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10 Ways To Build An Actionable Content Marketing Strategy To Boost Conversion Rates

Content marketing is an essential technique that’s considered to bring in a huge return with a potentially low-tier budget.

What’s so special about it?

For one, content marketing can act as a backbone of all your marketing strategies, from paid campaigns to outbound strategies. Every marketing tactic is augmented to an audience with the help of content marketing.

Thanks to content marketing, businesses have been able to increase their website reach, conversion rates, lead generation, and more.

Even then, there have been common misconceptions that content marketing isn’t the best way to improve your conversions. We can see that 38 percent of organizations are yet to give content marketing a serious chance. This leads to a lower emphasis on content marketing as a growth and conversion-driving method.

B2B Content Marketing

Source

Here are 10 reasons that contribute to a poor content marketing strategy and its effect on your low conversion rates.

1. Aggregate Resources to Run Content Marketing

One of the challenges marketers face is the shortage of resources.  

This may be true for an organization that reaches a certain level of maturity, but content marketing still gets you results even with minimal resources.

There are 2 crucial parts of content marketing which are discussed as follows:

  • Team: A significant problem stated by CxO’s and marketers in various organizations is about building a team. Content marketing requires dedication and a clear strategy, but building a team is not a necessity. All you need is a clear content promotion and distribution strategy. And this has been validated by growing startups time and again.B2C marketing team size
  • Marketing Tools: Scarcity of marketing tools can also stall the progress of your marketing efforts. Generally, one can do most of the stuff manually, but the downside to the manual approach is a lot of time gets wasted. Here are a mix of free and premium tools that one can use as tools to streamline their content marketing efforts –
    • Keyword Research: Google Keyword Suggest, Google Trends, SEMRush, and Ahrefs.
    • Writing tools: Microsoft Word, Hemingway Writer, and Dropbox Paper.
    • Content Ideation and research tool: Buzzsumo, Alltop, Uber Suggest, and Google Search Suggestions.
    • Content Distribution (Social and Organic): Buffer, Meet Edgar, Contently, Stumbleupon, Feedly, and LinkedIn Pulse.
    • User Engagement tracking: VWO, Kissmetrics, Mention, Google Analytics, and more.

It’s a myth that content marketing requires a lot of resources that come at a premium. As a result, it is considered out of reach for most of us. However, if you put a little effort in finding the right set of tools, you’ll have these just with little spending.

2. Figure Out the KPIs for Your Content Strategy

Figuring out the critical KPIs, or key performance indicators, will tell you if you are achieving your target and if not, how much effort has to be put in. The KPIs you choose should indicate your progress toward your goal.

For content marketing, here are a few KPIs that you should always document:

  • Time spent on a blog or other content pieces
  • Forms filled for gated content like eBooks, Whitepapers, and so on
  • Bounce rate of your blog and averages views
  • Subscribers gained for a newsletter/email list
  • Social media shares
  • Conversion rate/Desired action was taken
  • Inbound links generated
  • Comments posted on your blog

For example, if you want to increase conversions and sign up customers for a trial, you would be measuring conversion rate as one of your KPIs.

3. Map Your Content Strategy to Your Marketing Funnel

Whilst creating a content marketing strategy, it is important that the creation procedure relates to various stages of your marketing funnel.

If a standard marketing funnel is divided into 4 stages, it is imperative that the content strategy is in line with it.

Content Marketing and Funnel Journey

A guideline, like the one above, can you give a clear picture about creating an effective content strategy. This strategy can guide your audience or customers at every stage of their journey.

4. Streamline Your Content Strategy

It’s a nightmare for marketers to streamline their content strategy. And it’s a task that a content marketer has to overcome, as the smoother the process to churn out quality content, the smoother it is to engage with your target audience.

Here is a quick strategy flow that you can follow to streamline your process:

Build a Content Calendar

  • Build a content calendar even when you are planning to publish a couple of articles over a month or so.
  • Strategize your content marketing around content bundles. Target no more than 2 keywords for a month.
  • Using the 2 keywords, share multiple content collaterals on your website as well as on guest blogs and web pages for a month.
  • Depending on your team size, you can scale from just 2 keywords to more.
  • In the next month, move to the next set of keywords from the pool of your target keywords.
  • For each month, repeat Steps b and c.

