Analyzing the traffic sources for our clients’ websites, we figured out that more than half of the traffic received over six months comes from many different sources: social media, paid search, display, direct traffic, organic, or referral. In view of the most recent changes in the digital marketing world, we came to the conclusion that, if we only focused on search intent and “organic” traffic, we would miss lots of valuable traffic, leads, and conversions.
The competition for the audience’s attention has become fierce especially in competitive industries, this is why it is essential to use various channels apart from organic traffic to deliver content to the targeted audiences. But let’s see all the reasons why content promotion and distribution (content amplification) is a must for an effective content marketing strategy.
What is content amplification?
Content amplification could be defined as the use of various online channels to promote content so that it increases brand awareness and encourages users to make a purchase on your website. The purpose of content amplification is to increase your content reach to establish you as a trusted brand in your industry and create new opportunities for sales.
Content Marketing Strategies and Techniques
To attain your content marketing goals in an extremely crowded landscape (3 million blog posts are published every day), marketers and businessmen obviously need to create and follow a clear strategy based on their audience’s behaviours, interests and needs. A successful content amplification strategy should include the following:
Defining business goals and translating them into specific objectives and KPIs. To grow your business, you need to set realistic digital marketing targets. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, you will most probably need to keep an eye on traffic volume (measured through unique visits and visitors), conversion rates, average order value, revenue per visit and other KPIs.
Constantly creating quality content. To achieve these goals, you need to produce the right content to support each stage of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, decision, and action. A correct strategy includes analyzing the existing content, detecting your business needs and using a calendar to track your team’s content publishing activity.
Even if you know your targeted public very well, conducting A/B tests and split tests to improve engagement rates is also a must. This way, you can see what your audience actually responds to and create more valuable content that converts. A good marketer knows that only the best piece of content needs to be amplified. Don’t waste your budget amplifying every piece of content you produce, hoping that the ROI will be great.
Content Promotion must be done through the right channels (organic and paid) to reach the audience you are attempting to connect with. If you have analyzed your targeted audience’s behaviour well, you probably know exactly where your public hangs out the most and what determines the people to convert.
Understanding your customers’ journey is also essential for running a successful content amplification strategy. You can better understand your audience by analyzing the behaviour reports in Google Analytics, or by simply interviewing some of your returning customers.
After selecting the marketing channels, you need to promote your content through, it’s time to establish the place those channels have in your customer’s journey towards making a purchase from your brand. Consider each action taken by your audience along their path to conversion.
Each step towards conversion will be assigned a promotional channel which will nurture the customer’s needs, according to their actions.
Content Distributions Methods
Obviously, there are many methods and ideas to distribute quality content as a goal to increase your business. According to your business needs and marketing goals, you can use any of the following:
To become an authoritative presence in your niche, you need to build trust and authority across many platforms through the content you create and present in front of your audience. For this, influencer marketing could be a winning strategy: it’s useful to create solid relationships with influencers who already have a large number of loyal followers on social media channels and start promoting your branded content to the right audiences.
Publishing interesting blogs and articles will also help your audience become familiar with your products or services. People also respond very well to interactive content such as contests or videos. You can also use press releases and media coverage, especially if you are launching a new product/service and social proof (testimonials) for creating trust, sharing information and generating online success. There are lots of ideas and ways to interact with your audience, according to your type of business, your public’s behaviour, your resources and your goals.
Timing is Everything
Content amplification is all about offering the right content to the right audience at the right time. That is why understanding your public’s needs and interests are the key to a successful content strategy. As Arnie Kuenn stated for Content Marketing Institute: “Using a cross-channel content strategy to re-engage your customers along their path to conversion is how you find success in content amplification”. Tracking, analyzing and optimizing each marketing action are also essential steps of a good content marketing strategy.
Content distribution may not seem complicated to the inexperienced marketer, but it is actually a lot more difficult than it seems at first glance because it requires collaboration among SEO & social media experts, content strategists, copywriters and more.
However, engaging in content amplification activities is not an option anymore. In today’s digital space, publishing content is actually just the first step of a very complex process. What matters more than ever is how you approach content after it’s been published, how you determine audiences to engage with it, how you optimise it, and how you present it in front of the right audience at the right time.
