Category Archives: Content Marketing

content-marketing-funnel-template
Content marketing is one of the backbones of search engine optimization. It helps you tap on the most searched keywords and create a network of internal and inbound links to your website. According to a research done by Kapost, implementing a content marketing strategy leads to 3x more leads per dollar spent than having paid search campaigns. There are many types of content that can be used to attract customers. Applying them within the content marketing funnel will assure that you implement them efficiently. This can lead to improving your SEO ranking, increasing your sales and obtaining loyal clients. 

What is the Content Marketing Funnel?

The idea of the content marketing sales funnel is that the number of your potential clients grows smaller by the time they decide to finish their first transaction. At the top of the funnel, or the widest part, is where your target audience discovers your company and becomes aware of it. The middle of the funnel is smaller since there will be fewer people who will consider buying your products. And, the bottom of the funnel, is where the remaining potential customers actually decide to buy what you sell. Your goal is to make this funnel as cylindrical as possible, meaning that you want to lose less people throughout each stage and get as many people as possible to convert their interested in you into actual sales.

This buyer’s journey is not necessarily linear. Content can reach people at any phase of the funnel and either encourage or discourage them to buy from your company. It’s important to know which type of content will be of most use in each stage of the funnel. 

The three main stages of the content marketing funnel are:

  • Awareness – when a potential client first discovers your companycontent-marketing-funnel
  • Consideration – when a competent lead wants to assess whether your product or service is the solution to a problem they’re facing
  • Conversion – when the lead gathers all the information they need before deciding to buy and eventually become a customer

There is one more stage of the funnel that you can implement in your strategy for long-term and lasting results:

  • Retention – when a loyal customer is so satisfied with your brand that they become an advocate to it and return to buy more of your products and services

Let’s find out more about each stage:

Awareness: The Top of The Funnel

The goal of the top of the funnel is to create an awareness among your target audience about your brand, products, and services. That can be done through viral and educational content. In this stage you have to educate your potential clients about a problem they are facing and the solution you’re providing. Often your audience doesn’t realize it even has a problem or a need. It’s your job to show the users what they are lacking and to persuade them that you are the one to solve their issues.

Especially, if you are a new brand, you need to generate interest by creating viral and engaging content. People need to be curious about your business so as to slowly integrate it to their list of trusted companies. 

The top of the funnel is the phase when inbound marketing is present. Here you don’t necessarily have to talk about your company. Just give your audience what they want and need to learn about their problems. Thus you encourage feelings of gratitude, respect, and an authority to your brand. Moreover, you are educating your audience in a way that your products and services will be even more useful to them.

Types of Content to Create Awareness

  • Blog posts
  • Webinars
  • Big content (games, tools, long-form content, parallax scrollers)
  • Comprehensive guides
  • Videos
  • Email newsletters
  • Ads
  • Landing Pages
  • Infographics

Consideration: The Middle of The Funnel

Now, your goal is to start acquiring direct customers by providing solutions to the problems they meet through your products.

In the consideration stage, your audience is more prone to think of your brand and its solutions when facing a problem. Therefore, this is the time when you need to provide them the information that will help them assess your products. Don’t try to sell your products and services yet. Instead, show your potential clients that it’s easy to find information that helps them distinguish you among your competitors. Speak directly to them and give them all the knowledge they need to solve their problems.

Types of Content for the Consideration Stage

  • Case studies
  • How-to content
  • Demo videos
  • Product descriptions 
  • Data sheets
  • Social Media Posts
  • White papers
  • E-books

Conversion: The Bottom of The Funnel

At the conversion stage, the goal is simple – turn your potential customers to buying ones. When transactions have occurred, you know you got your audience to the conversion phase. To get there you need to give them detailed product descriptions and provide them with a unique value proposition which they cannot find anywhere else.

Here, you make the final pitch of your products and services. Up until this point, it’s possible that you have lost the attention of a couple of people. So, this is the narrowest part of the funnel. Which means that those who remained interested in your brand, are most certainly about to buy what you sell. You just need to prove them that you’re worth the money and time spent. 

The type of content to use in this phase is more straightforward. Make sure you amaze your audience with your exceptional products and services and the notable value you bring. Focus on the unique features of your products, compare your different products to one another or to those of your competitors. It’s time to sell your message and convert people’s interest into transactions.

Types of Content to Increase Sales

  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Self-Assessments
  • Testimonials
  • A streamlined, comprehensible, and trustworthy sales process

Retention: Beyond the Funnel

After you close the sales with your new customers, it’s natural that you want to keep them. You can send them even further down the funnel to the retention stage. Here, your customers become advocates of your brand, showing loyalty and eventually returning to buy more of your products and services. The goal is to turn the one-time buyers into repeat clients by creating personal connections with them. Show them that they are valued by helping them when they have a problem, giving them special offers and discounts, sharing inside knowledge, and recognizing them for they loyalty.