Automate your social media distribution

  • The most common reason that discourages marketers to use social media to market their content is the distribution part. Posting on social media becomes tedious when you publish over 10–12 social updates daily.
  • To solve this problem, use social media automation.
  • Use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to automate content distribute among social websites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • To monitor social media activity, you can either use the analytical dashboard provided by different social media websites or a tool like Mention or Brand24.

Build and follow an outreach program

  • Outreaching is crucial if you want to promote your brand and build links. It also puts you in the spotlight with influencers and provides the much-needed exposure.
  • Email and social media are the two best channels for an outreach program.
  • If you’re starting out, you can use various templates available on the Internet. We like these ideas shared by HubSpot and Mailshake.
  • Automate your outreach campaigns by using tools like Gmass or Ninja Outreach. Set up automatic follow-ups so that you can focus on what really matters.

With these 3 elements of content marketing in place, you will realize how effective content marketing is. Most importantly, you and your team will become a content-generating factory in no time.

5. Solve the Dilemma – Long vs. Short Content Pieces

It’s a common belief that long-form content works better if it were to rank for any given keyword.

While this is true in most cases, yet writing short-form content does not batter your business. The reason behind it is the purpose of your content.

There are various factors that you need to consider before concluding that “My blog post has to be a long one.” Don’t compromise on the quality of your post because it needs to have a certain length.

Instead, pay attention to these factors:

  • Target Audience: When you are ideating your content strategy, it is important to figure out your audience. See who you are targeting, what problems you are trying to alleviate for your audience, and where you fit in. Now, devise the purpose of your post.
  • Writing Style: Some content writers and marketers have the habit of writing unnecessarily lengthy content. Some want to keep their content short and to the point. If you’re changing your writing style, be steady.
  • Type of Content: Not all content can be words. As a business, you need to have diverse content creation and distribution strategy. Most successful business owners and individuals invest in a variety of content verticals like blogging, infographics, eBooks, Whitepapers, video walkthroughs, and more.
  • Content Posting-Frequency: The length of your blog posts also matters on your posting frequency. To post articles or other content pieces every few days, you would have to write brief and small pieces of content. However, people who tend to post once in a week or two tend to write longer content. Avoid being stringent to a strict deadline if you or your team feel that you are compromising on the quality of your content.
  • Post Format: The format of your post has a lot of impact on the readability. If you lean toward writing short paragraphs with a good amount of whitespace and images, you can produce a short form or long form content and both can be equally engaging.

6. Don’t expect to get fast results without a proper structure

While marketers may agree that content marketing is a lengthy process and does not get immediate results, at times, it may be the only way to build authority for your business.

To elaborate we are going to discuss the CRM Industry. CRM stands for Customer Relation Management systems.

What is a CRM?

A CRM system gives other teams, such as sales, customer service, business development, or marketing, a better way to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success. A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all at a central location. The purpose is to make information about every customer interaction available to anyone in your company who might need it. [Source]

The CRM industry is a crowded and competitive space. CRM is the backbone of any brand’s sales and marketing process.

Giants like Salesforce and SAP are battling it out in the open; and brands like Hubspot, Pipedrive, FreshWorks, and others are being billed as the up and coming CRM platforms.

Yet, the industry is still blooming. How do you then outrank the competition?

Paid advertising and outbound marketing are a costly affair.

We will share a small story about a fairly new SaaS company named Pipedrive that tapped content marketing to not only get noticed but also get lot of conversions.

Pipedrive is a young CRM platform that has been targeting small- to mid-level businesses. It focuses on content marketing efforts to improve its conversion rates.

Pipedrive devised a content strategy around sales management (a highly competitive keyword on Google and in the CRM universe). It took 3 months for it to rank from nothing to the first position on Google.

“Sales management” has a monthly search volume of approximately 10k with a high competitive score.

After a lot of brainstorming and coming out with a well-laid strategy, Pipedrive’s content marketing team could deliver in under 3 months.

So, before you play down content marketing as a strategy, think about Pipedrive—a nascent CRM platform that is now present in 140 countries with 4 offices across the globe.

You can read the complete case study here.

Content marketing might not bring you fast results, but planned execution can bring in massive results in 6 months.

7. Focus on Social Media

Marketers disregard social media as a viable, alternative method to build traffic and drive user engagement.

We were able to identify 2 major reasons for it:

  • Marketers believe that social media is meant only for businesses, which are targeting millennials and tech-savvy consumers.
  • Social media efforts result in wastage of valuable time. Marketers believe that if they can create quality content, search results will automatically bring in customers, en masse.