Choosing the Right Digital Marketing Channel for Your Small Business
Making the right choice when it comes to digital marketing strategies can be crucial for your company, especially when you are a small business with a limited budget. Selecting the most appropriate channels to reach the right audience requires lots of research time, as well as in-depth marketing, digital communication and business management expertise.
Considering the multitude of choices available, even the most experienced business person may have difficulties finding the path towards business success. Every small business owner has probably dealt with these dilemmas: is it worth investing in SEO? Should I opt for Google or Bing Ads campaigns? Which social media channel delivers the most significant impact on ROI?
This is why we have gathered a few ideas and some preliminary steps for small business owners and marketers to take to choose the digital marketing channel that truly matters for their business.
Define your Audience
To present your products or services to the right audience, first, you need to define your buying persona (the profile of your potential/ideal client). Luckily, Facebook offers us some useful tools for that. Using Audience Insights, we can start building the profile of the type of person that may be interested in our products/services. To be able to use Facebook Audience Insights, you don’t need an advertising account — all you need is a Facebook profile. We can start with broad options and then narrow down the audiences based on the following information: age, gender, lifestyle, career, relationship status, education level, household, estimated income, interests, online activity, device usage, spending habits.
After creating a relevant portrait of the buyer, this person should be kept in mind whenever you create any content or carry out any type of marketing activities. The data offered by Facebook Audience Insights is just one of many research methods you should be looking to use to build audience personas. There are many other sources to use, such as Twitter profiles, Google Analytics demographic insights, or published research that has been previously carried out in your industry or niche.
After clearly defining your buying persona, it’s time to set your own business goals. Ask yourself questions like: How many leads or actual clients would I like to acquire every month? What’s the value of a lead? What sort of budget am I prepared to spend over a specific timeframe? Then, go on defining your business and marketing assets and your goals. After having a complete picture of your business and your targeted audience, it should be easier for you to define the best marketing/advertising channels to use.
Now that everything is much clearer, it’s time to consider your options:
SEO & Content Marketing
The process of optimising your website’s technical and editorial aspects so that it can be organically discovered by users when searching for specific keywords is called SEO. Unlike paid advertising, SEO takes time to work. Depending on various aspects, like domain authority (versus the competition), available assets such as a quality mobile website, link building opportunities and others, the results may vary, but they rarely happen before 6-12 months especially if the site is new, significant and has errors, or has been penalized by Panda or Penguin or any other algorithmic penalty or filter.
As SEO and content marketing are tightly connected, you may also need to hire professional copywriters to continuously create fresh content that can help your website rank for a wider variety of keywords. Whether it’s blog posts, white papers, webinars, videos, or e-books, content must be created according to a well-thought strategy. If you’re prepared to make this effort, invest in quality content and wait until results appear, content marketing is the right choice for your business. But, if you need fast results, you should better look into PPC (Pay Per Click Advertising) and display ads options.
One of the easiest ways to determine whether it’s worth investing in an SEO campaign or not is by checking your website’s ranking with tools like SEM, Ahrefs or Google Search Console. If the website is already ranking for some appropriate keywords, then it probably has the potential for further SEO development.
Do it if your website is already ranking for useful keywords and you are willing to invest time and effort into an SEO and content management campaign.
Don’t it if You want fast results without putting in much time and effort.
Email Marketing Also called eDM.
If you have a pool of customers or an opted-in email subscription list for newsletters, promotions or offers, this can become a real gold mine. Some studies claim that email marketing can provide a 4,300% ROI. E-commerce companies heavily rely on e-mail marketing strategies, but SMEs may also use email marketing to sell more to existing clients.
Do it if you have a decent opted-in email database.
Don’t it if you don’t have a pool of existing customers allowing you to send them your information, promotions, and offers.
Pay Per Click advertising
Whether it’s Google or Bing ads, paid advertising should provide highly targeted traffic very quickly. Both B2B and B2C companies rely on Google and Bing ads to get new clients within a short time frame. PPC campaigns are ideal for businesses which did not take time to create awareness through social media or email marketing campaigns and want to promote their new products/services with paid ads quickly.
