Musings

4 Strategies for Standing Out in the Content Marketing Crowd

Posted by BSG Team on Mar 2, 2016 12:30:00 PM

Content-1.jpgAccording to Nielsen, at least 27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day. With so much material floating around, it can be hard to stand out and be found.  

Here are 4 strategic ways to get your content noticed:

1.  Create more content.

One obvious solution is to do more content marketing, and here’s why:

  • The more content you produce ...

  • The more Google and other search engines index …

  • The more likely you are to rank for certain keywords …

Google’s fresh factor algorithm feature means that newer content performs better in the search engines, leading to higher rates of organic traffic, which brings in new leads.

When creating more content make sure that it is is solid, authoritative, and provides value to users. When you continually put out great content, it keeps users engaged and they keep coming back for more. However, if you allow your quality to slip then you’ll end up hurting your business in the long run.

2. Create better content.

How is the quality of the content you are producing? We’ve already talked about making sure the content you create is authoritative, and provides value.

Here are several more things that you can do to create even better content and gain an edge over the competition. 

  •  Create visual content. Using compelling images is a powerful way to boost the engagement and potency of your content. Infographics are especially appealing.

  • Create live marketing.  Producing live content has become very important.  Here are two low cost methods that effective and easy to use: Periscope andFacebook Live.

  • Create unique data. Come up with your own data, statistics, studies, and results. It is a powerful way to attract more interest.

  • Create more social communities. Consumers crave exclusive places where they can find exclusive content. Make it powerful, unique, and targeted.

3.  Stay focused.

Make sure you have a clear objective with your content marketing. Your company needs to clearly define its goals. Most businesses want:

  • More leads

  • More revenue

  • More customers

  • More engagement

While these general goals are fine, it is a good idea to create specific benchmarks to gauge your progress.

4.  Don’t stop.

Content marketing is not a quick fix. To achieve success you must keep at it in a deliberate and strategic way. There will be bumps along the way. You will have successes and failures but don’t quit. Success takes time.

Content marketing is ever evolving and in order to succeed we need to evolve with it. Contact us if you need help.  We can create the content your business needs.

Topics: Content Marketing, Content Creation, Inbound marketing, Content Strategy

Creating the Ultimate Content Calendar

Posted by BSG Team on Jan 20, 2016 3:00:27 PM

Editorial_Content_Calendar.pngNo matter how good we are at our jobs we all want a better, faster way to get things done. Luckily in this rapidly changing world innovations are constantly emerging to help us do what we want in less time, with less wasted effort, and with greater success. Reinvention is the commodity we trade in these days to keep pushing our digital world forward.

The editorial calendar is the perfect example of this reinvention having transformed itself over the years, from a simple spreadsheet for tracking what we publish to an essential component for managing the entire life cycle of a content marketing campaign.

The following editorial calendar tips, tools, templates, and takeaways will help your business whether you need to build a new system from scratch or just want a few tricks to make your calendars more efficient.

1.  The Basics

The first step is to gather key content marketing strategy information. Answer the following questions to determine what you need to track in your calendar, as well as help you stay focused on your marketing goals.

  • Who are you creating content for? Knowing your buyer personas helps you to keep your target audience in focus as you create your calendar.
  • Why you are creating content? Think about your goals for the content you create. Your content marketing mission and goals will impact what you publish, where you publish, and how often.
  • What resources do you have at your disposal? Do you have a dedicated in-house team of writers and videographers or do you outsource most of your content creation? The workflow you track in your calendar will likely depend on who is writing and where their expertise lies.
  • How can you stand out? Are you filling a need with the content you create? What gaps exist in your current content creation efforts – or the efforts of your competitors? Aiming to play a lead role in meeting your audiences’ needs will help you fill your editorial calendar with enriching content that helps you meet your business goals.

2.  Setting Up Your Calendar

There are lots of dedicated tools on the market that offer a wide range of calendaring capabilities.

When first starting out it’s fine to use a simple Excel spreadsheet or a shareable Google Sheet to track your content’s progress through your editorial process. As you grow you may need to expand content collaboration solutions with integrated tools that can help marketing teams manage editorial processes.

We recommend that your editorial calendar include the following:

  • The date the piece of content will be published
  • The topic or headline of the content piece
  • The author of the content
  • The owner of the content – i.e., who is in charge of making sure the content makes it from ideation to publication and promotion
  • The current status of the content (updated as it moves through your publishing cycle)

Depending on your company’s specific goals you may also want to track these elements to help you stay organized and on track over the long term:

  • The channels where your content will be published: This can include only your owned channels (such as your blog, Facebook Page, website, YouTube page, email newsletters, etc.), or you can expand your tracking to include paid and earned channels, as well.
  • Content formats: Is it a blog post? A video? A podcast? An infographic? An original image? Consider repurposing great content into other formats to ensure you get the most mileage out of it.
  • Visuals: Don’t overlook the appeal that visuals can add to your content, both in terms of social sharing potential and overall brand recognition. Tracking the visual elements you include in your content efforts will establish a signature look and cohesive brand identity.
  • Topic categories: This helps make your calendars more searchable when you are looking to see which target topics you already created a lot of content about – or which you haven’t covered often enough.
  • Keywords and other meta-data: Track meta-descriptions and SEO titles (if they differ from your headlines), this will keep your SEO efforts aligned with your content creation.
  • URLs: This allows you link to older pieces of content in the new content you create.
  • Calls to action: Every piece of content you create should align with your company’s marketing goals.
3.  Keeping Your Calendar Filled and Focused

One of the most challenging parts of building your editorial calendar is making sure you have enough relevant ideas to fill the schedule.