There are additional points other than the above reasoning.

  1. Almost 2 billion people are using social in one form or another. If you are not leveraging social media, you are losing a huge chunk of the audience.
  2. I’m sure, you’ve heard the phrase, “Putting all your eggs in one basket.” This phrase means banking excessively on just one method for achieving success. In content marketing, while search results bring in a major chunk of your audience, a simple change in the Google algorithm can completely block your traffic. So, there is a need to explore other channels as well to maintain a consistent traffic flow.
  3. You can’t build a relation without interacting with your customers and clients. Social media is one of the best ways to start building one.

8. Don’t Write Content Just around Your Brand

A common habit among marketers is of focusing their content only on their own product or service. To your target audience, this comes off as too promotional, so at times, the audience complains that it’s hard to trust such brands.

This can become a major problem for marketers who are trying to cultivate a meaningful relationship with their audience that benefits both parties.

Then what should you do?

The key purpose of content marketing is to develop a worthwhile relationship with the target audience. The readers should relate to you as a brand that genuinely treats a customer’s problem as its own problem.

Start looking for challenges your audience is facing. Create content that offers effective countermeasures to help overcome those challenges.

When your audience notices that your content is consistently relevant, they will keep coming back for more.

9. Invest in Content Marketing

Many organizations start delving into content marketing because they think the investment is zero or next to zero.

While this concern is true to an extent. You should understand that quality content creation has no importance if it’s not promoted on the right channel at the right time.

Promotion depends on your audience type.

For example, for targeting B2B audience, you may use professional networks like LinkedIn and GrowthHackers as well as public platforms like Twitter by using retargeting and online behavior.

Investing a small amount (a few hundred dollars a month) can help you promote your post to not just a few hundreds, but many thousands.

10. Write for the Web

Writing on the web is different from other forms of writing. Choose a topic and run a search query on Google, and you’ll find a sea of similar articles.

Therefore, it’s important to stand out.

Here is a popular framework that can help you improve the usability of your blog post and allow it to be more in sync with your audience.

Starting Afresh

Even if you have failed with content marketing at some point in your professional lives, that’s not the end you can try again.

To get results from your content marketing efforts, you need to give it a lot of time.

Look for small wins to gain the initial momentum. For example, set a target of building 5 inbound links to your website in the first month, or get 500 shares about your blog in 2 weeks’ time. When you start achieving your subgoals while going for the bigger goal, it becomes more quantifiable and attainable.

If you’re serious about content marketing, I’m looking forward to learning what sort of problems you faced or are facing during your journey in this field. Did you solve it, or are you working toward it? We would love to hear from you in our Comments section.

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How To Do Content Marketing Without Writing Blog Posts

Content marketing is all the rage right now. And for good reason. It’s the best way to bring in new organic traffic to your site. If you want a piece of the organic, SEO traffic pie, you need to be creating new content on a daily basis. Otherwise, you risk falling behind. There are currently millions of blog posts published daily. Meaning you are competing with potentially thousands of other businesses for the same traffic. But what if you don’t have to, want to, or need to blog? What if your business doesn’t make sense for blogging? It’s becoming a…

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What Science Can Teach Us About How to Create Viral Content

Think about the last thing you shared on the internet. Maybe it was an insightful video on the political turmoil in a far away country, or maybe it was a funny picture of a cat wearing a bow tie. Either way – you saw it, had an emotional reaction to it and decided to share it with others. But in the process of sharing the latest video, picture or article to your social media feeds – did you ever stop to think about why you shared it? What was your emotional response to the content? What about that response made…

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What Science Can Teach Us About How to Create Viral Content

The Numbers Behind Content Marketing: Essential Statistics for 2017

content marketing 2017

What’s the state of play in content marketing? What content should you be creating, how should you be distributing it, where should you be promoting it? There’s a million opinions out there. But here, there’s a million stats instead. Well, OK, there’s actually 101, which I swear is a coincidence. But if you want solid data on emails, SEO, strategy and whole lot else besides – we got ‘em. Dive in! 1. The Market For Content Marketing Importance How important is content marketing to marketers? It’s probably the most important marketing tool for most businesses. 89% of B2B organizations are…

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Content Marketer’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization

Your website is your number one tool for lead generation and likely your number one customer acquisition tool as well. An appealing site that catches your visitor’s eye is great, but what if that traffic is making zero impact on your bottom line?

