content-marketing

Is Your Firm Failing at Content Marketing?

It happens. You look at your Google Analytics traffic and the traffic to your blog is sad. No one is downloading your white papers and ebooks. You can’t get anyone to publish your guest blog articles. Your social media posts just sit and want for engagement and likes. No one in your company has the time or bandwidth to write a meaningful blog post. You feel like this whole content marketing thing is a hoax.

Don’t give up on content marketing just yet. If you feel like your firm is failing at B2B content marketing, there are several things you can do to turn it around.
Evaluate Your Strategy

Take a good look at your marketing strategy and your content plan. Wait, you don’t have a strategy? Check out Why Bother with a Content Marketing Plan before you go any further. If you have a strategy in place, look it over again. Is it too ambitious? Does it need more structure?

You can easily revamp your strategy by asking for input internally, especially from sales and customer service. Both sales and customer service work with prospects and clients on a daily basis and will have great input regarding common questions, typical objections, and what content would help close deals or educate clients. Also, make sure that your strategy has the resources and support to be properly executed.

Look at Your Competition

Check out what your competitors are doing with content marketing. In many cases, you may get some ideas from what they are (and aren’t) doing. We do not suggest copying anything that your competition is doing, but if they have a particular blog or white paper that has a lot of comments, questions, or likes – take that as a cue that your audience is interested in that particular topic.

Looking at your competitor’s B2B content marketing tactics can also help you to articulate what makes you different and what you should include in your content. For example, if they spend a lot of time discussing pricing and budget, focus on your value proposition of real-time customer service and long-term partnerships.
Get Help & Internal Buy-In

You can’t do this alone and you shouldn’t. Effective B2B content marketing typically takes a group effort to be effective. As a marketing professional, you know your product or services, but your engineers or support team may be better able to discuss how it works and/or solves a problem. Tap into internal resources, even if it’s an interview, to get the educational information you need to write a great blog post, ebook, or case study.

Internal support is essential to prioritizing content marketing. If your internal team doesn’t really believe in the effectiveness of B2B marketing, it will be difficult to get external interest. Share these B2B marketing statistics with the key influencers in your organization to get everyone on board with your content marketing strategy.
Pay to Promote Your Content

One of the main failures of content marketing is a lack of promotion. Social media is getting to be a “pay to play” space, meaning you’ll need to allocate part of your budget to promoting your blog posts, ebooks, guides, and case studies. The good news is that on many platforms – like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter – once you pay to promote your post, the organic exposure goes up as well!

Many marketers create great content and then fail at putting that awesome content in front of their target market. Paying to promote your content marketing pieces is a surefire way to make sure your ideal prospect or client is seeing the valuable information you are sharing.
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity

We are quickly reaching a point of saturation with B2B content marketing. More and more firms are creating content and pushing it out on the internet. You don’t need to create more content to compete, you need to create better content. Make sure every piece of content you create is well written, offers new information, and has valuable insights for your target audience. Take the time to create irresistible content. Lastly, make sure it isn’t overly promotional. No one wants to read a 500-word advertisement.

Remember: content marketing is a long-term strategy, not a quick win. Invest the time, resources, and thought into creating a B2B marketing strategy that positions your firm as a thought leader and entices prospects to engage with your content.

Source: Business 2 Community, article by Jeremy Durant (http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/firm-failing-content-marketing-01653439#yQcEFqBSSuY1jcGw.99)

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social media

Using Social Media to Build Professional Skills

If you think of social media as the sole province of vacation selfies and muffin recipes, the idea of using it for genuine professional development may seem absurd. But there are plenty of ways you can use social media to build professional skills, knowledge, and relationships, without getting overwhelmed.

To get real learning value out of social media, ask yourself these three questions:

What do I want to learn?

Want to learn more about your industry? Follow smart industry leaders on LinkedIn and Twitter to see what they’re reading and what they’re thinking about. From that you can learn key industry hashtags on Twitter to discover great new resources. Seek out the best blogs and podcasts in your field by reading or listening further when you find an interesting story that a colleague has shared online. Think about the specific subfield or topic you want to learn about next, and focus your reading in that specific area so that you develop expertise instead of just learning a tiny bit about a lot of subjects.

Think about your skill gaps, too. If you do a lot of presentations and are getting tired of those boring old Excel pie charts, start looking at infographics on Pinterest to get inspiration for how you can do a better job of presenting data. If time management is an ongoing issue for you, follow a list of productivity experts on Twitter to get their latest tips.

Using social media to work on areas like these will not only strengthen your professional skill set; it will also help you broaden your network. By re-sharing the useful resources you find on LinkedIn and Twitter, you can find others who are interested in the same topics as you and build a community of learning (more on this later).

When do I have time for learning?

Social media can be an effective way of pursuing professional development because it fits easily into your daily life. Yes, you can get a lot out of attending a few conferences a year—but there’s nothing like an ongoing learning process to get you fired up and thinking in newly creative ways. Put some thought into when you have time and mental energy for learning, and what formats would work best for your schedule. Then use your social networks to find the information you want in the format you need.

For instance, if you want to work on self-development while working out, doing household chores, or commuting, that’s a great time to listen to the podcasts you’ve discovered. If you commute by public transit and can read while you ride, set up an RSS reader like Feedly, which you can use to subscribe to blogs in your field.

You’ll be able to get a lot more learning in if you spend your time actually reading or listening to the sources you’ve unearthed instead of skimming the latest headlines.

Whom do I want to learn from or with?

