Trending March 2024 # 5 Signs It’s Time To Stop Your Content Marketing Campaign # Suggested April 2024 # Top 4 Popular

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A well-executed content marketing strategy can skyrocket your brand awareness and generate significant long-term profits.

If you’re struggling to get the results you anticipated with content marketing (e.g., traffic, links, conversions), don’t beat yourself up. Content marketing is an ongoing process that typically requires numerous iterations until success is achieved.

Here are five signs it’s time to stop what you’re doing and rethink your content marketing.

1. The Numbers Don’t Add Up

If you’re serious about content marketing, you have to track the following metrics meticulously.

Website Traffic

It’s hard to call a content marketing campaign successful if it doesn’t produce a long-term improvement in website traffic. Google Analytics will show you if your overall website traffic is increasing, but you should also pay attention to the average time spent on each page, the total amount of pages viewed per user, and bounce rate.

If your overall website traffic improves but engagement doesn’t, this is an indicator that your promotion strategy is working but the content itself needs an overhaul.

Mailing List Opt-ins

It might be that your email opt-in button is inappropriately placed or is aesthetically unappealing. It could also be that you need a stronger lead magnet to encourage people to opt-in.

However, the most likely reason for this problem is that your content is underwhelming. Either you aren’t offering enough value to your audience, or you’re conveying the information in a way that doesn’t resonate with the target demographic.

In these cases, you might want to test whether repurposing your content as infographics, presentations, or other content forms helps to improve conversions.

Your content needs to be so informative and actionable that people immediately want to give you their contact information. One of the ways to improve the value of the content is by conveying it in a different medium.

Social Media Metrics

Metrics such as volume, reach, and engagement are all important to track — primarily on platforms where your content is promoted.

If you regularly post high-quality blog content on Twitter, include the relevant hashtags and engage in discussions with your audience and other influencers. Your metrics will continue to improve.

Social media metrics are more accurate indicators of how good your promotional efforts are rather than how good your content is, but you should still track them.

Links

One of the most obvious signs that your content is resonating with your audience is the generation of new inbound links. If people love your content, they’ll share it at every opportunity and link to it in their own articles.

With tools such as Open Site Explorer, you can see how many new inbound links are being created. As you press forward with content marketing, expect your organic search visibility to improve.

2. You Don’t Have a Documented Content Strategy

Stunningly, only 32 percent of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy.

If you’re publishing regular content and have no strategy in place, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and start working on strategy development.

Creating a content strategy isn’t some superfluous exercise that helps your content team feel happy and engaged. A content strategy is the literal DNA of your content marketing campaign.

Without a strategy in place, your marketing efforts will be haphazard and unfocused. If you don’t have a strategy, you can’t be successful, because you’ve never even defined (in specific terms) what it means to be successful.

You don’t need to go to this extent to be successful, but you at least have to define your USP (what makes you different from your competitors), your buyer personas, your definition of success, and the tactics you’ll use to achieve success.

Your Ideal Customer

Having an intimate understanding of your audience is essential if you want to execute an effective campaign. If you have a particular buyer persona in mind when you write your content and you understand their pain points, values, and desires, it will be easier to create content that resonates.

John Jantsch, author and CEO of Duct Tape Marketing, suggests getting to know your ideal buyer, then reverse engineering your content marketing to serve his or her needs.

3. You Aren’t Utilizing Visual Content

In a 2024 survey, 37 percent of marketers stated that visual content was the most important part of their marketing strategy, second only to blogging (38 percent). If you aren’t using visual content now, you’re already being left behind.

Great visual content marketing assets include:

Video.

Slideshare presentations.

Branded images.

Infographics.

You might find that old, underperforming blog posts can be repurposed as colorful, vibrant infographics and generate more engagement. Likewise, a sea of sales copy on your product page might be far more effective repurposed as a flashy animated explainer video.

Quality Matters

Simply deciding to publish visual content won’t guaranteed success. Quality control is more important with visual content because there are more facets to consider.

When creating an infographic, you need to:

Consider your audience’s interests.

Choose a topic with viral potential.

Ensure your facts and statistics are up to date and from reputable organizations.

Craft the copy within a visual framework.

Ensure the design is high quality and the tone is appropriate for the content.

Promote relentlessly.