Types of Content to Create Loyal Customers

  • Customer support
  • Help documentation
  • Special offers, contests, and giveaways
  • Insider how-tos
  • Email outreach and follow-up
  • Effective product UX

There you have it – the basics of the content marketing funnel. Now that you know which types of content to implement in each stage of the funnel, learn more about those different types of content marketing assets and how to use them in your strategy. And, if you are ever in need of help or more information, keep following our blog or contact us directly for a content marketing consultation

person-writing-a-blog-post
Content Marketing is everything. It’s a must. Creating content is the way to go, if you are trying to build a long term brand and customer relationships online. Success doesn’t happen overtime. It happens with long lasting engagement with your current and potential clients. And content marketing is how you can achieve that. It’s a strategy that demands a lot of time and effort but is worth it for both you and your audience. Its purpose is to provide solutions, information, entertainment, and experiences to your target market, while converting their attention to actual sales of your products and services.

Let’s see the most popular types of content marketing assets you should also use to grow your business:

1. Blogging

Maintaining a blog is number one on the list of types of content marketing assets for a good reason.   This is your best way of communicating with your audience. Blog posts are often the central part of brands content marketing strategies. You can write blog posts about your products, features, services, news, interviews, case studies  etc. However, post content that is actually helpful for the readers. Write about everything you believe your customers and potential clients want to know. This is how you can get dedicated readers and loyal clients. 

The benefits from blogging include – communicating with you target market, providing value to people, posting content that can be shared on social media, getting exposure, bringing traffic to you sire, increasing your search engine ranking by improving your SEO. And many many more. Bottom line is that there is no harm of having a blog, only endless opportunities. It is a great way to offer value at a fairly low cost. 

There are a few important tips you need to follow when writing your posts:

  • Write quality and original content. People won’t read ten articles that are completely the same on a given topic. They need new and informative content that will help them with a problem or news on subjects they are currently interested in.
  • Post frequently. A good amount is once a week for smaller companies and 2-3 times for bigger brands. If you don’t often post content, you might lose your readers. 
  • Optimize your blog for leads and sales. Have call to action phrases and buttons which will encourage engagement.
  • Implement an interlinking strategy. Add plenty of internal links in your blog posts and through your website, so users can get interested to read more and more content.
  • Use keywords. Research how people talk about your products and services and use their words in the blog posts. That will improve your SEO, bring the most relevant traffic, and connect better to the audience.

2. Social Media

Who doesn’t use social media on a regular basis? Nowadays it’s an absolute must to have social media accounts to promote your brand and communicate with the world. And you need to post every single day, more than once, and on more than one platform. 

Some of those platforms are the well-known Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. But don’t think that when you come up with an idea for a great post on Facebook, that means it can be shared on Instagram too. Oftentimes you will have different types of audiences for each platform. You have to research those audiences to ensure that you communicate to them in the right way and language. Nonetheless, be consistent. Otherwise, you will lose your exposure, reach and opportunities.

Getting spotted on social media can be harder for smaller companies. There’s just a lot of content circulating and people get picky on what they read. Always do your research on what’s trending among the internet users and your audience. People generally like to engage with and share funny content that taps on well-known jokes and anecdotes. However, the tone of your posts will depend on your particular brand as well. Make sure that you are consistent with your mission statement, views and goals.

There are tons of content marketing tools that can help you with managing all of your social media accounts at once. Some of them are Hootsuite and Tassi. You can save hours on social media tasks, so they are worth the investment. 

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing get do miracle when combined with a blog and social media accounts. You probably know perfectly what email marketing is and how it’s used. We all get promotional emails from online shops, blogs, travel agencies, airlines, etc. And sometimes all those emails can fill up our inbox and get annoying.

On the other hand, you will notice that you can get a little annoyed with emails that have nothing to do with your current interests. If, however, you are planning a trip to Iceland and you receive an email from a travel agency with top 10 things to do in the country – that’s the content you actually need and want right now.

Email marketing can be tricky. Again, do your research. See what content your readers want and give it to them. Build relationships with your audience and create value for them. 

4. Video

We see videos across all platforms, all the time. As we mentioned, people want to see information that they need. But they also want to consume it in a way they want. So, integrating video into your content marketing strategy will help you reach even more potential clients. 

Videos are engaging, dynamic and informative. People tend to watch more videos than reading articles. Especially for tutorials on how to use a particular product. You can integrate those videos in your blog posts, social media accounts, and email marketing. Always include a call to action and try to encourage people to get to the end of the sales funnel. 

However, video takes more time to be executed, if you want them to look professional. You need to write scripts, shoot and edit them. And those steps have many subtasks to complete. Lighting, animation, audio recording, etc. Make sure you have someone on the team with experience with this type of content.

Right now, posting stories on Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media activity. Users prefer to tap across people’s stories than scroll down on their newsfeed. Good thing is that they don’t always have to look professional and polished. So, you can post multiple stories and engage your viewers every day. You also can encourage them to create their own videos and stories that promote your brand.

Last thought on videos, always transcribe them. This will improve your SEO and visibility by Google. And, if there are people who prefer to consume content by reading it – you won’t lose potential clients. 

5. Podcasts

Podcasts got trendy in recent years. It’s another type of content marketing that you can use to reach your audience. People listen to podcasts at home, in the car, while camping, etc. Basically, when they are unable to watch a video, but still want to be informed on a topic or just listen to a good story. 