Many of us learn best when we’re part of a learning community. This is where social media really shines: because social media is all about being able to share ideas with other people, it’s a great way to engage in active learning, with a community of people who want to hear your ideas and insights in addition to sharing their own.

There are a lot of ways to find or form a learning community online. If you’re looking for a community of practice — a group of fellow professionals in your field, sharing the inside scoop or best practices with one another — you can find those communities on Facebook, LinkedIn or even Slack.

To find a group that works for you, ask friends or colleagues whether they’re part of any learning or professional communities that could help you in a specific field or area of your working life. The clearer you are about what you want to learn, and the types of people you want to learn from, the more likely you are to find the right community for you.

In my experience the most valuable groups are smaller, invitation-only communities in which every member knows at least one other person in the group. That creates the level of trust necessary for people to share difficult experiences and inside tips, as well as to ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in a more public setting.

Setting your learning intentions for what, when and who you want to learn from can turn social media into a powerful and timely resource for your ongoing professional development. Yes, there’s still room for snapping photos of your breakfast foods — but when you’re ready to settle down to work, remember that social media can help you with your next career goal, too.

Source: Harvard Business Review. Article by Alexandra Samuel (https://hbr.org/2016/08/using-social-media-to-build-professional-skills)

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6 reasons to boost SEO & content investments with influencer marketing

Practically every digital marketing budget in 2016 includes line items for both SEO and content marketing. If you want to add rocket fuel to any campaign’s overall impact, the inclusion of influencer marketing is a must. The right influencers will enhance brand discoverability and audience development, boosting reach, results and ROI. Here are six reasons to extend your existing SEO and content campaigns with influencers.

1. You are already invested

Whether your main campaign focus is organic search, paid search or both, content marketing is at the core. In fact, once a content strategy is set and you are ready to attract targeted eyeballs to your web presence to build awareness, the tactics of SEO, PPC, native ads, email and so on are simply techniques you are investing in to develop your audience. Adding influencer marketing is an effective way to extend the reach of an existing content campaign, as well as tapping into new audience sources, through people who have access to your target market.

In a recent survey, digital marketers were asked, “Is influencer marketing part of your digital marketing mix today?” Of the 250 respondents, 40 percent indicated they do include influencer marketing, while 60 percent indicated they do not yet leverage influencers. Given that influencer marketing has proven to be among the most cost-effective online customer acquisition methods, outperforming both organic and paid search, it makes sense to explore it as a tactic and include influencers in an existing content campaign you are already invested in.

2. Influencers hold the keys to your audience

As marketers and digital marketers, one of our main objectives is to attract our target market to our web presence through content, which helps them make a decision to buy from our brand. Easy. Intercepting our target audience with our content is the not-so-easy part, and we’re always seeking new and clever ways to get in front of our audience.

Most likely, every single prospect and customer, otherwise known as your total addressable market, has a social media account. Further, they are likely “following” someone — an influencer.

Since influencers hold the keys, you have to earn their trust in order to access their followers. Brands should build strong relationships with properly identified influencers. Just as there are no quick wins with SEO, effective influencer marketing takes time. Once a brand has built a long-term relationship with an individual who shares a target audience, that person can either be engaged to participate in an existing digital marketing campaign or a unique one. And there is a paid, owned and earned model for engaging with influencers. Regardless of how you interact with your influencers, always ensure that you are able to measure their activity through to engagement with your website, and ultimately, to sales.

3. Content distribution

Thoughtful distribution and amplification in all channels is key. Influencer marketing is an important aspect to content distribution. Think of it this way: Every single person in every social channel is a potential point of distribution for your brand’s content. A rule of thumb is to invest a minimum of 25 percent of your budget and resources into distribution.

In gShift’s survey, 250 digital marketers were asked, “How much of your digital marketing budget do you invest into content distribution?” Seventeen percent indicated they spend $0 on distributing content. Nineteen percent invest about 25 percent of their budget and resources, while just over half (54 percent) invest only 10 percent of their budget. Content distribution is one of the most significant missed opportunities in the execution of a digital marketing campaign.

Adding influencer marketing to the digital marketing mix will naturally increase these numbers and will further broaden your audience.

4. Word of mouth is powerful & trusted

Influencer marketing can be thought of as an extension of word-of-mouth marketing. As digital marketers, we all understand the power of WOM. Nielson’s 2015 Global Trust in Advertising Report states the most credible advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. Eight in 10 global respondents say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family, but this trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. Two-thirds say they trust other consumers’ opinions as well.
WOM is the primary factor influencing between 20 percent and 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. This makes adding influencer marketing to an existing digital marketing campaign a no-brainer.

5. Your long-tail SEO keywords will reveal long-tail influencers

Influencer marketing is not just about using celebrities to promote your brand. Rather it is more about finding long-tail influencers through great data sources.

You want to find the influencers who are diligently and frequently talking about “red high-heel shoes with buckles” rather than just “red shoes” and whose audience is intently listening to influencers and the specific long-tail phrases they are using. Influencer marketing is built for addressing niches.

Just like other digital marketing decisions we make, great data is at the core of influencer marketing.

And don’t forget to measure and collect data on the impact each influencer is having on your brand’s web presence and engagement with your content. This can be accomplished through influencer analytics.

6. Your competitors are doing it

Your competition is already doing it. And if by chance they are not, then why not get a head start and begin “out-influencer marketing” them!

Great influencer marketing data will provide insights into competitive influencer activity.

Source: Search Engine Land (http://searchengineland.com/6-reasons-boost-seo-content-investments-influencer-marketing-250320)

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