Do it if the costs per clicks are affordable, and your product service is searched in Google/Bing.
Don’t it if you don’t have sufficient budget or your audience is not using Google/Bing to search for your products/services.
Social Media Organic Campaigns and Social Ads
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools you can use to achieve your marketing and branding goals. SMM includes posting regular text, image, or video updates on social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.), as well as creating social media ads.
To improve your business’s social media presence and increase audience engagement, organic posting and paid ads should go hand in hand. A good social media marketing plan includes both a consistent posting schedule and running social ads for remarketing purposes. The choice of the social media channel also depends on the type of business you have: a highly visual business can rely on Instagram and Pinterest, while a B2B company might find Twitter and LinkedIn more useful for its marketing goals.
Do it if you get a lot of value from a strong social media presence.
Don’t it if your audience uses other channels to search for your products/services (Google, Bing)
Consider the Long Run
The purpose of a business person is to grow their business. But this might mean different things for different companies, and it is finally up to every person to decide which channel serves their business purpose best; for example, if you are focused on getting sales fast, PPC campaigns are probably the best choice. If your business is new and you need brand awareness, think about investing in content marketing or social media. You may also need to educate your audience through web PR.
Last but not least, always go with the channel where your audience spends more time. And, no matter what channel you choose for promotion, always think in the long run. People may click on your ads right now, but what if they want to know more about the business and they get to social media or your website to search for some information that isn’t there yet? After all, your online presence should be treated as a whole and should continuously be improving in all areas to provide good ROI.
If you are looking for shares and links, research suggests that manner and form of the content seems to matter almost as much as the content itself. There are some forms that, although popular amongst content producers online, do not really appear to get the attention that must have been desired. Meanwhile other formats undoubtedly hold the title for champion format.
Steve Rayson at Moz Blog (moz.com) recently compiled data from a retrospective analysis of one million articles online, including articles for some of the world’s most popular media websites (like Pew Research, and The Economist).
His conclusions are simple: most content is not being shared or linked, ‘listicles’ and videos are king and queen and, most surprisingly of all, long form content may be worth the effort.
The sad majority
Now for the uncomfortable truth: for the most part it seems, online content producers may be wasting their time. Research suggests as much as 50% of content online goes virtually unnoticed.
Mark Schaefer, author of The Content Code, offers the particularly grim doomsday diagnosis that we may be interacting with “content shock” – the point at which the human capacity to absorb information is capped yet the production of content is exponentially increasing. There is simply too much out there.
If Schaefer is correct, then online content will go much the way of Hollywood: a few viral stars and many more struggling failures. The research compiled by Rayson appears to bear this out. According to Rayson’s research in a selection of 100,000 articles pulled from a database at random, around three quarters had less than 1 external link or referring domain link. This seems consistent with other more independent research conducted in this field. According to the data, looking at the database of one million articles compiled, 50% had less than three Facebook interactions and less than three Twitter shares.
The Hollywood analogy continues when you look at averages. Apparently the distribution of shares, links and interactions is not well focused around the average; the whole picture has many under performers with the occasional viral rockstar. You can imagine the effect that this will have on the average; according to Rayson, there are a few articles that were included in the analysis reaching millions of shares (with one even reaching upwards of 5 million) which can mislead those looking only at the average:
(Graphic courtesy of Moz Blog, moz.com)
So then… what are you left to do? Chase the dream of a viral article? Accept that most of what you write will not be read, and hope for to strike link/share gold at some point?
It seems part of the answer will lie in taking a sensible approach to format, as well as content.
The relationship of shares and links
It seems obvious that the nature of a share is actually significantly different to the nature of a link. The average punter is obviously more likely to share than link. By the same token, long form content writers such as bloggers, are by their nature likely to link than share. Is there anyone that gets results in both categories?
Apparently – yes. While it may be that for the most part that there is no real or significant connections between shares and links, Rayson suggests that what correlation there is, it is shown for highly shared and highly linked articles more than usually found through major publishers and news sites, particularly the long form opinion and editorial style content. That there appears to be some merit in the long form, opinion-forming content. Similar results are obtained for research backed content.