A poorly written blog post is unlikely to gain any attention, whereas a spectacularly bad infographic could make your brand famous for all the wrong reasons. Bad content is amplified when conveyed visually, so always prioritize quality when publishing visual content.

4. You Don’t Budget for Content Marketing

In a 2024 content marketing survey, the average B2B business spent 28 percent of its marketing budget on content marketing.

There is also a correlation between the effectiveness of content marketing and the amount of money spent. The most effective B2B marketers allocated 42 percent of their budget to content marketing, while the least effective only allocated 15 percent.

While content marketing is often considered as a free way to generate traffic, it’s really like any other facet of business — you have to invest money to make money.

Good business owners aren’t always good writers. Instead of striving to become a good writer yourself, you might achieve better results by outsourcing your blog to a team of professional freelancers. Doubling down on what you’re good at (running a business) while outsourcing your weaknesses is usually the right decision in terms of long-term profitability.

Branded images for social media can be easily created with free tools, but for more complex forms of visual content, you’re better off hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. You can write the content for an explainer video, animate it, and do the narration yourself but you’ll never receive a professional result.

It’s unlikely that one individual will have the capabilities to write a compelling narrative, design and animate a video, record the vocals in a professional studio, and then mix the audio. For these kinds of tasks, you’ll need a team of specialists to work collaboratively.

You might save some money initially by creating the content yourself, but your brand reputation will suffer long-term. If you want to produce high-quality content, allocate a chunk of your marketing budget for the help of skilled professionals.

In addition to content creation, other content marketing costs to budget for include:

Hosting.

Coding.

Outsourced social media management.

Tools.

WordPress plugins.

5. You Aren’t Promoting Your Content

You’ll never get good results with content marketing if you aren’t committed to content promotion. As with content creation, promotion is an ongoing process that has no definitive end date.

Some marketers create a new blog post, share it on Twitter with all of the relevant hashtags, hope it receives engagement, and never think about it again. Even if you produce the best content in the world, you’ll never succeed with this kind of lackadaisical approach

Consider applying the 80/20 rule to content marketing: Spend 20 percent of your time creating content and 80 percent of your time promoting it.

Use these tactics to supercharge your content promotion efforts:

Submit infographics to infographic directories.

Reach out to influencers for quotes to feature in your blog posts then request shares once the post is published.

Share a handful of useful snippets from each post (such as statistics and quotes). Publish each snippet separately on social media.

Contact industry blogs and pitch yourself as a guest poster. Include relevant links to your content in your guest article.

Share your content on Reddit.

Share your content to relevant LinkedIn groups.

Respond to questions in Quora and post a link to your post as part of the answer. This also works for industry forums.

Distribute content to your mailing list. Segment your list for more targeted marketing.

Link to the blog post from other posts on your site that are receiving high traffic.

Reference the post in webinars and podcasts.

Include a link to your post in your email signature.

Link to posts by thought leaders in your content and inform them that you referenced their work. Kindly request a share.

Repurpose your content as a Slideshare presentation and contact users within your industry.

Summary

If you aren’t achieving your desired results with content marketing, don’t worry. Content marketing rarely works on your first attempt and sometimes it takes months (or even years) to get any real traction.

If what you’re doing at the moment isn’t working, keep innovating and stay persistent — the rewards are more than worth the long-term commitment of publishing frequent, high-value content.

Image Credits

In-post Photo 2: Pixabay

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5 Days To Successful Content Marketing

Day 1 - Answer the key content marketing strategy questions

In this practical, 5 day series, I’ll help define a ‘quick-and-dirty’ 5-day plan to help towards improving your content marketing strategy, without spending a fortune on paid media content distribution.

I’ve said this series is ‘quick and dirty’ since we believe that The perfect is often enemy of the good. When it comes to content strategy, it’s easy to spend a vast amount of time thinking about what you’re going to do and worrying about how to get it just right… without actually getting any content created or distributed.

But there comes a time when the Why needs to turn into the How. If you wait for all your strategic ducks to line up in a perfectly formed row, there’s a good chance the opportunity that content offers your business will drift off with the competition.

That doesn’t mean you should start producing content at random and hope for the best. A good content marketing plan is vital to turn your strategy into an agile, flexible operation – one that, thanks to the nature of digital, you can test and refine as you implement it.

