Category: Content Marketing

6 Best Practices For Creating Great Content

Over the years the phrase ‘content is king’ has been thrown about to inspire marketing teams to create more and more amazing material for audiences, resulting in a huge increase in articles and content creators on the web.

With more people venturing online, more social media users and the rise of the blogger and “influencer” the competition for creating amazing, unique articles, imagery and marketing campaigns is high.

To keep you on your A game for creating content, we’ll take you through the best practices that will transform your content to dull and boring so you can stand out from the crowd and create truly great content.

1. Think of The Audience

This is the single most important point you need to take away with you. Your audience is the sole reason you are creating content in the first place and so they are your priority when it comes to copywriting.

Whatever it is you’re writing about and the reason behind it, the fundamental reason is to satisfy them, may that be through answering a question, entertaining them, encouraging them to buy a product and fulfill their needs or similar.

As a result, you must always think and refer back to what it is they want, why you’re creating the content and make sure every piece of information within the article relates to this and fits this purpose.

2. Write For Long Tail Keywords

A common flaw that copywriters fall into is writing content for short, highly competitive keywords. For example, say you were a rare vinyl seller looking to create bespoke articles on how best to clean and care for vinyl.

Although ‘clean vinyl records’ has 1,000 average monthly searches, ‘how to clean vinyl records with soap and water’ has 40 average monthly searches which hence has a lot less competition and a bigger chance for you to rank well for this keyword.

If you can create a piece that is optimized for this keyword, once you’ve secured a high search ranking, you can start to create more pieces of content, may these be videos, social media imagery or so on, that target ‘clean vinyl records’ specifically.

This way, because you’ve already gained a high authority and relevance ranking on search engines for the long tail keyword, you’re chances of ranking for the shorter, more competitive keyword is more achievable.

3. Complete Your Keyword Research On Multiple Tools

Just because Google Ads Keyword Planner shows that ‘clean vinyl records’ has the highest searches, doesn’t mean you should settle for this information. Explore the web – that’s what it’s there for. Use other tools like BuzzSumo to get title ideas, complete social media searches and see what hashtags are trending.

Take a leaf from a scientist’s book. They must do lots of research, consult multiple sources of different types may that be a book, the internet, physical experiments and so on, to get a proper understanding of what it is they’re focusing on.

Sources often contradict themselves and offer varying opinions so it’s good to see what other people and tools are saying about the keyword or topic you want to talk about. Finding your next golden nugget of wisdom is often in the places you don’t commonly visit, so research about.

4. Know Your Text Structure Before Writing

Having a strong idea of the format of your post is essential before you start writing. Good structure means your blog post will be SEO optimized, highly readable for your desired audience and so, will make it a quick read. Something that’s becoming increasingly important in the online world.

It’s known from research that typically, users read the title, first paragraph, headings, subheadings and the first sentences of paragraphs. This is how people learn what your text is about and urges them to continue reading. Take this information on board and run with it.

How To Set Up Your Blog Structure

To set up your structure, you first need to follow the below steps to create the skeleton of your article.

Step 1 – Know the main question you’re answering i.e. what it is your audience is asking or wants to know.

Step 2 – Know the message you are trying to convey in your blog post i.e. what your answer to the question is and include this in your first paragraph.

Step 3 – Create a list of things you will cover in the article i.e solutions you’re offering, tips for doing something and so on.

Step 4 – Bundle these ideas together with headings and subheadings.

Step 5 – Finally order these topics either thematically, chronologically or step-by-step problem-solving.

  • Thematic ordering will be based on different subjects at a time, perhaps colour then size, then style.
  • Chronological ordering will be in time order that an event has happened or how to do something.
  • Problem-solving will be stating the problem then offering a new solution with each new heading and paragraph.

Best Practices for Creating Great Content | Kanuka Digital

You can see in the above image that there is a clear structure with the paragraphs clearly answering the questions within the subheadings, making it extremely easy to read and digest even at first glance. This post has been ordered in a thematic style.