We will return to this later (which will give the hungry journalists a chance to rejoice).
These types of content aside, for the most part there does not appear to be any significant correlation between links and shares.
One thing to note that isn’t covered by the research from Rayson is the extent to which the fame and clout of the author will impact upon shares and links. For instance, a New Yorker article authored by a popular comedian or famous social commentator may influence the number of shares and links, but that may not be fairly attributable to the format and may distort the averages. This is food for thought.
Content is good but format is great
If you have good material, then think long and hard about how you are going to deliver it. It appears the means by which you share your information is vitally important.
The recent data suggests that the list article or “listicle”, is the most popular format for achieving shares and links. There are other formats that also deserve attention.
Some content types however appear to be misleadingly popular among content producers but not too popular with the content-scrolling public.
Five reasons why lists are here to stay
Just kidding – this ain’t no listicle, fool. But according to the research, if it were more people might be reading it right now.
An article by the Guardian (18 human traits that explain why readers can’t get enough of BuzzFeed, 12 Feb 2014) suggests that there are some significant reasons that lists do so well.
One reason axiomatically stands out: we love lists. According to psychologist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, “they produce a fake sense of logic and rationality, as if they presented a formulaic argument or tautology”.
There are two other audience oriented factors to which Tomas draws attention: first, we are bored – and a list gives you the dopamine hit akin the feeling of Facebook notifications or the vibration of a text message in your pocket. Secondly, as pointed out by the Guardian, while we are bored we are also busy and time poor. Whether or not this is supported by the data is not certain, but it certainly has the ring of truth.
Exactly how many points should be in a list? It seems to be idiosyncratic to the topic of the list itself, and depends on how long you want to spend writing it.
As noted by Holly Hartzenberg of toyourheartscontent.co.uk,
“… according to some alarmingly in depth research … the most repeated Buzzfeed listicle lengths are 10, 15, 21, and 25. There’s also some industry hocus-pocus which suggest odd numbers do better”.
However long the perfect list, it appears they are here to stay. As against the other formats, lists had the highest average total shares (over 10k per article), closely followed by videos, after which the numbers show all other content types falling far behind.
Video (almost) killed the listicle star
Videos also do particularly well. While Rayson records average total shares per list reviewed as being 10,734, the same figure for videos was 8,572 (with the minor note that it appears there were slightly different sample sizes for each).
The popularity of videos appears to be a trend that is not going unnoticed, particularly by niche entertainment markets. For instance, the talk show circuit of the United States, most dominated by The Tonight Show and The Late Show under the stewardships of Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert respectively, have taken to ensuring that televised segments are able to be, and are, shared in the Facebook / Twitter sphere. The Tonight Show has nearly 10 million subscribers to its youtube channel, and with the ease of transferring across platforms, this translates into a lot of Facebook and twitter shares.
Within the world of videos it would also appear there are strange content oriented trends. Research conducted by Reel SEO suggests that Facebook video shares are more likely to be concerned with food and news. As Mark Robertson of Reel SEO suggests,
“News and current affairs content always does well on Facebook, as users turn to social media to get the latest updates on breaking events. At #6 and#7 in the rankings for the most watched video creators on Facebook, we have two news sites, all generating views in the millions for their current affairs content”.
Now for some of the poorer performers.
The data suggests that you shouldn’t really bother with quiz posts, or why or how to posts, although there do appear to be times and places in which they are worthwhile. One matter to note is that why posts do appear to obtain relatively high domain link posts, although not so significant as to make these stand out above videos and lists generally.
By far the poorest performer would appear to be the infographic. If you don’t know what these are (courtesy of blog.visual.ly)
Go long, against your intuition
A surprising outcome of the research in this area suggests that were are divided in our approach to content absorption. First, we love lists, for their bite size, dopamine-releasing info-gasms while at the same time we enjoy the long form content that seems more akin to newspaper content than what one would expect from the online world.
The results of Rayson’s research suggests that as the word length of content increases, so to does linking and sharing. Rayson produces the following table summarising the results in this area:
(courtesty of Moz Blog, moz.com)
The full report of Rayson’s research suggests that the best performing content comes from ‘comprehensive and evergreen’ sources of content, such as serious publishers and news sites. This fact may stand behind some of the explanation of the shares and links.