You don’t necessarily need to have a podcast channel with a completely different content from your videos. You can just strip out the audio of your videos or record separate audio while shooting. 

However, if you do want to have a well-developed podcast channel, there are some techniques you need to implement. Some of them include narrating with sound and using simple everyday words. Writing for the ear is a hard task. So, research how listeners receive and absorb information that they get from audio. 

6. Webinars 

Webinars are another type of video with the difference that it’s broadcaster live. You can interact with people who are watching and engage them in the conversation. They are a few platforms you can use for holding webinars. You can record live in Facebook, Instagram and YouTube as well, where viewers can post comments and questions for you. The content for webinar can include announcing a new product, conference talk, discussion panel and others. 

7. Infographics

Infographics are images with sensitized information that can be easily and quickly absorbed. They give you the opportunity to present a lot of information in one picture that is visually appealing and easily understood. Infographics usually include statistics from research and surveys that are presented in an aesthetic way. 

You can use platforms like Canva or Infogram for creating infographics. But having a designer who is familiar with your brand and can create completely original designs, is a better option. When designing an infographic, be consistent with colors, shapes and messages. Keep your design simple and neat, so they the information you want to convey is not overwhelming. Use white space and organize the content in distinct sections.    

Infographics are also great from an SEO perspective. You can embed a link to your site, so when the infographic is shared in other blogs and websites, you will get valuable backlinks.

8. Ebooks

You can publish free or paid ebooks online. They’re easier and inexpensive to make. Everything gets digitized now after all. An ebook can be five, thirty or more than a hundred pages long. However, make sure it provides real solutions to problems that your readers might have. Ebooks generate great leads and usually get potential customers to the end of the sales funnel. Depending on your business, an ebook can focus on anything connected to your field, case studies, inspiring stories from the industry, etc.    

9. Long-Form Content

Ultimate guides are a type of a long-form content. This is a free guide, typically 5,000-15,000 words, that is informative and educational. It’s distributed free and it’s a great way to build customer loyalty and increase subscribers. 

Break guides into clear sections and promote each section on all the other channels and platforms we introduced above. You can create it as a pdf that you can upload or post each section with its own URL on your blog.

You can also have long-form content with the idea to be distributed only to the email subscribers of your business. This way they will receive one of a kind content that is just for this special group of people. 

10. White Papers

A white paper is a persuasive, in-depth report that focus on a specific topic and presents a problem and gives a solution to it. It sound authoritative since it aims to help readers understand an issue and guide them to the solution through a particular methodology. White papers are very informative packed with data, statistics and evidence. They are great in building loyalty and respect from customers and the industry. 

As with long-form content, white papers need to be divided into sections. Add a summary, conclusion and table of contents for clear understanding on what is included in the text. White papers are tremendously valuable when it comes to selling your products or services.

 

There you go! Now you know 10 of the most beneficial types of content marketing assets. Make sure you use them consistently and efficiently. In order to generate the most leads, you need to have a marketing department within your business or hire a digital marketing agency that their sole task is to handle your content marketing strategy. In the future, we will dwell more into the details of each type of content and introduce a few others.

Through content optimization, you can better communicate to search engines the relevance of pages on your site to certain topics. Simply put, content optimization is the practice of improving both text and media elements of your site. By mapping keywords to specific text and media elements, you can both improve your users’ experience and boost your ranking on SERPs. One important thing to remember when optimizing your content is that search engines now look beyond specific target keywords on your site, they consider the whole semantic cloud of keywords and topics which are included on your site. But before we dive into the nuts and bolts let us first examine some aspects of how to select your site domain name.

Selecting Your Domain Name

If you are optimizing an existing site you may have little choice over the site domain name, but if you are starting from scratch there is one thing worth mentioning. Focus on your brand name in your domain name. Do not select a domain name for SEO purposes. Meaning, do not select a domain name based on the keywords you are planning to target! Google has released updates who target this type of behavior and we advise against it. Selecting a domain name for SEO purposes is both useless and risky.

Optimizing Your URLs

A URL is a human-readable text that was designed to replace the numbers (IP addresses) that computers use to communicate with servers. They also identify the file structure on the given website. URLs appear in multiple important locations such as search results, browsers, and cross-domain links. The URL of a page is
​considered to be a ranking factor used by search engines, so you should aim to include target keywords where possible, separated by hyphens. Remember that if you are changing an existing URL, you should
use a 301 redirect to transfer the authority and rankings associated with the old URL to the new one.
Best SEO Practice for URLs:

● Use hyphens to separate words.

They should not use underscores, spaces or any other characters. Not all web applications accurately interpret separators like underscore “_,” plus “+,” or space “%20,” so use the hyphen “­” character to separate words in a URL.

● Shorter is better.

While a descriptive URL is important, minimizing the length and trailing slashes will make your URLs easier to copy and paste (into emails, blog posts, text messages, etc) and will be fully visible in the search results. A common rule of thumb is to keep URLs less than 115 characters.

● Avoid parameters.

If they need to be used the number of parameters should be limited to two or fewer.

● Employ Empathy.