5. Start Writing Where You Feel Most Comfortable

Start where you feel most comfortable. Sometimes people can stress over getting the first part of the post written. Don’t. The first paragraph is usually the hardest. It’s got to be the most intriguing, of high quality and optimized for SEO purposes.

Perhaps there is a certain point in the post you’d prefer to write about or have more information on. Start there and you’ll then get into your own flow of writing the next paragraphs.

Don’t fear that jumping from paragraph two to paragraph four will disrupt your flow and make your post sound “jumpy”. You can easily enhance your sentences in the correction phase of your post if it doesn’t flow exactly how you’d like.

Tip: Yoast suggest blog content writing is made up of three parts. Preparation which amounts to 40%, writing which amounts to 20% and correction which amounts to the final 40%.

6. Avoid Referring Back To Previous Paragraphs In First Sentence

So, as we know people read the first sentence of your paragraphs first, it’s important to never start a new paragraph with “this means that…” Your audience would have to read the previous sentence or two to get a proper idea of what you’re discussing which can interrupt their flow, damaging the posts’ readability and usability.

Instead, each new paragraph should be easily readable without having to fully understand and read the previous. Of course, you’ll want to continue the flow of conversation as you create a new paragraph though it should be expanded slightly or merge onto a new topic, time or place.

No one enjoys reading massive chunks of text so it’s simple. Split them up when it’s relevant to, without making them hard to read if the first chunk of text isn’t present.


When it comes to creating content, if your post is useful to your readers, it’ll be useful for Google and will usually be SEO friendly too. By focusing on your audience, prioritizing its readability over SEO – though not to neglect it completely – you’ll find over time, the post’s bounce rate will decrease and your search rankings will improve.

For more handy tips to improve your digital marketing practices, check out the Kanuka Digital blog.

Learn the latest trends, insights and best practices from the brightest minds in media and technology. Sign up for SMW Insider to watch full-length sessions from official Social Media Week conferences live and on-demand.

The post 6 Best Practices For Creating Great Content appeared first on Social Media Week.

How Ahrefs and Buffer Drive 300K+ Sessions Per Month with Evergreen Content and Social Media

  • Learn how we drive the growth of our blog here at Buffer using free, organic traffic strategies.
  • Understand how to amplify blog content by reverse engineering social media videos that your audience will love.
  • See how we generated more than 30,000 clicks to to our content using paid acquisition channels, and how we optimize ads to lower CPC while simultaneously increasing CTR.

Building your website traffic in 2018 is no easy task.

Today, businesses are faced with an ever-increasing amount of online content as well as ongoing changes from search engines such as Google, and constant algorithm updates from platforms like Facebook.

But, if you’re in a competitive industry that is dominated by established sites, all is not lost.

You can still get tons of website traffic with a resourceful content marketing strategy that revolves around producing quality, evergreen pieces of content.

We recently teamed up with Tim Soulo, head of marketing and product strategy at Ahrefs, to discuss what the most successful businesses are doing to generate quality website traffic in 2018.

Prefer video? Check out our webinar below:

Generating quality website traffic

Did you know that more than 90 percent of website pages generate no organic search traffic from Google? In fact, if you look closely, less than 1 percent of website pages drive the majority of organic traffic online:

Ahrefs Web Traffic

That’s why it’s critical to have a content strategy in place that incorporates well-researched, evergreen topics that will drive long-term traffic to your website.

The Buffer blog, for example, gets about 1.3 million visits every month, and more than 80 percent of our website traffic comes from people searching for social media marketing topics on Google and finding our blog posts. This 80 percent is also known as organic traffic and is the most scalable and reliable traffic source for most websites.

We achieved this with having only two content writers for most of the past seven years. If we can do it, you can, too!

Here’s how we approach traffic growth:

Write about evergreen topics and promote them regularly

This first chart shows the traffic of most blog posts written nowadays. The blog post gets a nice spike of traffic from social media and email on the day of publishing. But the traffic fades away over time because the blog post doesn’t rank well on Google and isn’t being promoted on marketing channels anymore.

