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content promotion Archives - STRYDE

Why Aren’t You Repromoting Your Content?

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

You’ve hopped aboard the content marketing train, and that’s a smart move! However, some challenges still await you.

For starters, only 32% of marketers say they’re effectively executing enough content.  Furthermore, content creation itself along with its management claim the 2nd largest portion of digital marketing budgets.

That’s a recipe for disaster: a big ol’ budget and still not enough content.

Saving Yourself From Disaster

What will save you from this content marketing disaster? The answer is really three-fold.

Content Curation

The first component is content curation. Curation fills in the gaps between when you aren’t creating content with high-quality 3rd party content.

The second piece is repackaging and repurposing your premium content. By using R&R, you’ll get much more mileage out of the content you’re already creating.

The final piece of this puzzle is something we haven’t touched on yet here on the Stryde Blog. Typically, the most fundamental practices are the ones that are most often overlooked. And few things are more fundamental than the practice of repromoting your content.

What To Repromote

Not every piece of content you create is going to be heavily repromoted, or even repromoted at all. Certain types of content lend themselves to an expiration date. These types can be anything from contests to event recaps. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to repromote a contest that has ended or an event that happened 8 months ago.

Industry updates are another piece of content that you probably won’t want to spend much time repromoting. Once news has broken, revisiting it weeks later doesn’t give the appearance that you’re on the cutting edge of your industry.

So, what content does that leave you with to promote? Plenty!

The best content for repromotion is typically called “evergreen” content. Evergreen means just as it sounds: it will, for the foreseeable future, remain of high value to your target market.

Where To Repromote

Repromoting can occur on any channel you occupy, but the most popular method of repromotion is through social media platforms.

Twitter is one of the easiest platforms to repromote upon, as you can select different quotes or angles from you piece of content, and Tweet it out again and again. Tweets on Twitter are buried very quickly, which is why repromoting here frequently is essential.

Along with social channels, repromotion can also occur through your company’s newsletter or email marketing. Including a snippet and a link to evergreen content within an email sent out to customers is a great way to reach an already interested audience. It can also allow them to catch up on any content you’ve created that they might have missed.

When To Repromote

While repromoting is crucial to content marketing success, the last thing you want is to shove the same piece of content in front of your audience over and over again. People don’t want to see that, I know I don’t want to see that! It just doesn’t create value for your company or your customers.

This makes your approach to timing of repromotion very critical.

If you’ve already promoted a piece of content via a social channel, try sharing the repromotion at a different time. Repromotion really gives you a chance to A/B test what times work best for reaching your target audience on social media.

Sharing at different times is a great way to mitigate the risk of consumer content exhaustion. Another way to mitigate the risk is to use a different image, quote, or angle in the copy of your share. The new verbiage could attract a new set of eyes that would have otherwise scrolled right past your content. Once again, it’s a great method to A/B test titles, too.

As you can see, content repromotion is an essential facet of every content marketing initiative. How are you planning and organizing your repromotion efforts?

4 Big Content Marketing Challenges & How To Overcome Them

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

content marketing challenges

Whether you’re just getting started with a content marketing initiative, or have been practicing the art for years, you’re bound to hit a few bumps along the way. Not only are all of the challenges present that occur with all initiatives, like budget and staff, but there are also the challenges of encouraging adoption of a non-traditional method of marketing.

Last year, Curata surveyed over 500 marketing professionals and published the results in the 2014 Content Marketing Tactics Planner. These 500 professionals gave insight into their biggest challenges with content marketing, these included the following (in order of importance): limited staff, limited budget, creating enough content on a regular basis, finding the best sources to create amazing content, organizational culture, measuring impact of content, and promoting content.

Curata’s findings are quite telling in many ways. First, it sheds a light on to the importance of monetary resources available. Second, as Curata astutely points out, content measurement and promotion are on the bottom of the list. This is a big, big problem.

The thing we love most about a challenge is the opportunity it creates to overcome it. Below, we’ll address how we see the challenges of content marketing and how to address each one.