Place yourself in the mind of a user and look at your URL. If you can easily and accurately predict the content you’d expect to find on the page, your URLs are appropriately descriptive. You don’t need to spell out every last detail in the URL, but a rough idea is a good starting point.

● Keyword use is important (but overuse is dangerous).

If your page is targeting a specific term or phrase, make sure to include it in the URL. However, don’t go overboard by trying to stuff in multiple keywords for SEO purposes ­ overuse will result in less usable URLs and can trip spam filters.

● Go static.

The best URLs are human readable without lots of parameters, numbers, and symbols. Using technologies like mod_rewrite for Apache and ISAPI_rewrite for Microsoft, you can easily transform dynamic URLs into a more readable static version. Even single dynamic parameters in a URL can result in lower overall ranking and indexing. Note: You must have a unique URL for each page of your site!

The Importance of Page Titles

Page titles are one of the most important elements which communicate relevance to the search engines. Well optimized page titles should include a relevant target keyword at the beginning followed by a brand name. Including the brand name in your titles also helps lift your brand authority. Here is an example of an optimal formula you can use when writing your page titles:
Primary Keyword Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Additionally, page titles are also important because they communicate the value of the search result to users. You should also consider the emotional impact page titles have on users since they appear on SERPs, and have an effect on the click­through rate, Remember to keep your page titles short and very descriptive. Search engines will truncate your page titles if they are too long! As a rule, try to keep your titles under 60 characters. Additionally, it is very important for you to have a unique title tag for all your pages! Writing Effective Meta Descriptions Including targeted keywords in meta descriptions might not help much in terms of search rankings as it used to a couple of years ago. However, adding targeted keywords and their variations in your meta description can assure users that the information on the result is relevant to their search. Writing your meta descriptions creatively and including call­to­action in them will improve the click-through rate of your page in search results. Additionally, meta descriptions compete for attention with paid search ads in SERPs, for this reason, it is recommended that you include a good call to action (CTA).
As with titles, keep your meta descriptions short and simple. Optimally meta descriptions should be around 140 characters long.

Optimizing Page Headings

Headings and subheadings visually communicate how the information is organized on your page! Like humans, search engines want to understand the logical and thematic relationships within your content. Headings and subheadings help both people and search engines understand what is in each section of your text.
Here is how heading and subheadings look in your HTML:
<h1>Heading 1</h1>
<h2>Heading 2</h2>
<h3>Heading 3</h3>
<h4>Heading 4</h4>
<h5>Heading 5</h5>
<h6>Heading 6</h6>
Tips for optimizing your page headings:
● Less is better, try not to overuse page headings! Limit each page to one H1 & couple of H2s, then use H3s.
● Limit length and avoid words that aren’t relevant to the page’s content.
● Include exact target keyword within heading tags (H1), but use variations afterwards to avoid obvious repetition and keyword stuffing.
● Include target phrases toward the front of heading tags for best performance.
● Include support content after heading tags; each heading should precede a body of
relevant content.
● Place heading tags in order. H1 should appear first, then the H2, H3, etc.

Examples

Targeted keyword: “SEO Guide”
Poor H1 Heading: ” … ” (you don’t have one on your page), or “Read these cool SEO Suggestion to find out more about SEO.” The targeted keyword is not included keyword stuffing because the word SEO is used twice Better H1 Heading:
“Free SEO Guide” The targeted keyword is included unfortunately this heading is not very descriptive
Best H1 Heading:
“Top SEO Guide by Leading Experts” This heading has the targeted keyword and is very descriptive to users. Well optimized and targeted page headings are very effective in communicating the value
of your content and its structure to both humans and engines.

Optimizing Your Images

Though search engines are generally very effective in analyzing text elements, they have a difficult time analyzing images. When engines look at pages of your site they cannot perceive images like humans do, in that regard engines are a lot like blind people. In order for engines to understand what images might be about they look at:
● Image file names and alternative (ALT) text;
● The text surrounding the image;
● Links pointing to the image;
Optimizing your images for SEO is important because of search engines now return “blended” results to queries.

For example, a search for “athletic shoes” can return images, videos, and text.

File names and ALT tags

Having your target keywords in the file names and alt tags of any images that are central to the content of the page can have a positive effect on your page’s rankings, so consider having highly relevant images on your pages with well-written file names and alt tags. Additionally, ensure that your images are surrounded by appropriate text. There are several elements that can be optimized to help your images rank highly in search engine image search and blended results. Choose the target keywords that you think are descriptive of the content or the image itself. The purpose of image alt text is primarily to describe the image if it either doesn’t load or the user is visually impaired and using a screen reader, so stuffing unrelated phrases into your image elements could be detrimental to the accessibility of your site.