Spike of traffic example

Now, compare that chart with this second one:

Sustainable traffic example

This blog post also had a nice spike of traffic on the day of publishing. But the traffic didn’t drop over time. In fact, it continues to grow and grow. After three years, this blog post has been viewed more than two million times.

There are several ways to generate evergreen content ideas, but Soulo recommends two proven tactics to consistently increase your success rate.

1. Find popular search terms

Using a tool like the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, you can search for a single word or phrase related to your product or service:

Ahrefs Keyword Search Tool - Website Traffic

Not only will you be able to view the search volume around the term entered, you’ll also be able to view all related keywords and search volume – providing you with even more content ideas.

2. Research your peers and competitors

Another way to generate keyword and content ideas is by research your peers and competitors.

We particularly like this strategy because it helps to provide even deeper insights into the exact pages other businesses in your industry are ranking for. In other words, you can discover exactly what problems and challenges potential customers are trying to solve.

Ahrefs Site Explorer provides you with an in-depth look at the organic search traffic and backlink profile of any website or URL:

Ahrefs Site Explorer - Website Traffic

Of course, you should never rely on organic search volume alone to help generate evergreen content ideas for your website or blog, but performing the two steps above is one of the best places to start when planning your content for the month, quarter, or year.

“It’s all about studying. Studying what people search for in terms of the topic that you are targeting. If there are a lot of searches, you might want to create an article that would cover most of them. If there aren’t a ton of searches around a particular topic, then there isn’t much opportunity to have your page rank for several keywords and bring you a healthy amount of search traffic.”

Tim Soulo Ahrefs
Tim Soulo (@timsoulo)
Head of Marketing, Ahrefs

Besides choosing the right topics to write (through keyword research) and promoting the blog posts regularly (which you’ll learn more below), we also consistently update our blog posts.

Updating and relaunching your blog posts

Another thing we do is to regularly update our old blog posts to ensure that they are still relevant and useful to our readers.

In the social media space, many things, such as social media image sizes, can change frequently. Many of the blog posts that we write would no longer be helpful to our readers if the information is outdated.

Updating your old blog posts not only keeps your content relevant to your readers but it can also help you rank better on Google and get more sustainable traffic. For example, when we updated our social media analytics tools blog post last year, the number of daily page views more than doubled!

Updating old blog post example

Here’s what we did with that blog post:

  1. Update the content: We added new tools, moved dysfunctional tools, and updated screenshots.
  2. Fine-tune the writing: We re-wrote certain parts to make them read better, added a section on what’s social media analytics, and added anchor tags to make navigation easier.
  3. Relaunch the blog post: Then we updated the published date within WordPress and promoted the blog post on social media and via our email list.

“A good way to look at generating sustainable traffic (or organic traffic) is to think of it as creating helpful and relevant content for your target audience. What topics are your audience always searching for? Write a blog post to help answer their questions. Are your blog posts becoming outdated? Update the content so that your audience will still find it useful.

We have a blog post that goes into more details about how we grew our readership to over a million visits per month. If you are interested in learning more about the intricacies of SEO and generating organic traffic, I would recommend following Ahref’s blog and Moz’s Whiteboard Friday.”

Alfred from Buffer
Alfred Lua (@alfred_lua)
Growth Editor, Buffer

But even with the most quality content in the world, potential customers won’t visit your website unless they know the content is there.

That’s where social media, particularly video and advertising, can help boost the results of your evergreen content strategy above.

Here’s how.

Amplifying content success with social media video

Video is one of the most compelling ways to reach your audience because video is the preferred way people consume information in 2018 and will be for the foreseeable future.

Here is a simple formula for amplifying the success of your content and boosting website traffic.

1. Create video topics from what works

Video is not a whole new type of marketing  – video is a way to amplify your existing marketing strategy.