Content Marketing Challenge #1: Limited Resources

As we mentioned earlier, focusing on promotion and measurement is paramount in successful content marketing. However, for content marketing to even be considered, you must answer this question first.

The answer to this is simple: content marketing costs less than traditional marketing. In fact, it costs 62% less than traditional marketing does and generates approximately 3 times as many leads. The bottom line is that marketing dollars are better spent with content marketing.

But what about the headcount? You can probably make room in the budget for a content marketing initiative, but hiring a full time writer, social media specialist, SEO, graphic designer, and even videographer is harder for one to make happen.

Here’s when outsourcing is your friend. Hiring specialists in the field of content marketing makes your job much easier and hedges your bets for success. Check out our list comparing and contrasting hiring an agency versus building an in-house team here.

If you decide to hire a reputable agency, you won’t have to address the challenges of creation, promotion, and how to measure results. Go you! But, if you’re building an in-house team, here’s how to address those issues.

Content Marketing Challenge #2: Content Creation Processes

Building processes is never simple and content creation is no different. However, laying this groundwork of processes is essential for creating killer content on a regular basis.

The first step here is to take a look at your buyer personas (or create them if you haven’t yet). From these buyer personas you’ll generate content topics and types. A monthly or quarterly editorial calendar should then be created where you’ll plan out the dates of publication for the content you will create.

The editorial calendar is also where you’ll plan your curation strategy. Curated content should be 25% of your overall content marketing mix. Within this content, you can share relevant industry news as well as quality 3rd party content that will support your own created content.

Content Marketing Challenge #3: Promotion

Many people get so wrapped up in the content creation phase, that they forgo the attention that promotion requires.

When you’re starting a content marketing campaign, expect that you’ll be spending 50% of your time on “content” and 50% of your time on “marketing.” While that may seem absurdly fundamental, please do carry it with you.

Content marketing promotion may take many forms, including promotion on owned, earned, and paid channels. Common methods of content promotion are:

  • Social media (unpaid)
  • Social media (paid)
  • Content promotion networks
  • Re-Targeting

Content Marketing Challenge #4: Measurement

There are really two facets of the measurement content marketing challenge. The first is know what to measure. The second is understanding what those measurements mean.

To address the issue of what to measure, it’s imperative that you have concrete goals. Your KPIs will vary depending on the type of goals you have set. Understanding what your goals are is the first step in addressing measurement issues.

After you have determined and calculated your KPIs, it’s time to understand them. You may have had a 59% increase in followers. Great! So what? What does that mean for your brand? Does this indicate an increase of brand awareness? Are those followers of high value? The only way to answer these questions is to dig in to your data.

Content Marketing: Accomplished

By addressing each of these big content marketing challenges, you’re on the road to content marketing success. While tackling limited resources, creation process, promotion, and measurement issues early makes your ride much smoother along the way.

Are there any other challenges that you would address? What are your content marketing hurdles?

Top 50 Content Marketing Experts

By | Content Marketing | 2 Comments

Top50CMsAt Stryde, we strive to connect with all facets of our digital marketing community. Accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of who we consider to be the Top 50 Content Marketing experts. To compile this list, we used things like Twitter followers, frequency and quality of interactions in the social realm, breadth and depth of experience, as well as impact on the industry as a whole. By no means is this list exhaustive and it is listed in alphabetical order. Also, you’ll probably want to find these experts on Twitter. Click on the link names in each experts description, or save the time and subscribe our Top 50 Content Marketers list on Twitter. In the coming weeks we’ll also have posts of the Top 50 Social Media and SEO Experts, so stay tuned!

1. Adele Revela, President at The Buyer Persona Institute

For over 25 years, Adele Revella has helped marketers become trusted sources of competitive strategies. As the president of The Buyer Persona Institute, Revella leads practical workshops that dig into real-world business issues. She also spreads the word of using buyer personas to influence all marketing decisions.

2. Ahava Leibtag, President at Aha Media Group

Ahava Leitbag has more than 15 years of experience in writing, messaging, and marketing. In addition, she authored the popular blog Online it ALL Matters, which focused on the healthcare and higher education industries.