You should use your editorial calendar to keep a running list of topic ideas. It makes it an easy reference tool when you need some inspiration or direction.

We recommend that you track:

  • The topic idea
  • The owner of the idea
  • The target keywords/categories to which the content would map
  • Who might be available/qualified to write the piece
  • A time frame for when you will publish it.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to using editorial calendars to organize your content marketing and to keep your marketing efforts moving in the right direction.

Topics: Content Creation, Content Strategy, Blogging, Writing

One Simple Must-Have For Your B2B Vendor Website

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on May 5, 2015 1:41:52 PM

It seems like common sense - a no-brainer -  but there's one basic content asset that many B2B vendors are lacking on their websites: thorough contact information.

That's right. The 2015 Web Usability Report from Huff Industrial Marketing and KoMarketing found that a lack of thorough contact information can cause 44% of your visitors to leave. This chart from the research shows just how important contact information is, compared to other content assets:

contentassets

Thorough contact information reinforces trust and credibility. And it's not only contact information - it's any information that invites your customer to learn more about your company. Dianna Huff of Huff Industrial Marketing explains:

Think of contact information as a subtle cue, similar to the way we assess people upon first meeting. When a company doesn’t share its physical address and other contact information, and forces contact through a form, you as the potential prospect have a sense of unease:

  • Who is behind this company?
  • Where is it located?
  • If I have a problem, how will I reach someone?

Basically, you want to know if the company is legitimate or if it’s the Internet equivalent of a dog. By placing phone number, email address, and a physical address on a website, a vendor helps overcome some of these concerns – and thus establishes the beginning of trust.

Contact information doesn’t have to be relegated to the Contact Us page. Depending on your company and its size, you can add a phone number and/or email link in the header of each page. If you’re a large enterprise, consider adding “Contact Us” to the main navigation versus burying it in the footer. When “Contact Us” is buried, it’s harder for people on mobile devices to find and access it.

About pages and team bios confer credibility

In The New York Times article Quenching Consumers’ Thirst for Authenticity, James H. Gilmore, author of Authenticity, stated, “A sense of authenticity reinforces trust in what is real in an increasingly staged, contrived, and mediated world.”

Authenticity also is a tangible driver of revenue. In its 2014 global study, The Age of Authenticity, Cohn & Wolf revealed that 63% of consumers would buy a brand they perceived as authentic over its competitors.

The MediaPost article Unlocking the Power of Authenticity with Millennial Consumers, discusses how authenticity and its allied trait of trustworthiness are two of the top brand attributes sought by millennials before they decide to hand over their money.

Yet, many companies still rely on standard-issue boilerplate when it comes to their About page – a practice that does little to show a company’s authenticity or build trust and credibility.

The About section of a website doesn’t have to be limited to a brief “About Us” page or team bios. You can also include a press room, charities supported, awards, events, videos, and testimonials.

In addition, if you're able, Huff suggests:

Posting a client list builds credibility and trust, especially if you have A-list clients or well-known companies in your niche. A prospective buyer comes to your website and sees that you’ve worked with Recognized Brand Name A, B, and C, and automatically assumes that you know what you’re doing.

Ms.Huff includes many more suggestions! Read the full article here, and get great examples of being transparent with your company and culture to build trust and credibility on your website.

How do you do it? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know below.

 

Topics: Best Practices for Businesses, Effectiveness, Content Strategy

B2B Content Marketers Struggle with Writer's Block

Posted by Michelle Lazarus on Apr 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM


Savvy business owners know that the average website conversion for companies with defined content processes is more than twice that of companies without. And yet, according to research from content marketing firm Kapost, and reported by eMarketernearly four in 10 B2B marketers said it was difficult or somewhat difficult to come up with ideas for content marketing, and half said they didn’t have enough ideas to fuel such efforts. Many of them rely on internal crowdsourcing to help generate content ideas. 

A great content strategy is vital to a company's success, since many departments across an organization depend on content for success:

kapost

But grappling with content ideas doesn't have to be so tough. Choosing a great partner to help fuel new ideas can take the pressure off.

What kinds of things do you strive for when creating new content? Let us know in the comments below. 

 

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Topics: Content Marketing, Content Creation, Content Strategy

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