Alt Text

An image’s alt text is one of the strongest signals to search engines with regards to what the image is about, so it’s crucial to include your target keywords here. In addition to helping an image appear in image search, there is some evidence that the presence of targeted images helps the page itself rank in regular search results.
The alt attribute is written in HTML as follow:
<img src=”folder/filename.jpg” alt=”Your target keywords amongst other descriptive text” />
Bad: alt=”Boots”
Better: alt=”Mid­Calf Lace­Up Boots”
Best: alt=”Women’s Mid­Calf Lace­Up Boots”
Avoid alt=”Boots Shoes Sandals Pumps Heels Wedges Sneakers Loafers Clogs Slippers Mules Waffle Stompers”
Here is what the full image code would look like:
<img src=”../images/womens­mid­calf­lace­up­boots.jpg” width=”100′′ height=”100′′ alt=” women’s mid­calf lace­up boots” />
SEO best practices for Alt text
● Say as much as you can about the specific image. Your description should be useful and information­rich.
● Avoid keyword stuffing, which can result in negative user experience and be perceived as spam
● Keep the description short and to the point. There is no defined character limit but it’s a product description, not a novel so try to keep it under 100 characters (4 – 5 words)
● Use alt=”” for images that aren’t meaningful like decorations or bullet points.
● Use alt text for logos that are descriptive of the business or organization

Image File Name

Using target keywords in your image’s file name with keywords separated by hyphens can also be effective. That is to say, your file name should look something like your­target­keywords.jpg before you upload it to your site or server. You also want your image file­name to accurately describe the image. Using solid file­naming conventions throughout your site will help engines understand more about your description. Using the same boot example above, a non­SEO friendly way to name “Women’s Mid­Calf Lace­Up Boots” would be:
image/0016B.jpg. No one will find your image unless they’re searching directly for “0016B”.  Though categorizing each file name by SKU might be easier for your developer, it’s not doing any favors for your
SEO.
An SEO ­friendly way to name the same image would be womens­mid­calf­lace­up­boots.jpg
SEO best practices for file­naming:
1. Use appropriate keywords BUT avoid keyword stuffing
2. Separate out words using a dash (­) or an underscore (_)
3. Never leave spaces in between words or they’ll end up looking like this women%27s%20mid%20calf%20lace&up%20boots.jpg Some content management systems rename files to include a unique number or string in order to make sure that the file name is unique, so check your images after they’ve been uploaded. If your file names are rewritten, it could be worth working with your development team to configure your site to preserve descriptive naming. Nearby Text Text on the page that is close to the image can have an effect on how well an image ranks for a given key phrase.  If the image is part of an article, it should be highly relevant and use the target keywords and related phrases throughout.
More specifically, image captions are closely associated so employing keywords here is highly advisable.

Anchor Text

As with web search, the anchor text used will be associated with the target URL, so ensure that you use your target keywords if you create text links to your images. File Size and Format It’s advisable to use images of a reasonable size, as small images are often too low quality for the user, and large images are slow to load.  As a general rule, create images of at least 300pixels in either dimension and lower than a megabyte in file size. There are obvious exceptions here, such as thumbnails, large infographics, or intentionally high-resolution images. SEO Best Practices for image file size:
● Smaller is always better, as long as you aren’t losing image quality. Larger images with better resolution might be ranked a little better than smaller and lower resolution images.
● Do not let your browser resize the image for you.
● Always use an editing program to resize your image.
● In addition, use commonly accepted file formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG.
● Images compressed for right dimensions and for file sizes.
● Base 64 encoding for images avoided. Image XML Sitemap To increase the changes all your images will be properly indexed, you can add them to your site’s XML sitemap or create a separate image sitemap for them if you want to keep things organized. The only data that is required is the image  URL, but you can also add the caption, title, and geo­location of the image (where it was taken) to your sitemap. We will further explore sitemaps in the next chapter.
Read Google’s guidelines on images in your XML sitemap. We recommend using the image’s alt­text as the title in your sitemap, and to keep the caption the same as on your site.
Optimizing Videos
Like with images, search engines are having a hard time understanding the quality and relevance of video content, because they cannot watch it, and comprehend it as humans do. Because of this engines look at textual and markup elements to determine what the video is all about.
Here are some best practices to consider when optimizing your video content.
● Produce videos which are interesting and add value to your users’ experience.
● Describe the video contents with a paragraph next to it. This also helps people decide whether they want to watch it.
● Have a catchy and enticing title.
● Use a keyword in your video title.
● Transcribe your videos.  This is helpful for both blind people who use text to speech browsers and engines.
● Markup your videos with microformats. We will discuss the microformats in the next section.
● Use video hosting providers like youtube and vimeo.
● Avoid placing more than one video per page of your site. There are obvious exceptions to this when more videos will really enhance the experience of your users.
● Include relevant tags in your video description.
Additionally, you should also use a video sitemap file. XML Sitemaps are files using special syntax that map all your pages and content on your site. Video sitemaps inform engines about the category, title, description, running time, and intended audience for each video contained on your site. For more information refer to the Google Webmasters guide on Creating Video Sitemaps.