This is good news, in a way, for the traditional media. Sites and organisations that have a significant amount of long form content that can cheer at this point. Consider the fact that news sites and publishers are in the trade of long form content – that is what they do best.
While bloggers are also in this trade, media sites have more clout and popularity coming into the game. They also have more human power to churn out content – to stay “evergreen”. This gives them a distinct advantage over the smaller content producers in the social space. That is not to say that there is no room for the little guy – only that the big guy has a head start.
Even if you are not a heavy hitter in the media world, you can still learn a lesson or two from the above details. Most importantly, resist the impulse to post frequently at the expense of research rich and word lengthy writing. This, it would seem, is what people actually want to share and link.
Rayson points to the stat that 85% of articles that were reviewed in his research were at a word count of 1,000 words or less. Writing less than 1,000 words seems to be the wrong way to go about doing things.
Data compiled elsewhere would appear to support this hypothesis. In research conducted by Serp IQ, the top rated content posts produced in response search queries were typically long form as compared to their short form counterparts. This may provide a causationary feedback effect wherein more shares and links will lead to a higher search ranking, and a higher search ranking will lead to more shares and links, although this hasn’t been addressed by the above researchers specifically.
(courtesy of serpIQ.com, Kevin Espiritu)
Data compiled and analysed by Quicksprout also supports this proposition, suggesting that research on search behaviour shows that year on year we have been searching longer and longer phrases, but also searching more compound phrases. The relationship with content is, that as content expands so too does its propensity to include longer word phrases which form the subject of searches. The more long form content you have the higher your SEO.
At what time of the day
According to Gina Hwang at addthis.com, the best time of the day to publish content to social media depends on the platform.
(courtesy of addthis.com)
While Hwang suggests that Facebook posts do better on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings around the world, data compiled by Niel Patel at Quicksprout.com suggests that peak engagement actually occurs on Thursday and Friday as people enter the weekend with more positive and happy content being shared and engaged with on Friday specifically.
According to Patel, to get the most shares on Facebook the best time of the day to post is 1pm in the target time-zone, right when people are on lunch from work. However, for Twitter it is suggested that the best time to tweet is 5 pm, when people are leaving the office.
Another tip from James Parsons at Inc. is to post your content several time to the social media platforms. This is one that will require some sensitivity and understanding of the policies of each of the sites, as each has different rules on when and how often you can post the same content.
Facebook is more restrictive than Twitter, with the latter allowing re-tweets of the same content in the same day.
So most importantly pay attention to the format, and if you can go lengthy and researched on content – not short. It turns out that once you have someone’s attention they are willing to give you their friends. When you are researched, you are more likely to be linked. It all sounds like a meritocracy all things considered.
But if you can throw some videos in there for good measure, that may be a good idea too. Oh, and some lists, such as “10 best ways to conclude a lengthy editorial”.
In the current-day social media age, every business is a publisher and all they need is a continuous flow of great content.It comes easily to say than doing! If you are constantly striving for creating the content that will have a lasting impact on your audience over social media and distinguish you from the crowd, that’s great! You’re heading towards a right direction. But prior all this, you should realise the significance of building your content marketing strategy.
A well-designed content marketing strategy often serves as a guiding light for all the future events such as planning, creation, promotion and evaluation of content. It might look like more work beforehand to take out time for creating a solid strategy, but your workload will be reduced in the long-term scenario and the quality of your content will also enhance with the time.
If you are thinking about the best time to think about your objectives and develop a fail-proof content marketing strategy that can lift your social media efforts to a level higher, don’t waste more time thinking – it is now. Yes, now is the best time to get started! This write-up will serve as a helpful walkthrough for guiding you through every step of the process.
Strategise the content marketing goals and align them with business goals
Your goals should be SMART. Don’t get confuse with the general reference to this word. SMART here implies towards a strategy which is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. You should be committed to creating the content that can contribute to your marketing efforts.