So here is our quick-and-dirty plan for getting a strategic, well-planned, effective content marketing operation off the ground in just 5 days…

Day 1: Answer the big questions as best you can

Today you’re going to try and answer the big strategic questions as far as you can – in 1 day.

You’re going to work with what you know, and make intelligent guesses about what you don’t.

Take a look at the questions below and jot down the answers on 1 document, which you can then share with the team.

You can return to and update this ‘strategy’ whenever you want to tweak it in the light of new insights or decisions, or when you’ve had more time (or more budget) for research.

Sit yourself somewhere quiet on your own, or if you can gather your team run this as a group session.

Don’t invite all of the interested stakeholders unless you can be sure of alignment and a speedy output. Remember this is a quick-and-dirty approach!

Finally, write down, as far as you can, the answers to these questions:

Q2. Who are we trying to reach? Summarise personas, demographics and any other customer data you have easy access to. Again, focus on the top 3.

Q3. How will we know if our content marketing is working? Make a quick list of easily achievable and available measurements – social shares and likes, email data capture, newsletter opens, search traffic, bounce rates etc.

Q4. What’s our tone of voice? If you don’t have tonal guidelines, find a piece of previous content you all liked and use that as a shorthand reference. Pick out 5 things from it to act as guidelines for future content.

Output: A core strategy document outlining goals, audience, tone of voice guidelines and success indicators.

What’s coming next in our 5 part of our content marketing series?

Day 2: What’s your content brand? What kind of content will support your core strategy and how are you going to figure this out? A great example to learn from is included.

Day 3: How are you going to produce this content? Create your team structure, sources and workflows.

Day 4: Idea generation and editorial planning – quick ways to produce a detailed calendar in 1 day and some case studies to help you along.

Day 5: How are you going to build momentum and keep all of this going? Find out how to kick the whole thing off and create a blueprint for growth and learning in just 1 day.

Image/Copyright:@PA Images

8 Signs It’s Time To Fire A Bad Client & How To Do It

Client relationship building is a large part of your long-term business growth.

Your partnerships reflect your brand and your services, which is why you need to do your part in respecting your clients.

If your customers do not return the favor, you have the authority to take action.

This article explains why you should end a client relationship, how to amend it, and how to terminate the partnership.

8 Reasons Why It Might Be Time To End A Client Relationship

An essential part of the business is your ability to read clients, their motivations, and how they treat people respectfully.

Below are several situations you should reevaluate your relationship with the client and initiate a change.

1. The Client Requires More Time Than They Are Worth

You are an expert in your industry, so you understand how much your time is worth. If the time spent with the client is wasted and unproductive, it might be time to move on.

There is also an opportunity cost involved in working with a bad client. Investing extra time into a client that drains your energy will degrade your quality in other parts of the business.

Each client is critical and should be valued. However, you have a solid idea of how much each client is worth.

Here are some examples of how a lousy client might waste your time:

Showing up unprepared for meetings.

Unwillingness to commit to a plan, delaying the workflow process.

Shooting down all your ideas.

Taking a long time to reply to emails, questions, or deliverables.

2. The Client Continuously Shoots Down Your Recommendations

You invest your time to help the client reach goals. However, the client could delay the process by continuously rejecting your ideas, recommendations, and deliverables.

Yes, disagreement is common between a client and a company. However, there should be a mutual agreement that both parties will work it out and align on the overarching goal.

Sometimes the client may not see this and let other factors get in the way.

3. There Is Little Respect Between You And The Client

Respect is the foundation of any business relationship. When there is trust between the client and the company, you can create innovative ideas and achieve great things.

However, the relationship can sour when respect breaks with one of the parties. No respect means no trust, and no trust means it will be challenging to attain your goals.

If the client does not respect you, they will not trust your work. Therefore, it could be the right time to move on.

Always show respect, but you should reevaluate the relationship if the client does not return the favor.

4. There Is Minimal Communication Between You And The Client

When you and the client begin your relationship, you should agree on a primary communication channel. Will you communicate with the client best via phone, text, email, or online messaging?

You should also set parameters on an acceptable timeframe to respond to a message. Emergencies might arise, but both parties should agree on a good time window.

If either party cannot follow through with their commitment to communication, there should be a check-in discussion. If things still do not improve, it is time for both parties to go their separate ways.