The Advantage of Using Microformats

Microformats provide syntax with which you can identify very specific attributes. You can augment the code of content elements like food recipes, videos, photos, events, reviews, etc., and help engines gain a much deeper semantic understanding​  of what this content is all about. Schema.org offers a tremendous variety of microformats you can use and as a general rule, you should augment as many content elements of your pages as possible.
Google calls enhanced search listings “rich snippets,” which benefit websites by standing out more, which may drive more traffic. Though using semantic markup will not give you a ranking boost directly, if click-through improves, rankings may also improve, as search engines want to reward sites that attract clicks.
Rich Snippet Benefits The main benefit is that it extends the number of things that you’re able to describe to the search engines using structured data markup. The chief SEO benefit of providing such markup is increased visibility in the SERPs when search engines generate rich snippets for a product in the search results. Semantic markup is still highly under­utilized, so it’s a great opportunity to explore its use to have a competitive advantage over other pages in search. Here is how the augmented content looks like on SERPs.
Having optimized quality, and relevant content on your site must be the most important aspect of your SEO efforts. Additionally, once you have everything in place you need to measure the effectiveness of your content. Have good analytics software in place and track:
● What is your most popular content?
● What is your least popular content, where do visitors drop off your site the most (bounce rate)
● Are your visitors engaged, which content is shared and linked to the most.
● Is the content you produce producing the business results you are after.
Girl showing her presentation on content marketing.
Last week we talked about best content marketing resources that introduced you to the world of content creation. Now let’s look at some of the best content marketing tools of 2019 that are used by professionals in the industry every day. Creating content is a process with multiple subtasks – from researching your buying personas, to keyword research, to revising and analyzing your content. We will take you through each step and advise you on the best tools you should integrate within your business. Let’s begin!

Buyer Persona Templates

The buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of the ideal customer for your business. Establishing the buyer personas for your business is important as it helps you segment your audience and create better marketing campaigns and content. However, it is not an easy task creating the buyer personas. It cannot happen from scratch. You have to base them on thorough research and data. You can include their demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and problems. These are some free tools you can use to create your buying personas:

The Content Marketing Institute has a simplified solution for a template that is easy to use. It urges you to think about the persona’s challenges and goals.

Hubspot has a great free set of templates to download for creating buyer personas that will help your organize the data from your research and present it in a beautiful and interesting way to your marketing team.

UpCloseandPersona provides an interactive way for creating the buyer persona by giving you the opportunity to put in detailed information step by step. It is an online platform that will send you the result via email at the end.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is vital, if you want your content to be noticed by customers and search engines. Often times marketers will assume that they know for sure how their audience is expressing themselves. But you will be surprised. The customers usually use totally different words to find products they want to buy. It is important to know those words, so you can include them in your content and thus connect with the clients.

Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools out there. Its tools include keywords explorer, content explorer, site explorer, rank tracker, site audit and many more. They are constantly improving and adding more features that will help you create the most searched content on the web. The keyword explorer gives you insights on the most searched words and phrases for your niche. On the other hand, if you add those keywords in the content explorer, you will be able to find out what are most trending topics for your niche.

Generator for Blog Topics

Buzzsumo gives your the opportunity to find trending topics in your particular niche. That allows you to create content that is engaging and interesting for your buying personas right now at the moment. You can also find out what content is trending on social media channels and which of those channels is perfect to promote your business.

Revision of Content

Grammarly is a great tool, if you are used to typing fast and don’t enjoy revising your content. Making mistakes is not an uncommon situation as we constantly write messages, blog posts, work memos, emails etc. This tool checks all your sentences for grammar and spelling mistakes but can also make suggestions about changing the style and tone. It can save you some embarrassing moments along the way for sure!  

Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for SEO. It helps you optimize content for a keyword, previews and edits meta-descriptions and URL slugs, suggests relevant internal links, etc. When posting a blog post, it will give you full report on what you did right and what you need to improve. It is an “all-in-one” type of tool that can quickly catch SEO mistakes and prompt you to revise your content more thoroughly.  

Organize Your Team

Organization is key! Your team needs to stay organized, if you want work to be done efficiently. Often times, you will have more than one person working on creating a specific piece of content – generating topics, writing an article, revising it, sharing it on social media, analyzing the results, etc. Here come the tools that will help organize the workflow for your whole company.

CoSchedule is a popular editorial calendar that helps you schedule posts on different platforms and assign tasks to your team. It’s a drag-and-drop tool that can be integrated with WordPress and helps you keep your content trending and engaging. CoSchedule also allows you to create weekly schedules for your team, where they can post status updates and comments.

Asana is a another platform that helps teams manage their projects and tasks. You can assign tasks with deadlines, post comments, track working hours and project statuses. It can be used as an editorial calendar as you can add subtasks such as writing, editing, and promoting content.

Social Media

Now that you have created your great content, it’s time to share it to your followers and customers on social media.

Hootsuite is a platform that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place. It is so much easier to find, share and curate content throughout all channels with just a few clicks. Hootsuite also monitors all your posts and gives you data how to boost and improve them.

Email Marketing

As you share your content on social media, it’s also a great idea to share and promote it to the customers who have subscribed to your newsletters.

Mailchimp is still the biggest and most popular email marketing tool. You can create lists with your subscribers and campaigns to engage them. You can add your new content in your emails through Mailchimp templates and track how your audience reacts. You can see how many people are opening your emails and if they are clicking on your blog posts.

Analyze the Results

Some of the tools above will give you data that you can use to analyze the results of your content marketing campaigns in each specific channel you have. However, there is one more powerful analyzing tool worth mentioning.