Whenever you plan a piece of content, what criteria you follow for estimating the worth of creating that and whether it should be propagated? Well, the best way is to have clarity about accomplishments you want to make with that piece. Listing out some common objectives that you can meet with content marketing:
• Create brand awareness in key verticals
• Redirect referral traffic to your website
• Increase the number of signups
• Compel visitors to get on lead-generation landing page
Observe how any of the mentioned content marketing goals are not getting counted in likes, favourites or retweets – commonly referred as vanity metrics. The measurement of social media goals will help to align back towards the business goals driven by content marketing goals. And this alignment force will make you consider the business metrics such as traffic, leads and conversions, allowing you to focus on the job of other teams as well. This way, you will realise the value of content marketing in the broader sense.
Another thing that you need to consider while setting up your content marketing goals is – How will you measure the goal? Make sure you have certain measuring metrics in your mind that can help you determine the progress you have made. If you are unable to measure your goal, you should probably reconsider the entire cycle of marketing. Having specific goals will help you figure out the most effective ways to achieve them. It will also inspire the team of content creators to come up with the brimming ideas to shine in the long-term.
Identify the audience you are going to target through your content
A major share of the success of any content marketing strategy depends on the factor – whether you know your audience and their expectations? On the basis of goals that you have set, you will be required to put together the profile of audience or the personas of specific buyers for getting guidance about the ideation and creation of the content to move forward.
Make every effort to accumulate maximum detail about the audience you are going to target. You can make use of social listening tools for honing their interests and characteristics more effectively. This will also ensure the resonating power of your content. Make sure you have answers to three most important questions listed down:
• What type of content they generally share including the format, source, tone and length?
• Where your target audience spends most of their time (the online platforms i.e. blogs, social networking or forums)?
• What is the best way to reach your target audience (through advertising, organic searches, social media etc)?
To put simple- if you are focussing on lead generation and sales through your content marketing strategy, you should create content keeping buyer’s perspective in mind. Similarly, if you are preparing a tutorial, the tone, length and format of content may vary from the content pitching for the sales. Remember, your audience can be anyone – a student, a business owner or any other professional- so you should try reaching them through the words with which they can relate more easily. It’s a simple rule – Create Content Focussing Readers.
Determine the sort of content most suitable for your business
Now that you have set up your goals and identified the target audience, you should be able to create the content that can help you attain both. There are several examples to understand this aspect with much more clarity. Let’s have a look on few of them:
1) If you want to create and increase the brand awareness in the key verticals, you need to create content that can make a broader appeal like Videos tutorials, case studies or success stories, practitioner blog content and culture-hiking social media content etc.
2) If you want to redirect referral traffic to your website, you should create content that can make it easy for people to identify your industry or business such as Email newsletters, Guest posts, targeted ads of social media and SEO optimised blogs.
3) If your objective is to Increase the number of signups, you content should highlight the advantages a visitor can reap with your products and offerings along with a clear call to action that can convince people to sign up. For making mass appeal, you should approach with content pieces like product demos, social media campaigns and advertisements, video tutorials etc
4) If you want to compel visitors to get on lead-generation landing page, you need to raise your voice with a content that is comprehensive and helpful in nature to help people with decision making. You can also offer referral incentives for more attention. The content types useful here will be – white papers, toolkits, guides, contests, live product demo and webinars.
Work on the execution plan of the content
As you know what type of content you need to create, next step is towards the process for creating the same. You should have a step-by-step map focusing on How to convert ideas into a finished product. With a proper content execution plan, you can add stability to entire marketing strategy and ensure that keep a track of every content piece.
An ideal content execution plan includes – a schedule, a great idea, a brief of the project and a content chain of command.
• A schedule helps you towards an organised way of handling goals achievement as you will know when to do what. You can prepare what piece of content should be released at which day of the week. To sum up, you should decide on the frequency of releasing relevant content pieces. This consistency will help to build trust among visitors and they will know when they can expect the next update about your offerings.
• A great idea can open up doors to success. So, there should be a specific team responsible for coming up with great content ideas but this doesn’t mean that you restrict other people from giving any idea. You should be open to ideas coming from different people regardless of their designation as you know never know from where you can get a winning idea.