5. The Relationship Is Not Progressing

A solid business relationship will continue to strengthen as both parties learn more about each other. If there is a culture or value fit, the relationship should blossom. Trust should build between the parties, and better ideas should flow.

If you engage with the client for several months and do not see an improvement in communication, it might be time to move in a different direction.

As the relationship endures, try to identify the best communication channels for you and the client.

Determine how and when they communicate the best and tailor your messages toward that channel. If you still do not see better workflows, you should speak with the client.

6. The Client Has A Pessimistic Attitude

You become what you think about. If the client constantly projects a negative vibe toward your working relationship, it will be challenging to achieve your goals. Your client relationships reflect your brand.

Yes, it is standard to become stressed, but these pressures should never impact your relationships negatively.

You can do your part to spread positivity. However, if the client shoots down your words of encouragement, it can demoralize your work. You may not feel motivated to produce your best quality work for the client.

7. You Are Losing Money On The Client

Although you run a “relationship business,” it comes to dollars and cents. If the time spent with the client does not produce profitable results, it might be time to go your separate ways.

Whether it is wasted time or minimal profit results, evaluate why you are losing money.

Approach the client about ways to improve the relationship and achieve these goals. If you continue to see no results, it is time to terminate the relationship.

8. The Client Is Verbally Abusive Or Makes Demands You Cannot Meet

If a client is verbally abusive, calls you names, or degrades you in any way, it’s time to let them go. It would be best if you did this sooner rather than later to avoid setting a precedent. There is no reason for you to tolerate abuse in any form.

Similarly, if a client makes unreasonable demands that you cannot meet or gaslights you for being unable to accommodate them, it’s time to move on.

There are some people you will never be able to make happy, and the sooner you end that relationship, the better off everyone will be.

How To Amend The Relationship

Now that we listed red flags to look for in bad clients, here are some strategies to fix, improve, or amend a relationship.

Evaluate Your Perspective

You might step back, take a deep breath, and realize that it is not all the client’s fault. When your stress is high while running a business, it can impact your view of your actions and emotions.

Self-reflection never hurts, so take a minute to reflect on your relationship with the client.

Assess if there is anything you can do on your end. Then, map out a conversation you can have with the client to amend the situation.

Explore Other Communication Methods

If things are not working out with the client, a different communication channel or style might make a difference.

Would it be beneficial to establish a weekly or bi-weekly check-in meeting? Should you communicate via text instead of email?

Exploring other ways to engage with the client might make your information transfer clearer and more efficient.

Start A Fresh Agreement

If your contract with the client is ending and they are considering renewing, you could consider drawing up a new agreement. Start fresh and set new boundaries with the client to establish an efficient working relationship.

Maybe a different game plan could unlock new opportunities and ideas within the scope of your relationship.

How To End The Relationship With The Client

If you have tried to fix the relationship and nothing works, here is how to professionally terminate the relationship with the client.

Step 1: Evaluate The Contract

Before you terminate the relationship with the client, check to ensure you can legally fire them.

However, it is better to discontinue a relationship at the end of a contract instead of cutting ties in the middle of it.

Step 2: Wrap Up The Current Projects You Owe The Client

Another way to show professionalism is to round out all your pending projects with the client.

Confirm which deliverables the client still needs and which ones they want you to finish. Continue to work efficiently with the client on completing these projects.

Do not let your ending relationship impact the quality of your work. Although your relationship is ending, you do not want the client to talk badly about your business to others.

Step 3: Plan Out Your Conversation

When you approach the client, spell out why the relationship ends. Cite the verbiage in the contract that governs your decision, and proceed professionally.

Here are some other tips when planning out the conversation:

Write out your talking points.

Practice the conversation.

Visualize the conversation.

Be tactful, but direct with the client.

Have a clear and thoughtful reason for ending the relationship.

Step 4: Tell The Client

There are a couple of ways to break the news to the client. You can email them professionally and spell out the reasons for the termination.

Or you could set up a meeting with the client to tell them over the phone. Either way, stick with your plan and show the client the respect they deserve.

Step 5: Do Not Leave The Client Hanging

It is bad business to leave the client in the dark after terminating the relationship.

Outline a clear exit or transition plan, identify the pending projects to complete, and carry out your commitment.