Start by sorting your most visited blog posts or pages from the previous 90 days in Google Analytics. To access this information, head to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages:

Google Analytics Data - Buffer

Sorting by Pageviews gives you a precise look at what people are most interested in learning about from your business. It’s a good indication of what sorts of content will make for an engaging video topic.

Next, we create a list of possible video topic ideas based on our most popular website content in Excel:

Video Topic Tracking Spreadsheet

Feel free to “make a copy” of the above Excel spreadsheet template for your own use!

This strategy has helped us create well-liked videos such as this and this on social media as well as drive additional website traffic (traffic we would not have gotten without video content).

2. Create video topics from scratch

If you don’t have a ton of existing content to amplify, that’s alright! You can still drive traffic to your website by creating compelling video content ideas from scratch.

There are lots of great (free and paid) tools available that will help you to uncover popular topics. Here are two of our favorites:

  • BuzzSumo

You can use BuzzSumo to find the most shared content from any URL – instantly allowing you to determine what content has worked for your peers and competitors. You can also find the most shared content for any topic.

For example, let’s say we were interested in driving website traffic based on the topic of social media marketing. We’d simply enter that search term into BuzzSumo and the results would look something like this:

BuzzSumo Search Tool

Discovering relevant topics using search terms and website URLs are my favorite way to use BuzzSumo.

  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Another great way to generate a list of video ideas to drive quality traffic to your website is with a keyword tool such as Ahref Keywords Explorer.

Keywords explorer can allows you to identify thousands of keyword and topic possibilities in a matter of seconds (and which topics are most popular based on search volume!)

For example, let’s say you’re interested in driving website traffic focused on healthy juices. Simply enter your search term into Keywords Explorer and Ahrefs does all of the work:

Ahrefs Keyword Tool

The best part is that the tool provides “alternatives” for your selected keyword and related topics that might be useful for your business.

Other great tools for generating engaging video topics:

3. Create videos to promote your content

Once you have a list of video topics, it’s time to create the content. There are plethora of great marketing tools to help you create video content, but to help dwindle it down, here are a few of our favorites:

Video Tools

At Buffer, we regularly use Animoto  to create short, engaging blog post summaries that we can share across social media to drive website traffic back to Buffer.

There are tons of best-practices that help to make videos on social media engaging, but quite possibly the most important factor is video length. Keep in mind that people are often browsing social media from their mobile phone and so quick, compelling videos will perform best.

Optimal Video Timing

For a complete guide on creating engaging short videos for social media, check out our in-depth blog post where we cover everything you need to know.

Amplifying website traffic with social media ads

Social media advertising has been an effective way for us at Buffer to boost website traffic around top performing blog posts, strategic marketing initiatives, landing pages, and even our podcast.

When comparing Facebook and Instagram advertising to other options such a PPC, we realized that we could generate hundreds of thousands of visits at a fraction of the cost (often less than $0.10 per click).

Buffer Advertising Stats

The best part is that it’s extremely easy to get started. Here’s our simple approach to social media advertising.

Boost your top-performing content

A straightforward way to drive traffic to your website with advertising is to boost your top performing content on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s how:

  1. Start by posting your content organically to Facebook and Instagram
  2. Check your analytics to see which posts have a high engagement rate (engagement / reach * 100)
  3. Use Facebook Ads Manager to create a custom audience that is likely to interact with your content
  4. Create a custom “Traffic” campaign in Ads Manager or use the “Boost” button to promote your top posts
  5. Generate social proof by regularly responding to comments and interacting with your audience

For example, we posted an article to Facebook about “how to grow your Instagram account” and it immediately received higher-than-normal organic interaction.

In order to promote the post, we created a new traffic campaign and ad set, targeting folks interested in topics such as social media marketing, social media manager, and Social Media Examiner.

Audience Targeting Facebook

We then set a daily budget of $20 and promoted the post. Here’s what it looks like:

Instagram Growth Facebook Ad

To date, this ad has generated more than 125,000 visits to the Buffer Blog for right around $0.06 per click, which has led to thousands of trials and hundreds of customers.