3. Amanda Maksymiw, Content Marketing Manager at Lattice Engines

As content marketing manager, Amanda Maksymiw is responsible for setting and managing Lattice Engine’s content marketing strategy including creating, producing, and publishing engaging content. Maksymiw has also been crowned “Content Marketing Tactician of the Year” in 2012.

4. Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Solutions

Andy Crestodina has authored almost 200 articles on content marketing topics ranging from SEO to social media. With 12 years of experience, Crestodina says the reason he loves web design and web marketing is that it’s both an art and a science.

5. Angie Schottmuller; Inbound Marketing Advisor and Speaker at Three Deep Marketing

Angie Schottmuller has more than 13 years’ experience in multi-channel B2B and B2C in both agency and corporation settings. Recently, she defined the Online Marketing university curriculum for The Art Institutes. Schottmuller is also is an active contributor on Search Engine Watch.

6.  Ann Handley, CCO at MarketingProfs

Ann Handley has been recognized by ForbesWoman as one of the top 20 women bloggers, as well as one of the most influential women in social media. Her impressive resume does not end there, Handley also co-founded ClickZ.com and is a best selling author of the book Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage and Ignite Your Business.

7. Arnie Kuenn, CEO at Vertical Measures

Not only is Arnie Kuenn the CEO of Vertical Measures, he is also the author of Accelerate! Moving your Business Forward Through the Convergence of Search, Social, and Content Marketing. For more than 20 years, Kueenn has held executive positions in the world of new technologies and marketing.

8. Barry Feldman, CEO at Feldman Creative

Barry Feldman’s firm Feldman Creative provides its clients with content marketing strategies that are unique and results driven. Barry has been named a Top 40 Digital Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute and as one of the 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know by Linkedin.

9. Barry Graubart, Vice President of Product Strategy at Connotate

In addition to his work at Connotate, Barry Graubart operates Content Matters, which specializes in Digital Content Strategies. Graubart has over two decades of experience in content marketing and technology, and has led the development and marketing of countless subscription services.

10. Bernie Borges, Founder and CEO at Find and Convert

Bernie Borges leads Find and Convert strategy and provides inspiration to not only teammates, but also clients. Not satisfied with one job to do, Borges is an author, speaker, digital TV show and podcast host.

11. Brian Clark, Founder and CEO at Copyblogger Media

A self described serial entrepreneur, Brian Clark had built three successful service businesses utilizing online marketing skills before he moved to a completely online business model. Thus, Copyblogger Media was born. It is an innovative company that provides the tools needed to successfully grow businesses through social media and online marketing.

12. Chanse Arrington, Head of Developer and Content Marketing at Nokia

Chanse Arrington specializes in strategy and marketing of mobile technologies, web services, consumer experiences, app development and new products. He also is the creator of DVLUP, a service that helps developers become more successful by participating in various “app challenges.”

13. Dayna Rothman, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Marketo

Danya Rothman runs Marketo’s content initiatives and also acts as the managing editor of Marketo’s blog. Not only does she have extensive experience in content marketing, but also in social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing.

14. Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Velocity

Velocity touts itself as the “B2B marketing agency to the stars” and with content marketing junkie Doug Kessler as creative director, it is sitting comfortably in this position. Kessler is a copywriter as his core, but also enjoys analytics.

15. Francine Hardaway, Co-Founder at Stealthmode Partners

A true pioneer in email and internet use, Francene Hardaway is also a serial entrepreneur who counsels and invests in start-up entrepreneurs at Stealthmode Partners.

16. Guillaume Decugis, Co-Founder and CEO at Scoop.it!

Guillaume Decugis is a Stanford educated entrepreneur with an action side. Scoop.it! keeps him busy, but in his free time he’s an avid video gamer and skier. Decugis also grew Musiwave, a pioneer in mobile music, to worldwide operations before it was acquired by Microsoft.

17. Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide

At the young age of 8, Heidi Cohen knew she wanted to be an author. Fast forward to today, Cohen has built incredibly deep knowledge of cutting edge marketing across very diverse product categories. She also sends out a daily actionable marketing post email newsletter 5 days a week for free.