Final Wrap Up

Because you operate a business, you call the shots. This decision-making applies to the clients you work with. If one of the parties does not hold up their end of the deal, it is time to evaluate other options.

Always show the client respect and fulfill your end of the deal. You should also seek to understand the client before communicating with them. Apply these principles when dealing with a problematic client and continue producing meaningful work.

More Resources:

Featured Image: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

How To Ace Your Content Marketing Game With Storytelling

Stories are extremely effective at building trust. This is why businesses are using influencer marketing

Stories are a great way of appealing to and connecting with people. They’re extremely effective at building trust. Think about every time you consider customer reviews before buying a product – the stories of real people and their experiences are what truly encourages you to buy it. This is why businesses are using influencer marketing.  

A study by Twitter found that tweets from influencers coupled with tweets from brands can increase purchase intent by 5.2 times. In fact, 40% of the respondents in the study reported having purchased products based directly on an influencer’s recommendation. 

Download our Premium Resource – Brand storytelling guide

This guide helps you explore the fundamentals of developing powerful authentic brand stories.

Access the

So, the big question is – is storytelling the future of content marketing? In this post, we’ll explore the significance of storytelling in B2B content marketing. We’ll also look at some surefire ways of boosting your B2B content strategy using storytelling. 

The power of storytelling

Let’s have a quick look at the benefits of storytelling as a B2B marketing strategy. 

1. Stories build trust and relationships

When you share authentic stories about your brand, you can connect with your audiences on a deeper level. Businesses have started to look beyond your brand – they look for stories that resonate with them as people. Such people are not only more likely to buy from you but also spread positive word-of-mouth about your brand.  

Consider, for example, one of the leaders in CRM solutions, Salesforce. This brand realizes the importance of a good story to boost trust and credibility. It leverages its happy customers for storytelling.  

Salesforce has a separate section on its website entirely dedicated to the success stories of its customers. When its prospects read such stories, it naturally instills trust in Salesforce’s solutions.   

2. Stories are great motivators

A good story can be a great motivator to drive your audiences toward becoming customers. Many B2B brands have been successfully using this tactic to sell their services or products.  

For example, the shipping conglomerate, Maersk, realizes how important it is to motivate its audiences. This is possible only through stories that are real and relatable. Its campaign, “The Heart of Trade” revolves entirely around the lives of people who make trade happen.  

Through this campaign, it showcased the lives of the everyday entrepreneurs – the heroes of global trade. Such stories are greatly inspirational and can help to win the hearts of your prospects.  

3. Stories are fun and exciting

Well of course they are! When you simply state your amazing product’s features, trust me, no one has the slightest bit of interest in them. But, turn them into a story about how they can benefit your audiences and they’ll start listening.  

Law firm, BLP, offers risk management consulting services to well-known financial institutions. For one of its marketing campaigns, it created a series of videos inspired by Ocean’s 11 in a classic “heist” theme. Their objective was to be top of mind for potential buyers. 

These videos spoke about caution using real-life regulatory scenarios that can become a nightmare for firms. The videos are fun to watch, engrossing and extremely compelling.   

How to use storytelling effectively

Now that you understand the benefits of storytelling, let’s look at a few ways in which you can use this for B2B marketing.  

An interesting strategy that has been used by many B2B brands is to leverage employees to share brand stories. Your employees are the ones who know your products the best because they’re the ones who create them. So getting them to spread your story in their circles can be a great way to increase awareness of your brand.  

IBM is a company that has been using this tactic successfully for a long time. It created an internal hub that makes it easy for its employees to share content on their social networks. The employees who participate in the program are recognized for their efforts. This isn’t an absolute necessity, however. 

Of course, IBM is able to leverage its in-house platform given its technical proficiency and immense resources. For those of us who don’t have such resources at our disposal, platforms like Smarp can be really helpful.  

This second use case can be a serious game-changer for marketers seeking to maximize the authenticity of their storytelling. By simply posting an internal-only discussion thread, you can easily spark conversations with non-marketers in your company – sales reps, customer success agents and others who intimately know the issues that your buyer personas face day in, day out and can help inform the content you work on. 

Tip: Make the process easy and seamless, allowing subject matter experts to share their wisdom via web forms, audio files – whatever fits their lives best. And make sure to offer incentives for participation. This will encourage your employees to contribute and get your stories heard in their circles.  