It’s a common problem. In fact, the global eCommerce conversion rate in Q4 2016 was a mere 2.95%. So if your business is hovering around this rate, you are not alone. Competition continues to rise, making it even harder for businesses to drive online sales. To help you identify where your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy may be failing you and how to improve this strategy, we’ve narrowed down the best possible methods:

Write Compelling Content

Most people don’t actually read the majority of web copy, so this suggestion may come as a surprise. They may skim and absorb the headlines that stand out, but for the most part, do not read word for word. The reason for this is simple: web content is often poorly written.

So remember these points to attract readers and boost conversions with your content:

  • Voice: Use a unique voice that’s consistent across all of your marketing channels.
  • Be provocative: When appropriate, use suggestive headlines and copy that speak to your users about their frustrations.
  • Entertain: Even the driest topics can entertain readers if written well. If a particular page isn’t geared toward informing or educating the reader, it should at least be enjoyable to read.
  • Be professional: Avoid exclamation points. If you need to communicate excitement, use verbs.
  • Cite sources: It’s frustrating to read content that makes unsupported claims. If you are sharing your own perspective on a matter, cite the original.

Forms – Where the Conversion Happens

The form on your landing page is the most important component of your conversion strategy. It’s the final step an individual takes before becoming a lead or customer. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the following:

Number of fields

The optimal number of fields for your business will depend on your offer, but try to make it as few as possible. Only ask for the details you need from your leads. The more fields on your form, the easier it is for a contact to get overwhelmed with the effort involved and bounce (especially for those browsing mobile devices).

Placement

As we discussed earlier, people tend to skim web pages and look for key elements. If your conversion opportunity (form) appears below the fold, visitors may not even see it. Make sure it’s visible on all devices upon landing on the page, without the need to scroll, pinch, or zoom.

Form Errors

There’s nothing more frustrating than filling out a form three times only to get an unsuccessful error without any indication as to which part of the form was not filled out correctly. Make sure form errors are visible and descriptive.

Run Split Tests on Landing Pages

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is when businesses run experiments to determine which elements of their strategy are more effective. By creating two different versions of landing pages to run at the same time, it’s easier to pinpoint what’s driving conversions and what’s not.

Here are some examples of different elements of your conversion strategy you can split test:

  • Button color
  • Headlines
  • Copy
  • Forms
  • Page layout
  • Images

You can track the results of your split tests in Google Analytics; but using tools like Unbounce, Optimizely, or HubSpot can allow you to manage your experiments a little easier.

PRO TIP: Ensure that you are extracting meaningful data from your tests. The split test results may show you which call-to-action (CTA) performed better, but what information can you take away from that experiment to help your next CTA?

Establish Trust

It doesn’t matter how strong your offer is if your visitors don’t feel they can trust you. This is particularly important for eCommerce businesses. Why would shoppers give you their credit card information if they are the slightest bit apprehensive?

Include these elements on your landing and product pages, where the user is preparing to make a decision:

  • Badges: Antivirus, PayPal, Verisign for example
  • Reviews and Seller Ratings: Here is a list of the ones that Google recognizes, which means they stand to improve your click-through rate as well.
  • Testimonials: Include an image of the customer if possible (get permission first!).
  • Dynamic Social Proof: Yieldify has a tool that shows you how many people viewed a page or product in a given time frame. The same is used in travel industry when you see “300 people viewed this property today.” The same buyer psychology works for products in eCommerce.

Leverage Design Best Practices

If your website is not responsive (doesn’t adapt to the user’s screen size), this could be the number one reason for your low conversion rates. As desktop browsing continues to give way to mobile, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices of all sizes.

The look and feel of your website should have character. A common trend in design currently is the minimalistic white look. But what’s memorable about that? Use about 2 to 3 of your brand colors throughout the site and do a side-by-side comparison with your competitor’s site to ensure that yours is unique.

At all costs, avoid using stock photos. These are typically unrelatable and generic. Invest in quality photography of your products, office, and team. You’ll be surprised how effective these images can be in establishing trust.

Incorporate Conversion-Driving Functionality

How can you expect visitors to convert on your website if it takes several seconds to load? People are impatient and can move to the next search engine result if your website loads too slowly. You can optimize your media and check your site load time periodically with Website Grader.

The goal of your website or landing page is to convert visitors so it’s important to keep them focused. Avoid unnecessary overlays or pop-ups that may be distracting.