18. Jesse Noyes, Senior Director of Content Marketing at Kapost

Jesse Noyes is no newbie to the content marketing game. Before joining the Kapost team, he was Director of Content Marketing for Offerpop. A Boston native, he began at the Boston Herald and then began reporting for the Boston Business Journal.

19. Joe Chernov, Vice President of Content at HubSpot

Joe Chernov has been graced with the title of “Content Marketer of the Year” and if you’re aware at all of content marketing, he’s probably not a new name to you. He runs the content marketing team at HubSpot and writes for Mashable and the Content Marketing Institute.

20. Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

You can argue that we use the word “content marketing” because of Joe Pulizzi. He started using the term in 2001 and founded the leading content marketing education resource for enterprise brands, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). CMI was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest growing business media company in 2013.

21. John Miller, Founder of ScribewisePro

John Miller has worked in the marketing and media realm for more than two decades. In 2012, he saw the need of content creation and Scribewise was born. Essentially, he has built an outsourced newsroom for numerous organizations.

22. Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO at Buzzfeed

After co-founding the Huffington Post, Jonah Peretti launched Buzzfeed in 2006 and subsequently showed how meaningful share-able content can be. Buzzfeed blazed the trail of social content marketing to build share-able campaigns for the world’s leading brands.

23. Kane Jamison, Founder of Content Harmony

Kane Jamison learned HTML a whopping 18 years ago and began managing websites and content creation in 9 years ago. When Content Harmony was founded in 2012, Jamison and his team have sinced focused on SEO through better content and data-based content strategy.

24. Kevin Baldacci, Product Marketing Manager at Desk.com

As the Product Marketing Manager of Desk.com, Kevin Baldacci is responsible for content creation of the firms products. He can also be found tweeting for Baldacci Family Vineyards and writing content for Desk.com’s blog.

25. Kim Yuhl, Founder of Kimberly Yuhl Media Works

Take a look at Kim Yuhl’s “About Me” on her website, and you’ll find that she has unique and widespread insight on marketing for small business. Kim strives to create a place where “mom and pop kind” of small business owners can get real, practical advice.

26. Lauri Baker, Vice President of Brand Strategy and Sales at The Huffington Post

Lauri Baker has over 15 years of experience in marketing and advertising. Her innovative approach helps brands define, redefine, and market their brands. Before becoming VP, Baker was the Sales Director of Branded Content and acknowledged by Newscred as one of the 50 Most Influential Content Marketers.

27. Lisa Buyer, President and CEO at The Buyer Group

Lisa Buyer has over 20 years of experience in social PR, SEO, social media, branding and digital marketing. Her book, Social PR Secrets, empowers marketing and public relations professionals to successfully utilize the social and digital tools to promote their brands.

28. Marcus Sheridan, Writer, Consultant, and Speaker at The Sales Lion

To say that Marcus Sheridan has a variety of experience would be an understatement. You’ve most likely heard of the incredible inbound marketing success of his swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas. Sheridan’s entertaining yet educational style has lead him to become a highly sought after speaker.

29. Maria Pergolino, Vice President of Marketing at Apttus

Before joining Apttus, Maria Pergolino was a key leader and early member of the Marketo Marketing Team. She has extensive expertise in marketing automation, campaign optimization, inbound and social media marketing.

30. Michael Aagaard, Founder and Owner of Content Verve

Michael Aagaard takes Online Marketing and Conversion Rate Optimization very seriously. Over the past five years, he logged over 15,600 hours testing and optimizing sites. Aagaard has worked with B2B and B2C firms in industries ranging from travel insurance to charities.

31. Michael Brenner, Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP

Not only does Michael Brenner have nearly 20 years of experience serving a multitude of industries, he strongly believes in the power of a customer-centric culture and creating highly engaged employees. Michael also serves as the managing editor of SAP’s Business Innovation blog and contributes to Forbes AdVoice and the Economist.