Google Analytics tracks all your business metrics such as goals, form submissions, product purchases, buyer’s journey and many more. You can even set up behavioural events, like scroll-depth. Analyzing this data will improve your knowledge on how your customers behave on your website and subsequently, if there are any areas for improvement. It is free and the basic features are easy and intuitive to use. When it comes to more in-depth data, you might want to use a digital marketing company to help you out or pass an online course.

Final Words

The above mentioned tools have proved to be useful and easy to use. However, they cannot help you with your content marketing strategy. No matter how many plug-ins and platforms you use for your business, nothing beats a good marketing strategy, thoroughly devised by specialists in the industry. If you are planning to focus on content marketing for your business, don’t hesitate to email us or give us a call, and we will give you a consultation on how you can skyrocket your company.

 

Content Marketing Resources
Content Marketing plays an important part in search engine optimization. Through content you can communicate your messages to your audience and the search engines. Creating that content, however, is not an easy task. Content can be in many forms, written for different purposes, and in different tones and styles. Some companies struggle to understand the importance of having a content marketing strategy. To help you out, we listed our top resources when it comes to content marketing creating. Here, you will find some of the best content marketing blogs that will introduce you to the industry and help you skyrocket your company.

Hubspot

Hubspot has proven to be the to-go place for SEO tips and strategies over the past few years. Their blog is divided by sections – Sales, Marketing, Service, News and trends. Their content marketing blog is one of the best ones you’ll find on the web. In addition, Hubspot has a number of Ebooks, reports and other resources, which are written and generated by experts in the industry. Finally, Hubspot has free online courses and certification which will guide you through the best business practices, strategies and trends.

Moz

Moz is one of the most popular SEO tools in the industry. The company has a great blog on search engine optimization which covers the newest trends and tips. One of the articles – What is Content Marketing – is an introduction to the world of content marketing. If you don’t know anything about the industry, this is the perfect place to start. Look through the blog and find even more informative blog posts on the topic that will advance your skills.

Content Marketing Institute

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) aims to advance and better the practice of content marketing. The website is full of practical knowledge, tips, insights and advice from experts in the industry. You will also find the latest news, information, and advances that are moving the industry of content marketing forward.

IZEA’s blog

IZEA’s mission is to help marketers and creators connect. They have multiple free online resources to download about content marketing and influencer marketing. You can find ebooks, white papers, case studies, trend reports and how-to-guides. Moreover, they also maintain a blog on the latest trends and news in the industry.

Duct Tape Marketing

Duct Tape marketing is an extensive resource for guides and news on everything about digital marketing. Their blog is divided into categories – SEO, Advertising, Consulting Business, Content Marketing, Online Marketing, Social Media, Small Business Finance and many more.

Copy Blogger

Up until now, we listed resources which cover news and trends from multiple fields in the industry. The Copy Blogger is a website that focuses only on content marketing. You can find up-to-date guides and articles, tips on writing for current events or holidays, and newest trends. According to VentureBeat “Copyblogger is the bible of content marketing.” Moreover, you can contact some of their certifies writers for advice or even get premium content marketing education by signing up for a Training course.

An Ultimate Guide

If you decide that you don’t want to dwell so much on content marketing yet, and just understand the basics of it, check out the Ultimate Guide to Remarkable Content. It’s written by Ramit Sethi, who is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of iwillteachyoutoberich.com. His guide on content marketing is catchy, well-stylized, informative and inspiring. He has multiple other free resources on the topic that will get you motivated to boost your company through creating content.

Velocity Partners

The resources above focus on B2C interactions or your business communicating with your customers. Velocity Partners is a blog on how to create content marketing for B2B or business to business relationships. You can find a lot of interesting intakes and content marketing tips, news and case studies that will transform how you look on your business connections.

Books

Blogs and online guides are an amazing opportunity for learning online. However, the information usually is short, synthesized and rarely fully detailed. If you decide to devote a lot of energy on content marketing for your business, we advice to also start reading books on the topic, written by specialists in the industry. The Content Marketing Institute has an updated post on the best content marketing books for 2018 you should read. And, soon they will have a list for 2019 as well. Some of the titles are “Make Blue Ocean Shift Beyond Competing,” “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide on Creating Customers with Word of Mouth,” and “Break the Wheel”. Only from their titles you can be ensured that you will get into depths about creating quality content that will increase your company’s visibility and profits.

Our Blog

Finally, you can always find tips and news in our blog, where we post guides on content marketing, keyword research, link building, website development, search engines and more topics from the industry of digital marketing and search engine optimization.

Throughout the years of working in the industry, we’ve gathered knowledge and experience helping our clients advance their businesses. Now, we want to share this know-how with you as well! Our blog is still new, but we are aiming to post educational content every week, that will help you learn more about the world of search engine optimization. Expect interesting and informative content on SEO, web development and digital marketing from our experts in the industry.

 

There you have it. All the resources you need to excel at content marketing are out there for you. Hopefully, one day your company’s best practices on creating content will be a great case study written by those resources.