• The brief of the project or the idea also contributes especially when more than one person is involved. A brief highlights the central idea, the goals that can be accomplished through it, target audience, deadlines and the specific role that each person involved in the project will have. A nicely framed brief helps to avoid too many of questions and disagreements between the content creators and project leads. Make sure you are working on a brief template before passing it on to the team.
• The final creation also involved numerous things to consider starting from the basic writing process for which you will need writers. Once the copy is written, you can send it over to the copy editors to make sure it is error-free. Further, you can pass it on the designing team or the videographers.
Created content should be promoted well
Once your content creation task is finished, the task of promotion comes into play. As not every content piece is equal, you should be prepared well-in-advance about how to promote your content for a wider reach and a great influence. The content promotion methods ensure that all the efforts that you have made for creating exceptional content don’t go vain.
With the content promotion process, your team will be able to decide – how to promote a particular piece of content? This includes considering the right source to promote it, the duration, number of times it can be used and the budget required for the same. There are several modes of content promotion including Owned social media, Earned social media, Paid social media, Email marketing, Search/display ads, Influencer marketing, SEO optimisation etc.
Experimenting with different methods will help you determine the best one for your content and target audience. And when it comes to content, nothing works best than testing.
Measuring and refining the content marketing strategy should be continuous
From ideation to promotion, you have included everything in your content marketing. What left? Well, the evaluation is still left. You should be able to measure the success of your content marketing strategy through a measurement process right in place.
You can use numerous measuring tools available so as to figure out the flaws and fix them within a minimal span of time and refining your strategy accordingly.
We’ve had an exciting time of it recently working closely with an online digital magazine/flipbook company to try to improve their rankings and get them more exposure. The company was not actively prospecting for leads and was relying very heavily on Adwords, which provided 90% of the brands’ revenue. A comparatively tiny amount of sales were being generated via organic search and referrals. Despite developing a unique and innovative product in the publishing space, their marketing strategy fell down in search and word-of-mouth discovery. Our goal was to get the brand and their products out there and to showcase the unique publications our client offers.
Our client was operating in a very competitive market, with a lot of big brands to compete with in the Adwords space. The cost per click was increasing every day, which made the business acquisition plan unreliable and unsustainable in the long term. Therefore maximising potential opportunities in other areas was paramount to growth. By employing some simple techniques and tried and tested methods we aimed to drive more business to our client over a two-month period.
We began our efforts by working on improving the page authority for every internal page on our client’s website. We divided their overall website into landing pages for specific areas and products. Using targeted keywords, we were able to improve relevance of copy used and thus improve the page authority for each individual page. High-level category landing pages tailored around specific products and located on a root domain are shown to significantly improved ranking by directly ameliorating domain authority. By tailoring each page to one product we were not only able to work on improving authority for every product in their line but also get feedback and statistics on the performance of each product independently. This allowed our client to discern which products were performing well and which needed a more focus and targeted marketing campaign.
In order to establish our client in their market, we leveraged a press release campaign that highlighted the innovative nature of the end product they deliver to their customers.
By carefully crafting well-targeted and informative copy we were able to bring traffic and organic citations from external online sources. The increase in organic traffic and referral links allowed for better lead exposure and a lower price paid per lead over time. Links are an important factor but just one of the factors in improving domain authority, since the latest algorithm changes from Google. We focused on creating some high quality content to aid great guest posting placements in relevant industry related blogs that provided more organic citations. This not only helped as a link-building tactic, it had the bonus advantage of directing more regular traffic back to our client’s site.
Some of the guest-posting examples are:
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Over the two-month period our client saw a significant rise in overall search placement, and improved keyword rankings in some key areas. We saw noteworthy growth in total organic search visits, with traffic from non-paid sources growing steadily over the course of our campaign. Our focus on creating engaging, original content and securing quality guest posts meant that the authority of links coming to our clients’ homepage improved dramatically. By highlighting the distinctive nature of our client’s products in a press release, we were able to shine a light on areas of the business that were not properly exposed on their site previously. In working with our client we learned that a search engine optimisation campaign using link-building strategies like guest posting and targeted keywords can still work. By focusing on quality content and highlighting your unique selling point, rankings will benefit and leads will follow.