Visitor experience on your website plays a key role in their decision to convert. This includes being able to serve your visitors the information that meets their needs, which is where personalization comes in. Website personalization displays content tailored to your visitor characteristics, devices, or actions, facilitated through your CMS and marketing automation platform.

Offer Incentives

As eCommerce competition continues to grow, shoppers have endless opportunities to search for better deals. Offering an incentive and making it clear how to take advantage of it can be an extremely effective method to drive conversions. Create a page dedicated to promo codes and link to it in your main menu or share the code directly on the product page.

If visitors don’t see what they are looking for on your site (like a sale or promotion they saw on another channel), they’ll use your search bar. Analyzing the searches on your site is beneficial not only in determining what your visitors are looking for but also in encouraging conversions by allowing visitors to find what they are looking for. Ensure that your search bar is visible on all pages and devices.

Do Not Underestimate the Power of Advertising

Another particularly effective type of advertising is remarketing. Remarketing ads are displayed to individuals who have already visited your site.

There are plenty of ways to use remarketing ads to drive conversions and beneficial to re-engage:

  • Past visitors
  • Individuals who abandoned carts
  • Existing customers

Use Your Data

One of the most important ways to continuously optimize your conversion strategy is to leverage your data. Uncover details about your customers, how they are finding your site, and how they are engaging with it by analyzing the data collected from Google Analytics, your advertising campaigns, social media channels, email efforts, and any other tools you are using.

Conclusion

Remember, optimizing your conversion strategy should be an ongoing experiment. These tips can guide you in the right direction, but the effort should be that of constantly evolving and improving. Start with SMART goals, test your strategy, analyze results, and make improvements and adjustments accordingly.

Please Note: This is a guest Post by Peter Dulay. He is a conversion expert with over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and conversion. He has helped many startups and fortune 500 companies to boost their conversion by 400% and more.

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Why You Should Have A Local Content Marketing Strategy

You’ve probably heard time and time again that content marketing is important in growing your business’s online presence. When done correctly, it can increase brand awareness, advocacy, and lead to more sales. The problem is many businesses are doing it wrong. Many business owners think they need to be creating X new pieces of content per week, which simply isn’t true. Producing content for the sake of producing content is not a productive use of time and will not rank you higher in Google or drive more sales. Sure the more quality content you can create, the more traffic you…

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Neil Patel’s Advanced Content Marketing Summit

The best part of attending a conference is getting all the latest juicy knowledge in one place, all at the same time, and before the rest of the world knows about it. When a conference is good, you frantically write down notes, future to-dos, new strategies and you can’t wait to get back to eagerly implement all your newfound knowledge. But then there are the down sides: Booking flights and hotel rooms Remembering to do all your expensing Forgetting something at home Completely fudging up your schedule Putting your dog in the kennel And the sheer exhaustion by the end…

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Learn from the Best: an Interview with Content Marketing Rock Star Andy Crestodina

I first had the pleasure of working with Andy on a Kissmetrics blog post five years ago. A few months after his post was published, I looked at our traffic in Google Analytics and said: Whatever Andy touches becomes magic. The electric sparks that shoot off his finger tips as he types turn into thousands of social shares, ten of thousands of pageviews, and more importantly – unbelievable wisdom that his readers consume. Let’s get inside his head for a moment and learn a few new things! 1. In the current state of inbound marketing, are people getting suffocated by…

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How to Use Customer Research to Get Better Results from Your Content Marketing Program

customer research for content

One of the first questions I ask a new content client is, “Do you have any customer research I could get my hands on?” Whether the answer is yes or no, people almost always act confused at first. I’m sure they wonder why I would need customer research to write a blog post. Here’s the thing: The purpose of content is to build the relationship between the business and the buyer. If you don’t understand the buyer, how can you possibly create content that builds a relationship with them? Let’s put this in perspective. Imagine you’re going to buy a…

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Why Your B2B Needs Account Based Content Marketing & How You Should Do It

abc

Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 report stated that over 60% of B2B marketers saw more success from their content marketing efforts this past year. What does this mean? It means – as so many of us have stated before – that Content is King. When it comes to digital marketing, there is truly no better way to convey value and transparent authority to your users. However, even if the majority of B2B search marketers are reporting strong growth stats, there is still a large discrepancy between how our content performs in theory and how it performs in reality. Ironically, content marketing…

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Why Your B2B Needs Account Based Content Marketing & How You Should Do It