2. Involve customers in your journey

If you truly want to resonate with your audiences and infuse yourself into their lives and conversations – involve them in every step of your journey. Share stories about how you started out, what your vision is now and your plans for the future.  

By involving your customers in every step of your journey, you are no longer limited to just a product or service. Through your stories, they’ll get to see the human side of your brand and this can truly help you win their trust.  

Workday, for instance, uses its social media profiles mainly to give its audience an inside look at the company to show its human side.   

This speaks volumes about the culture and values of the company because it was founded on the idea of putting people at the center of enterprise software.  

Tip: Identify the challenges of your target audiences and help them overcome these through storytelling. Resonate with their issues as this will make your brand appear more credible and human.  

3. Leverage influencers to share your stories

Influencers are expert storytellers. So collaborate with influencers in your niche and have them present your story to their followers. Make sure not to meddle too much with the actual content creation process as this can do you more harm. 

Provide your influencers with ample creative freedom while making sure you’ve clearly articulated your expectations. Studies have found that 77% of influencers prefer to collaborate with brands that provide creative freedom.  

Microsoft launched a unique campaign on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023. Its objective was to increase awareness and motivate more women to work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. 

The results were phenomenal. These photos recorded a total of 3.5 million likes and reached around 91 million people.  

This is a great way of positioning your brand in front of your target audiences. When they get to hear such authentic stories from influencers, they’re more likely to buy your product. The amount of engagement the above post has generated is a good indication of that.  

Apart from posting sponsored content on social media, influential bloggers can also help you get your stories across to your target audiences. A great way of engaging them is to ask them to write product reviews for you on their blogs. Not only can they boost your content strategy, but also help improve your SEO as well.  

BuzzSumo can help you find the right influencers for your brand. It allows you to filter the results by domain authority, relevance, retweet ratio, reply ratio and other parameters. You can even filter the results to display influencers by type – whether you need bloggers, journalists, regular people or even companies.  

Tip: Collaborate with influencers to get your stories across to your target audiences in a way that’s authentic, aesthetic and relatable.  

Final thoughts

The world around us continues to evolve every single day. With it, there are shifts in consumer preferences and hence the need for brands to constantly innovate. However, our basic human instincts have remained the same and always will. We are hardwired for stories. So follow the above-mentioned methods and use the power of storytelling to take your business places. 

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

How A Link Outreach Campaign Boosts The Value Of Your Content

If you’re creating great content but it isn’t getting the exposure it needs, consider a link outreach campaign. The days of randomly suggesting or trading links with bloggers or other website owners are long gone.

Today, you need a personalized approach to link building. It takes more effort, but there’s usually a higher pay-off.

Link outreach is one of the best ways to generate high-value links from a variety of sources. This is a form of online PR that takes some research, but being able to target the right people – the ones you want to see your content – can lead to more mentions (and hopefully, links) in their content or social shares.

Below is a high-level view that explains some of the most important aspects of link outreach when it comes to increasing the value of your content.

Why Outreach Is an Important Part of Your Link Building Strategy

You aren’t just building a relationship with your online audience by growing your link profile. You’re also increasing the value of the content you’re creating.

Getting links and traffic to your content can happen in many ways, but it usually takes some outreach to get your content in front of your target audience. This means that link outreach efforts begin with the creation of the content itself.

Sometimes called “online PR,” this approach means you’ll be researching influencers within your target industry, then crafting content campaigns around them to get them to read and share your content.

Two of the best tools we’ve found to research influencers are BuzzSumo (whom we have no affiliation with) and Google (just do a good old-fashioned search to find the top-performing publications and websites in a specific industry).

Research Proper Industry Terms & Keywords

Start your research by compiling a list of industry terms. Search for them, combined with “blog,” “publication,” “magazine,” or even “expert.”

The term “mommy blogger” also brings up a good point — make sure you know your audience. Many marketers use the term “mommy blogger,” for instance (as I’m doing here), but actual women who are mothers and are blogging are likely not using that term for themselves.

Take your time to research how your target influencer group actually refers to themselves. This will help you in your search.