32. Michael Stoner, Co-Founder and President of mStoner Inc.

Michael Stoner has some of the most extensive experience of any content expert on our list, at nearly 30 years. This does not mean he’s stuck in the past, he works tirelessly to stay ahead of marketing, social media, mobile, and online trends. His firm, mStoner, focuses on serving education institutions with effective strategies and tactics to get real results.

33. Michele Linn, Director of Content at Content Marketing Institue

Michele Linn spends her time as the Director of Content for CMI as well as heading her own content strategy firm, Linn Communications. Linn’s overarching goal with Linn Communications is to help B2B companies develop content strategies to connect with the ideal business customer through websites and content.

34. Murray Newlands, Author, Entrepreneur, and Speaker

An Internet marketing expert, blogger, adviser, teacher, and author, Murray Newlands wears many hats. This former lawyer has worked with the internet marketing industries leading agencies, advertisers, and networks.

35. Neal Schaffer, Author, Social Media Strategy & Social Business Coach, Consultant, Trainer & Speaker

Neal Schaffer has the honor of being listed on the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer for two years in a row. He has also created the leading social media business blog, Maximize social business. When he’s not authoring acclaimed social media books, he’s traveling the world as a social media speaker.

36. Neil Ferree, Founder and President of FerreeMoney

While others on this list wear many hats, Neil Ferree has one focused mission: Monetizing Social Media Marketing. He uses tested and proven social media tools, apps, sites, and processes to maximize and monetize his clients social campaigns.

37. Nick Kellet, Co-Founder of List.ly

Nick Kellet describes himself as an ideas guy and innovator. Judging by the success of List.ly, he is clearly blazing trails. Constantly putting his entrepreneurial skills to use, Kellet has also created GiftTRAP and AnswerSets.

38. Pam Didner, Global Integrated Marketing Strategist at Intel

When she’s not acting as the Global Integrated Marketing Manager for Intel, Pam Didner is a professional business speaker and guest blogger for BtoB Magazine, CMI, and the Huffington Post. She was selected as one of BtoB’s Top Digital Marketers in 2011 and 2012 and was named one of the “Top 50 Content Marketers” in 2011.

39. Paul Roetzer, Founder and CEO at PR 20/20

Paul Roetzer began PR 20/20 in 2005 with the desire to shake things up after spending 7 years at a traditional PR firm. Roetzer also authored the book The Marketing Agency Blueprint.

40. Pawan Deshpande, Founder and CEO at Curata

Pawan Deshpande is responsible for Curata’s vision, management, and advanced development initiatives. This would keep an average person in over their heads, but Deshpande finds time to blog for Content Curation Marketing, CMI, CMO.com, Forbes, Marketingprofs, and numerous other publications.

41. Phil Buckley, Owner of 1918 Internet Services

Since the late 1990’s, Phil Buckley has been working on everything from early web development to system administration. A decade ago, he discovered his passion for online marketing and since then has worked for multi-million dollar e-commerce websites, advertising agencies, and small SEO agencies.

42. Phil Paranicas, Director of New Product Development at ThomasNet

ThomasNet is a free platform designed for sourcing components, equipment, MRO products, raw materials, and custom manufacturing services. While that may sound like the furthest thing from content marketing, Phil Paranicas was named the Top Digital Marketing Strategist by the Online Marketing Institute in February 2014.

43. Rafat Ali, Founder and CEO at Skift

What started as a travel news and information site, Skift raised over $1 million in funding before it began. Rafat Ali plans on turning the site into a hub for content and commerce.

44. Rich Schwerin, Director of Social Content Strategy at Oracle

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Rich Schwerin spends his work time focused on brand communications and digital content strategies. Schwerin also moonlights as a writer, editor, and broadcaster.

45. Robert Rose, Chief Strategist at Content Marketing Institute

Robert Rose leads the client advisory, education, and technology practices for the Content Marketing Institute. A world renowned expert in content marketing strategy, Rose has helped large companies like AT&T, KPMG, PTC, Petco, and Nissan tell their stories.

46. Ross Hudgens, Founder of Siege Media

Siege Media specializes in developing, promoting, and maintaining content. Ross Hudgens has worked with the smallest and biggest business in the world implementing and executing effective SEO strategies that produce real results.