Create social media advertising content from scratch

Naturally, there will be times when you’ll want to promote content, initiatives, and projects that aren’t necessarily classified as top-performers.

We wanted to increase the number of downloads to the Buffer Podcast, for example, and looked to social media advertising as a means to do so. Today, we’ve generated more than 30,000 clicks to the Buffer podcast on iTunes, resulting in a 65 percent increase in downloads in less than six months.

Buffer Podcast Ads to Generate Website Traffic

Here’s how we did it:

  • We set up a Custom Audience targeting all traffic to the Buffer Blog and knowing that brand awareness would increase our CTR and decrease our CPC.
  • Next we added an additional targeting filter to only deliver ads to iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices and linked directly to the episode on iTunes (rather than the show notes or podcast landing page). This reduced the friction of going from podcast ad >> podcast subscriber.
  • We chose the most popular episodes from the podcast and started there — $10 per day using the “Post Traffic” campaign option in Facebook. We keep a close eye on CPC and whenever it creeps above $0.25–0.30 we shut it off and start a new ad.

“Social media advertising has been an effective way for us at Buffer to boost website traffic around top performing blog posts, strategic marketing initiatives, landing pages, and even our podcast. In the past year alone, we’ve used Facebook and Instagram advertising to generate more than 100,000 unique targeted visits to our website for less than $0.25 per click, which has resulted in thousands of leads and hundreds of new customers. Plus, it has had a huge impact on brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing.”.

Brian Peters (@brian_g_peters)
Digital Marketing, Buffer

Social media advertising best-practices:

  • Test images, captions, and headlines until you find the right combination
  • Look for a relevancy score of 8-10 on brand awareness type content
  • Increase budget with successful posts (immediately shut down others)
  • Keep an eye on frequency rate (try not to exceed 2.0)
  • Evergreen content can run as long as you want!

If you’re just getting started with social media advertising or you’re looking to build upon what you already know, we have a brand new Skillshare class all about advertising (we’re happy to offer you a free month of Skillshare Premium)

Over to you

We hope you enjoyed our webinar with Ahrefs and all of the content included in this post!

We’d love to hear from you as well.

What tactics and strategies have worked for your business to generate lots of quality website traffic? Feel free to drop a comment below!

Learn more about how Ahrefs can help your business here or check out more of Tim Soulo’s work here.

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Top 5 Web Marketing Tips for New Business Startups and SME’s

1. Twitter Marketing

Set up a Twitter Account and Follow up to 5,000 of your target audience.

A large proportion will follow you back and those that don’t can be unfollowed so that you can follow some more.

This could be a particular niche or businesses / consumers in a certain geographical location. Whilst you are building followers and when you have thousands of followers, send out information, tips, offers, competitions and advice that would be useful and of interest to your target audience.

2. Facebook Marketing, Facebook Pages and Facebook Group Marketing

Use your personal Facebook account to connect with potential customers and partners, also create a Facebook Page and get your friends, potential partners and target audience (clients etc) to like and share your page. Whilst you are building likers & followers and when you have thousands of followers, send out information, tips, offers, competitions and advice that would be useful and of interest to your target audience.

You can also set up groups for your target audiences and get some of those to join your group where you can also share information, tips, offers, competitions and advice that would be useful and of interest to your target audience.

3. LinkedIn Marketing and LinkedIn Company Pages

Make sure you have a good LinkedIn profile page that covers everything that you do including all of your skills and which links to your company website, blog and Facebook page etc. Also add links to any video that you might have etc.

Also create a Company page on LinkedIn (you need an email address on a registered domain to do this) and regularly post information, tips, offers, competitions and advice that would be useful and of interest to your target audience via your LinkedIn company page and your regular posts facility on LinkedIn.

Finally on LinkedIn regularly connect with lots of people in your target audience on LinkedIn (but not to many all at once though as LinkedIn can block you). Also join lots of groups full of your target audience and connect with them via the group (Something linkedin allows you to do more aggressively than just connecting with people).