Creating Content

While influencer targeting research is obviously key to promoting and getting links for content you’ve already published, researching what is already happening in the industry should be part of the initial creation process as well. Look at what content is already being published or shared by influencers and create content that aligns.

Social media is extremely helpful at this stage. Many influencers will add their own opinions to what they are sharing, which can help you figure out what content would do best. Even though Content Marketing Institute found that there isn’t a correlation between higher social shares and incoming links, they still all work together to drive more visibility for your content.

For instance, if people are asking a lot of questions about a product, then creating content that clears up their confusion could be extremely beneficial to influencers and overall target audience. For instance, if you sell phone cases, and Guerrilla glass came out with a new type of screen that promises to be unbreakable, a blog post or infographic about how phone screens are made could capitalize on audience interest about having a phone screen that couldn’t be shattered when you drop it.

Leveraging Existing Content

Another way you can capitalize on audience interest and content is to put your own spin on content that has already been created. For a Jeep part supplier, as an example, there are already going to be dozens (if not hundreds) of pieces of content around basic Jeep topics, like “what type of tires are best for Jeep Wranglers?”

However, you can take it up a notch by crafting content around niche interests your audience may be searching for (which you can usually find by using an SEO research tool if you don’t know the industry well). What about an entire blog series or white paper on what types of tires work best for Jeeps in specific geographic regions, like the desert or the mountains? This will appeal to a more niche audience, which can drive curiosity, traffic, and make your content stand out.

In addition to taking a specific angle, like geography, your content can also focus on your unique value proposition — what makes your products or services better than anyone else. If your Jeep tires have been road-tested for 75,000 miles before being stocked in our store, mention that in your tire content.

Showcasing your superiority to competitors can help build credibility and trust. It also makes it more likely that people will link to you, do business with you, or return to read more of your content.

Generating Links Through Outreach

Once you’ve created the content and researched your influencers, you can start your outreach efforts to get more visibility.

One popular method is email outreach.

If you don’t have an influencer’s email address, try using an email finder tool like Email Hunter or looking at the contact section of their LinkedIn profile.

Here’s an email template you can use to pitch an infographic or other piece of content to an influencer.

Be sure to make your email as personalized as possible so it stands out from other pitches they receive.

Subject: Great insight on {insight}

Hey {name},

I’ve been reading your blog periodically, and follow you on Twitter! {something unique about their Twitter feed or their online presence}

When reading through {article name} about {topic} I had noticed that my recent infographic was closely related. {Demonstrate connection}

Here’s the infographic that I thought your audiences would certainly be interested in: [link]

If you’re so inclined, feel free to share in your post or a new one. 🙂

Signoff

This process has worked for us in the past; below is a screenshot of an anonymized campaign for a client that got us two links to a long-form guide they did:

You can follow up once or twice after one and two weeks, just letting them know you are checking in to see if they received your email. But don’t be too pushy. Chances are if they don’t answer after a week or so, they probably aren’t going to. No need to keep bothering them, as this can lead to negative connotations about you and/or your company.

Anna Crowe has a good guide on influencer marketing campaigns here on SEJ if you’d like to learn more about this approach.

Creating a Process

Content creation and link outreach to promote that content definitely have many other nuances than what is described above, but there is a process you can start following when creating your own content:

Research Your Target Audience: Create a list of keywords/topics for your target audience that can be used to find existing content and influencers you want to target.

Research Existing Content: See what content is already being created around your target topics and what industry influencers are talking about most.

Create Content: Put your own spin on it by focusing on a niche aspect or demographic factor, like specific locations.

Generate Links Through Outreach: Target influencers through email outreach that creates a connection between what they’ve already shared or created and your own content. Show how your content could be used or shared in their next piece of content or on social media. (Additionally, if you’re looking for other ways to gather links, check out Ron Dod’s post here on SEJ about other link acquisition tactics.)

Once you make these steps a part of your overall link outreach strategy, the entire process will not only be easier, but you’ll start to build better relationships with influencers and your online audience. This can lead to more links, traffic, and ongoing conversions for all the content you are creating.

Image Credits

Featured/in-post image: DepositPhotos

Screenshot taken by author April 2023

The Content Marketing Hub: A Blueprint For Content Marketing

An infographic explaining how inbound marketing works together with content marketing

Whether you call it inbound marketing, social media marketing or content marketing, we’re broadly referring to the same thing; at least that’s how we see it.