47. Russell Sparkman, CEO Content Strategy at FusionSpark Media

Russell Sparkman describes himself as a “content craftsman” and has over a decade of experience in Content Marketing Strategy and Content Development.

48. Scott Abel, Founder of The Content Wrangler

Scott Abel not only a content management strategist, but also a social media choreographer. Abel helps organizations improve all aspects of their content, from authoring all the way to archiving.

49. Simon Penson, Founder of Zazzle Media

Online marketing is not Simon Penson’s first love, he spent ten years in print media as a journalist and national magazine editor. Now he heads Zazzle Media, a content-led digital marketing agency based in the UK.

50. Toby Murdock, Co-Founder and CEO, Kapost

Toby Murdock is no stranger to the start-up world. Before co-founding Kapost he co-founded a social music service Qloud, which was eventually sold. You can find Murdock blogging at Communitas.

Who did we miss? Leave a comment and we can grow the list!

5 Warning Signs Your Content Marketing Sucks

By | Content Marketing, How-To | No Comments

You’ve probably heard by now that content marketing can help you generate leads, lift sales and increase brand awareness.

Are you currently writing blog posts and creating eBooks for your business – but not seeing the immediate results those Internet marketing gurus said you would?

That’s because your content marketing strategy has a few holes in it.

No, not the good kind.

No, not the good kind.

Here at Stryde we often see five common content marketing mistakes, and today we’re going to share with you how to fix them.

1. You Aren’t Promoting Your Content

Really great content marketing involves two components: content and marketing of that content.

It’s not enough to write a piece of content and then wait for people to find it. There are more than 170 million blogs out there now; what are the odds that your ideal customer will just stumble upon it? Not likely.

Optimizing your content for search engines is important and a good tactic, but the surest way to get people to see your content is to promote it yourself. In fact, some marketing experts say you should spend at least twice as much time promoting your content as you spend creating it.

There are several simple ways you can drive traffic to your content:

  • Share links to your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks

  • Share links on directories and forums like inbound.org or reddit

  • Use Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Promoted Pins, and Instagram ads to promote your content

  • Purchase Google ads to drive traffic to your content

If your content is accessible by anyone at any time, such as with a blog post, you will probably just want to share the link via social networks, forums and directories since these are free ways to promote your content.

Here you can see the website Upworthy promoting links to their own posts on Twitter:

And here is an example of Upworthy sharing their posts on Facebook, where they are receiving thousands of shares and likes from readers.

Don’t be afraid to share links to your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and other networks. If it’s good content, you can feel confident others will enjoy it too.

If you are putting your content behind a lead generation form, then you will probably want to experiment with a mix of free and paid marketing channels. Just remember that your content needs to be extremely high quality and valuable if you decide to gate it.

Facebook and Google ads are low-cost paid marketing channels through which you can promote your content. With both advertising platforms you can set your own budget and not spend a cent more than you want to.

2. You Have Lots of Readers but Very Few Social Shares

One quick way to know your content marketing sucks is if you have a lot of readers but not a lot of social shares.

For example, if you have a particular blog post that has 1,000 unique views but only 3 social shares, you have a problem.

There are two causes of low social shares:

  • Your content is not high quality.

  • You don’t provide an easy way for people to share your content.

Of course, you could have both problems. Identifying what YOUR problem is should be your first step.

The way to know if your content is low quality is by looking through your analytics. If you have a lot of visitors but your Average Duration is low and/or your Bounce Rate is high, you probably have a content quality problem.

Yikes! This is not what any content marketer wants to see.

You can find out what your Bounce Rate and Average Duration is by logging into Google Analytics and going to the Acquisition section and then All Traffic.

Low Average Duration and a high Bounce Rate indicate that your visitors aren’t captured by your content and they are leaving your site quickly. To fix this you will need to spend more time on improving the quality of your content.

Some ways to increase the quality of your posts, ebooks and guides:

  • Research before you write and reference interesting facts in your content

  • Include high-quality images and screenshots throughout

  • Interview experts and include original quotes in your content

If visitors are sticking around on your site for a while and your bounce rate is low, then the quality of your content is not likely the problem. In this case you probably just haven’t made it easy for people to share your content.