 

When marketers discuss different digital and content marketing strategies, they often keep business-to-customer (B2C) in mind and set appropriate for such an audience objectives. They talk on how to create a video to entertain the masses and how to affect individuals at each stage of the marketing funnel. And while this may be sufficient on the B2C level, the efforts for reaching another business and another company differ and require a specific approach and mindset. Knowing the distinctions between those two content marketing efforts would definitely give you an edge and allow you to target, reach, and convert other businesses more successfully.

1. Goals and Objectives

As with any digital marketing campaign, the core of the content marketing one is the right set of objectives. And those differ with the target audience. With B2C content marketing, the effort is focused on reaching as many people as possible and building brand awareness, so 84% of those companies report this as their primary goal. They want customers to have heard about their offering so that they can consider it while choosing among alternatives. In the business-to-business environment, the number of people reached doesn’t matter that much. Most important here is communicating the right message to the right set of businesses which are also potential clients and partners. Here, awareness steps aside and conversion and retention are the keys to success. 88% of B2B marketers claim they value customer loyalty the most. A common KPI in the B2B content marketing context, therefore, is the return on investment (ROI).

2. Content

Having set the goals of the marketing campaign, one thing remains certain: valuable content will win the hearts of both B2C and B2B audiences. However, the intent of users is different. In the B2C environment, users will often browse aimlessly and scroll for hours without a specific purpose. They will be led by simple curiosity and a desire to be entertained. They would trust fellow customers and would love to interact with them. The business representatives, however, have no time to waste. Or at least, no time to waste while doing their professional duties. They will, therefore, look for specific information that would answer their questions and meet their needs and wants. Instead of searching for funny cat videos, business people will be specific in their search queries and will evaluate the expertise of the authors. They are often willing to trust and interact only with the thought leaders in the field. The content one will produce and craft for these two audiences, therefore, must take this distinction into account.

Differences in Research, Keywords, and Content Planning

While both content marketing strategies rely on keywords, they take two very different research approaches. In B2C marketing, the keyword research facilitated by famous tools like the Ahrefs one is leading. What the users look for the most defines the content type and direction. However, for B2B marketing, the keywords of the highest volume will not matter as much as the insights gained through direct interaction with other businesses. Here, the content is planned based on experience, an awareness of recent trends, and an understanding of partners’ needs.

3. Content Format

Following on the previous difference in the type and intent of the content is its format. As already mentioned, the B2C content marketing strategies focus on breadth and aim at creating something viral, easy to comprehend and share. Visuals are the king. The text needs to be minimal and content must be attractive and impressive so as to have a chance in winning the battle for people’s attention. Videos were reported to increase time spent on site with 100% and people who watched a product video were 85% more likely to later purchase. On the other hand, B2B content marketing focuses on depth. Accountant, engineers, and managers do not seek fancy visuals. So, it is not so important to create content to appeal to all and everyone. Drafting a unique expert piece which is more comprehensive and of better quality than everything else on the web will automatically make you a favorite both of your audience and of the search engines. Specific infographics, detailed case studies, useful templates, and valuable e-books are the right format for this audience. Focus and invest there.

4. Outreach

Knowing your goals and having your content is half the work done. The next key step is delivering this content to your target audience through the right channels. And pretty logically, those differ, as well. For a B2C company, the message will be best received in the social media where its users spend the most time. For certain brands and products, this could be Pinterest, while for others this would be Instagram. Sharing entertaining and interesting content there has the potential to reach thousands of people. No one puts a detailed and professional case study on Instagram though. This type of content is better received in the professional channels or social media like LinkedIn and often is boosted with the help of advertising and PPC efforts. Thus it could reach the target audience and its fullest potential. Search engine optimization is also key, as business people will come with specific questions and look for expert and specific answers, preferably in the top results on the search engine result page.

5. Time Span

Generally, there are two types of content, one that follows the trends and one that elaborates on evergreen topics and problems. The B2C content targets immediate results and aims at capturing all the current fashions and transforming them into actual results. In the business-to-business environment, what matters most are the good relationships and partnerships. Marketers do not aim at closing a one-time sale, but at building good connections with other businesses and establishing trust. Therefore, immediate results and conversion may be left behind in favor of the pursuit of long-term goals and objectives, which in turn have the potential to bring much higher returns.

Key Takeaways

Different in nature, these two basic content marketing strategies still have one huge thing in common, which is also the heart and soul of contemporary content marketing, and that’s value. Determine your audience correctly, let your efforts be just value-driven, and you will surely notice the impact of your campaigns.

What is quality and relevant content?

The most important determinant of the quality of your content is its uniqueness. Like people, search engines want to see unique information. Imagine if the opposite was true, the internet would be full of irrelevant information that can be found in multiple locations. What a terrible place this would be! Since search engines strive to deliver value to their users, they penalize the use of duplicate content. In order to rank high on SERPs, you need to have original content that adds value to your users. Furthermore, you must base your content on solid keyword research: you must know how your users communicate their intent and what information they are looking for. You must build your content around the keywords and language they use. When you think of your site content, think of value. How does your content add value to your users and your community? People and search engines alike will reward you based on how much you contribute.