harness the power of numbers
Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader oriented.
You can often make a post more compelling just by numbering your main points. Give it a try.
8. Check your dual readership path
Once you’ve used subheads, numbers, bulleted lists and other formatting to highlight the key elements of your post, read through it again — looking only at the text you’ve called special attention to.
Does the reader get the gist? Have you pulled out the most interesting and relevant words, the words that will pull your scanner in and turn her into a reader?
Für den Fall, dass wir doch einmal gegen Italien gewinnen: Hier sind die offiziellen und persönlichen Twitter-Accounts und Facebook-Seiten der aktuellen deutschen Nationalspieler und weiterer großer Fußball-Spieler.
Das umstrittene Anti-Piraterie-Abkommen ist so gut wie gescheitert: Auch der wichtige EU-Handelsausschuss hat den Vertrag abgelehnt. Dies gilt als wichtiges Signal für die Abstimmung im Europaparlament in wenigen Wochen.
Using segmentation to make your social media marketing relevant
Aimia, a Canadian company who specialise in loyalty management, have created a segmentation model that analyses the behavioral drivers of trust and control to identify six social media persona types – these are no shows, newcomers, onlookers, cliquers, mix-n-minglers and sparks.
It’s the behaviour angle which makes this worth a proper look.
“Today’s approach to social media measurement – racing to rack up the most ‘likes,’ retweets, followers and recommendations – is the wrong approach.
Marketers must define success not by social media activity, but rather by customer value and engagement,” Doug Rozen, Aimia senior VP, lead author of The Report- Staring-At-The-Sun-Identifying-Understanding-And-Influencing-Social-Media-Users - http://bit.ly/MaKf0F [PDF]
Naturally, Aimia argues that there’s single social media channel can deliver a complete picture of customer behaviour, specific social media personas are identifiable which, if engaged directly, can reap benefits for brands.
No Shows (41% of the US population, inevitably higher in the UK) – these are people least involved with social media, if at all; they also infrequently engage in online commerce. Newcomers (15%) – passive users of a single social media network such as Facebook, primarily to enhance relationships that they have offline Onlookers (16%) – are active only in the sense that watch others via social channels on a regular basis, but share almost no personal information Cliquers (6%) – active users of one network; they tend to be influential among their small group of friends and family Mix-n-Minglers (19%) – those who regularly share and interact with a diverse group of connections via social media Sparks (3%) – most active and deeply engaged users of social media; will serve as enthusiastic online ambassadors for their favorite brands
“Marketers often struggle to understand the true motivations and purchase intent behind customers’ social media activity. Proper segmentation allows marketers to appropriately identify, understand and influence customers through social channels.” Doug Rozen, Aimia senior VP
It’s interesting to see that the top 3 personas, over 28% of the market who’d matter, are older than you might think. Equally the most ferocious users who are typically younger represent a mere 3% of the total audience. Note how propensity to buy online, not just engage, also scales the heavier the user is.
The key thing – and this cannot be stressed enough – plan to market to real people where tools like this can help. It’s not about the channel, tactic or social network in the first instance.
Shitstorms sorgen für Aufregung und Unternehmen wappnen sich gegen die konzertierten Empörungswellen. Dabei geht ein Thema vergessen, das für viele Firmen auf Facebook viel wichtiger wäre: die gute alte Einwandsbehandlung.
Die von Facebook durchgeführte Zwangs-Umstellung von E-Mailadressen auf @facebook.com Adressen ist noch nicht abgeebbt, da gibt es auch schon neuen Ärger. Wie die US-Website CNet berichtet, sorgt die Umstellung der E-Mailadressen bei Facebook auch für Irritationen in anderen Adressbüchern - sollten diese mit Facebook verknüpft sein. So kann es geschehen, das Mailadressen von Kontakten verschwinden oder verändert werden, ohne dass Nutzer zunächst etwas davon mitbekommen.
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.
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