An easy fix for this is to install social sharing buttons on your content.  You can grab code from Facebook and Twitter to add their buttons to each page where you have content.

If you use a content management system like WordPress, you can install a plugin like Digg Digg which automatically adds social sharing buttons to each of your posts and web pages.

We use Digg Digg here on the Fit Marketing blog and personally recommend it.

3. Your Content Isn’t Helping You Generate Leads or Sales

Your content, whether you put it behind a lead gen form or not, should help you generate leads and sales because it will drive new visitors to your site. Hopefully your site is optimized for conversions.

The secret to generating lots of leads and sales with content is three-fold:

1. You must always generate high-quality content

2. You must generate content consistently

3. You must ask for the conversion

We already talked in the section above about generating high-quality content, so let’s dive into the second point.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report, companies that blog very frequently see a direct impact on customer acquisition.

Companies that blog multiple times per day see the highest customer acquisition rate. That said, it’s equally important to be able to blog on a consistent basis.

If you are not able to consistently blog multiple times per day, it would be better for you to spread new posts out throughout the week. For instance, if you can only blog once per week, then you should try to blog on the same day each week to provide some consistency for your readers.

In addition to blogging consistently, you must also include a call to action with each piece of content you publish.

The easiest ways to generate leads from your content is by putting it behind a lead generation form. This works perfectly if you put together a piece of premium content such as an ebook or guide.

HubSpot is a great example of a company that publishes a lot of ebooks that help them generate leads.

Here’s an example of how they generate leads with eBooks:

If you don’t want to put your content behind a form – usually the case with blog posts – you can include a call to action at the end of the content.

Blogs like Nimble do this really well by including a small banner at the end of each blog post.

If you do not include a call to action with your content, then you will be losing out on leads and potential sales. If you truly drew in your reader, they will want to do something about your content.

Remember that content is marketing and thus should always include a call to action.

4. You Don’t Know if Your Content is Generating Leads or Sales

One gigantic warning sign that your content marketing sucks is if you don’t know if its generating leads or sales.

Having a “feeling” that it’s working is not the same thing as knowing.

You should have conversion goals set up in Google Analytics that will let you identify the sources of your leads and sales. You should check daily to see how many of your goal conversions have come from your content (such as your blog or landing pages).

Once you have your goals set up, you can then easily log into Google Analytics and see how many people have completed your goals from each of your traffic sources.

If your content is behind a lead generation form, then you probably know how many leads you’re generating – but do you know what your best source of traffic is?

Check your analytics to find out!

If Facebook is sending you a lot of traffic that is converting on your lead gen form, then you should put more time and effort into growing your Facebook channel so you can exponentially increase your leads.

5. You Can’t Tell Me What Your Strategy Is

What is your content marketing strategy?

This is not the content strategy you're looking for.

This is not the content strategy you’re looking for.

Sometimes when I ask this question the answer is a look of confusion, and the response, “Well, we blog three times a week and I’m writing an ebook.”

That’s really great, but that’s not a content marketing strategy, that’s just content.

If you have a content marketing strategy in place you should be able to easily answer the following questions:

  • What are your concrete, quantifiable, realistic goals for content? Brand awareness? Leads? Sales?

  • How will you measure your goals along the way?

  • Who is responsible for producing content?

  • How often will new content be published (including blog posts, ebooks, guides, infographics, guest posts, etc.)?

  • Who will create the landing pages for content that goes behind lead gen forms?

  • What happens once a new lead comes in? How will they be nurtured? How will they be converted into customers?

  • How much is a lead worth? What is an acceptable cost per lead?

  • How will your content be promoted?

  • What is your budget per month for paid traffic?

If you cannot answer ALL of these questions, then your content marketing is doomed to suck.

The good news is you can fix it!

Make time to sit down today and start figuring out the answers to these questions. This can feel like an overwhelming task, but it is a really important one. Without the answers to these questions, you’re wasting time and money.