Dave and I believe that inbound marketing starts with considered, quality content, well published and promoted that, in turn, drives the inbound benefit through sharing and search.

The ‘free bonus’ is that you’re link-building and gaining social signals for search engine optimisation as well creating great content – something so often over-looked and under-valued.

The Content Marketing model infographic

This Content Marketing model was developed at First 10 Digital when working with a client who wanted to understand the full process for her team. We hope our infographic will help you plot your success too.

Content marketing blueprint

People liked it so much we thought it deserved a more polished design with Smart Insights input – so here it is along with a few notes.

Have a look, and please let us know what you think.

A simple model that still requires hard work to implement

While not making light of the reality of hard work involved in considering how to integrate this model with your wider plans, including ongoing social and search marketing, I hope the simplicity of this process still really jumps out. We’ve have much more detail on how to apply it to create a content marketing strategy here:

Recommended Guide: Content marketing strategy

: Content marketing strategy

Our 88 page Ebook features a workbook format with checklists and examples that makes it quick to scan to develop a strategy and apply the practical tips and tools.

Excellent branded content

You’re not in the game without it, I’m afraid.

It’s easy to over-egg the channels, especially social media, yet even social media experts will tell you that without the objects around which to socialise and share there is little chance of interaction or sharing.

And, for most of us, the best object is relevant, quality, branded content (by definition that’s not quick or easy!) that’s exceptionally well seeded.

Develop a connected hub

This may be a fascinating and well considered hub like American Express’ Open Forum or something relatively simple like Eloqua’s much applauded and popular Revenue blog.

Don’t over state it – it’s still a blog but it’s a brilliant and relevant one. Design your hub in line with other assets, think about the positioning (how great is Elqoua’s Revenue proposition considering they sell marketing software), and then get your quality content on there.

The high end will consider the awesome but extremely pricey Gigya, or cheaper Janrain.

Publish and promote

This is the crucial step, the bit that really is hard work.

How and where to seed with influencers in your market, the portals and the bloggers who have the credibility and reach that you need.

And, don’t forget the social networks, communities and forums where your audience is already talking about related stuff.

‘Free’, no, ‘Easy’, no – since when was great marketing ever easy though?

Spark interaction

All that content needs to drive somewhere, to your content hub most likely, although the idea of ‘fulfilment’ can take place anywhere, really.

Suffice to say that in return for making it worth someone’s while to interact with you,you capture new potential customers and, more importantly, their permission to continue an ongoing dialogue that moves them, presumably, towards the sale of a product or service.

The focus is on the relationship, which is why email and social media combine so well.

Relationship building or interaction takes place wherever your audience is, in social network, on your site, etc.

Sell

I toyed with omitting this from my blueprint list but, at the end of the day, it’s the commercial reason we create valuable content.

If you’re offering a solution your target market finds very valuable, then content marketing is simpler for you.

Focus on providing valuable solutions to your target market, don’t pitch and scream about your products off the bat. People are looking for solutions, not your product or service.

Offer them what they need and want – the secret to effortless selling.

Free SEO prizes

The issue of miss-selling of ‘SEO’ by so many of the agencies plying this trade is almost too tempting to ignore here. In my experience these agencies are often guilty of making what’s actually quite a simple process (I did not easy!) seem like a dark art. I’ll avoid the temptation to pursue this now and keep my supporting thoughts to myself until another time!

If you succeed in creating great content, you should benefit from two free bonus prizes in relation to your natural search marketing:

Free prize #1 – If you (or your SEO agency) follow this content marketing process, I hope its ability to drive link-building is evident. The most important factor in gaining the desired search rank is: develop content worth re-sharing and worth linking to!!

Free prize #2 – Your quality content, well marketed on the most relevant sites, ensures that you develop a brand footprint in Google and Bing that’s wider than the one ordinarily enjoyed by your chúng tôi don’t have to directly rank for everything; indeed, this is increasingly hard to do.Imagine an extreme example – the BBC website picks up on your content and publishes it, quantum leaping you up in SERP visibility. Who equates to the BBC in your market?For example, a Gap travel company might strive to have content worthy of Lonely Planet or relevant specialist blogs or forums, such as niche opportunities in volunteer travel or snowboarding.

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