For the purpose of this article, we will limit ourselves to content found online. Thus, in web publishing terms, a “contact audit” is simply the process of looking at elements of information found on a particular website. A content audit is analogous to an income tax audit: both are methods of analysis and accounting of all current assets. Content audit should not be confused with content inventory. Content inventory is a much broader term, simply noting all content available. A content inventory acknowledges the mere presence of content, while a content audit evaluates the nature of content itself, evaluating the content’s effectiveness. A good content audit can satisfy five criteria
What content currently exists?
Who is the author of this content?
How can people discover this content?
How well does it work?
Is the current content viable, or obsolete?
The reason a content audit is important is because in today’s world, very often a company’s website is the main method customers will use to connect with the company. In other words, if your website is your company, then the site’s content is the website. Now that we have defined our terms, let’s look at some reasons why to do a content audit:
You can figure out the best ways to avoid a Google Panda Penalty.
You can identify which content would benefit from editing.
You can identify and prioritise which content needs to be updated.
You can identify and eliminate redundant content.
You can identify which content should be eliminated.
You can list your content based on your company’s priorities.
You can adapt your content to be more likely to show up in online searches.
You can identify which content is driven by which keywords.
You can identify which keywords need to be prominent.
You can identify the most popular pages on a website and create ways to increase their traffic.
You can identify new revenue opportunities for your content.
You can identify your website’s strengths and weaknesses, especially if the domain is or will be for sale.
You can identify the strengths and weaknesses of a new client.
What tools do you need to begin a content audit? Really, the best answer is time. If you want, you can make the job easier by using Google Analytics and a Google Drive Spreadsheet. You don’t need to be an IT admin to do a content audit. Naturally, the process of content auditing will vary based on factors like your your industry, your specific business plan, and your budget. In general however, the basic timeline of a content audit looks like this:
Collect all URL’s for your domain. This step is where Google Analytics can come in handy.
Import all those URL’s into a Key Performance Indicator, or KPI.
Evaluate the content of each metric. You can opt to retain content, improve it, remove it, or add it to other content.
Do a search for all keywords. Match the keywords to other content that already has rank, within matrix guidelines. For non-ranking keywords, apply them to the most appropriate pages.
Note gaps in content.
Develop your strategy. At this point, you can evaluate your findings, and create a strategy to maximise the effectiveness of your existing pages, write new pages to fill gaps, determine which pages should be moved, and so on.
Note that each of the above steps can be modified to reflect the needs of your individual web domain. One example of this might be if your domain has huge amounts of content, with lots of recurring keywords. In that case, you could simply avoid the process of content gap analysis and keyword research, and instead prioritise the deletion of some content and edit the rest.
On the other hand, if your domain doesn’t have loads of content, you might need to prioritise improving content gaps and researching keywords. Depending on your industry, you may need to focus on improving current content, and look at new ways of leveraging that content for maximum effectiveness. The point is, nothing is written in stone! The process can be altered along the way, as you identify the specific areas of attention your content requires. There might even be processes that you can completely forego. Let the results of the content audit guide your behaviour.
If a Content Management System, (CMS) is running your domain, that software should provide a list of all the Web Pages for your domain. Some CMS programs can begin the audit process for you. If not, you can try using Content Analysis Tools, or CAT’s, to help establish a starting point for your audit.
Generally speaking, the bigger the site, the easier it is to get lost while doing a content audit. Try to limit your audit to just the information you need. If you don’t know if you need information for a certain page, write down relevant pages, and then work off that list. You can always add to the list later.
Be patient! Content audits of large domains can take several days to complete. Don’t give in to shortcuts, don’t skip pages or breeze through content without thoroughly reading it. You need to understand the entire picture before you can run an effective audit. A well-executed content audit can be a vital first step in maximising the effectiveness of any website.
The audit process can be tedious and seem boring, but it can give you accurate information, so that you can make the best decisions for your business. You don’t need an advanced degree from MIT to complete a content audit, but it helps to be patient, persistent, curious, and detail-oriented. In short, don’t let the process intimidate you. Your business, and your clients, will thank you.