Making Sure Your Content Marketing Doesn’t Suck

There is no doubt that content marketing can help you generate leads, lift sales and increase brand awareness. Following the tips in this post is a great way to get your content marketing strategy on the right track. So, let’s review:

  • Promote your free content through free channels, particularly your social media networks. Use free and paid promotion for premium content that generates leads.
  • Make it easy for readers to share your content, with social share buttons – it’s free promotion!
  • Check your analytics to make sure your content is high quality. If not, spend more time creating richer, more comprehensive content.
  • Create content consistently.
  • Include calls to action.
  • Set measurable goals, and follow up on them. Know who is responsible for what.

Got it? Good.

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions. Or for more inbound marketing tips, download our free ebook.

 

Image credits: blue.tofu

 

The Ultimate List of Blogging Tools

By | Blogging | No Comments

blogging ideas and tools

Today, we are going to continue our series on “list of tools” focusing specifically on tools to help you become a better blogger. As most marketers know, adding the very best content to your website via blog posts is a fantastic way to improve crawl rate and crawl depth (through internal links) as well as attract natural links and social shares. In this post, I want to hit on four areas of blogging, idea generation, content research, content creation, and content promotion. Let’s jump in!

Idea Generation

The hardest part of blogging is coming up with topics to write about on a regular basis.

Twitter Search – Twitter search is a fantastic tool to help you see what people are talking about on twitter and what kinds of topics are trending.

Google+ Search – Same thing as Twitter search, except on Google+.

Evernote – Evernote is a free app that you can jot down notes whenever you have an idea for a blog post. I like to use the voice to text feature and brainstorm on my commutes.

Xmind – Xmind is by far my favorite mind mapping software. Mind maps can help you easily generate dozens ideas for your blog posts from a single topic. I wrote a post about this over on Marketing Pilgrim you might want to take a look at.

Google Trends – Google trends allows you to compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and other Google properties.

Pulse – Pulse is an app that allows you to pull in feeds from your favorite blogs and news publications. This is particularly helpful to see what your competitors are writing about on a regular basis and can help give you ideas on what to write about as well.

Content Research

Once you come up with your topics, now you need to do your research and find content to support or flesh out your idea.

Qrait – Qrait allows you to collect online media about a single topic in a neat, clean interface and then allows you to share or embed in your blog.

Creative Commons – Flickr creative commons allows you to find images that are relevant to your topic and post them without paying a fee.

Curate.us – Curate.us allows you to put together visually compelling clips and quotes of web content that are easily embedded in blog posts, email, forums and websites.

Yahoo Answers – Yahoo answers is a fantastic place to go for tips from experts in different verticals. It is also a great place to find individuals who might be interested in providing a quote for your content.

Quora – Same idea as Yahoo answers.

Content Creation

After your research is done, its time to write!

WordPress – Many bloggers prefer to write their posts directly in their content management system. Adding content right into WordPress makes it easy to manage your drafts, optimize them (with the Yoast plugin), and get them published.

Dragon Dictate – Dragon dictate is one of the best speech to text programs ever! It is accurate and makes it far easier for people who hate to type, write fantastic posts.

Content Promotion

After you click publish, you are not done! You need to get more eyeballs on your content.

Digg Digg – The first piece of the puzzle when promoting your content is making sure others can easily share it. Digg Digg, a WordPress plugin does just that. It is a floating social sharing bar that is front and center whenever someone wants to share your post.

Viral Content Buzz – Viral Content Buzz is a community of individuals who are looking for content to share online. When you share someones content, you earn points and then you can use those points to get your content shared. It’s pretty awesome!

StumbleUpon Paid Discovery -Paid stumbles are a great way to get the ball rolling for your awesome content. Just add $5 and you will start to get targeted traffic to your post in no time. If it is a really good post, you will start to earn free stumbles and it can go viral from there.

Repost.us – At repost, your content can be instantly syndicated to other publishers, bloggers or websites with a few clicks and no prior business relationship.

So there you have it! Did I missing anything? If you have other blogging tools that you use and love, please feel free to share in the comments below.