4. Blogging

Create a blog or ideally add a blog to your existing website or get a new website with a blog already included and start blogging regularly about your business, products and services etc.

This can help to improve the Seo of your website and get it associated with more keywords to help you get indexed more regularly the search engines and helping you to appear higher up and more often in the internet page ranks.

5. Keyword Content Marketing via content pages on your website

You should have an existing website or get a new website and create great keyword written landing pages for your business, as well as every single product and service and geographical area covered etc.
This will help to improve the Seo of your website and get it associated with more keywords to help you appear higher up and more often in the internet search engine page ranks helping you to get more enquiries.

If you need any help with any of the above please call: 07517 024979 or email:

Introducing the Pub Hub – Stocktaking, Accountancy and HR for Pubs, Clubs, Rugby Clubs, Football Clubs and other Licenced Venues …

“We would be more than happy to support you in bringing 25 years of licensed trade experience to your business.”

We’ve made the accounts process extremely simple! 

As a Pub Hub client you will be given online access to your accounts, enabling you to print reports, estimate your VAT liabilities and upload your purchase invoices and receipts direct to the system. 

This is cutting edge accounting providing you with real-time accounts information. 

To this end, I am pleased to provide an outline of our monthly support services:

Stocktaking Services for the Licensed Trade

• Monthly stock takes including report and onsite guidance

Accountancy Services for the Licensed Trade

• Monthly profit and loss statements – split by sales category (wet, dry, machine, etc.)
• Quarterly VAT returns
• Monthly payslips and employer summary
• Yearly accounts
• Corporation tax returns (if Limited Co)
• Annual Self-Assessment returns

HR Services for the Licensed Trade

• Employment contracts and offer letters
• TUPE advice and guidance
• Regular employment legislation updates and guidance on compliance
• Staff handbook containing up to date policies and procedures
• On-going advice and guidance in managing employee-related issues

For new business ventures, we can also assist in the start-up process:

• Company registration
• Incorporation
• VAT registration
• HMRC Online Filing set up
• PAYE registration

Our monthly fee is just £225+VAT per month (quoting MA Consultancy).


From employment templates to payroll, we can assist you in every step of the lifecycle of an employee. Ask us to do your payroll and we will provide you with everything you need to get you started. Alternatively, if you already use a payroll provider, we will liaise with them to ensure a seamless handover.
We will send you a template with your staff records on, meaning that you simply update just before sending to us to produce weekly or monthly payslips, an employer payroll analysis and a P32 (showing how much you will need to pay the HMRC).
Our software is fully RTI compliant and therefore provides regular updates to the HMRC. We will also complete your year-end process at the end of each tax year.
We charge £2.50 per pay slip. Nothing more. That’s it. All included.
Have you received your pension staging date? Our system will provide your employees with compliance letters, processing and reporting meaning you need not worry. 

New client procedure:

Call us to discuss and we will email you out our sign up forms to assist us in setting up your business on to our systems and to register for services such as Payroll and VAT where required.

  • Then a professional courtesy request is forwarded to any previous/existing accountant in order to obtain year to date figures (for businesses already trading).
  • We will complete a Money Laundering check which is a legal requirement in order to communicate with the HMRC on your behalf, we will need to send them an authorising your agent form. 
  • They will send you a code which you will need to forward to us
  • We will set up a direct debit for you to enable our payments to operate as efficiently as the service you will receive
  • A new client welcome pack will be sent to you which includes mailing bags to send your paperwork to us

Areas covered for the Stocktaking, Accountancy and HR services:

We cover all of South Wales from Carmarthen, Swansea and Lanelli and Neath in South West Wales to Chepstow, Monmouth, Torfaen and Abergavenny in the South East Wales and everything in between including RCT, Vale of Glamorgan, Portalbot, Cardiff, Newport, Caerphilly, Merthyr etc.

We also cover the South West of England including Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Avon, Bristol, Somerset etc.

If you want to get set up or you have any questions please contact the Pub Hub (mentioning MA Consultancy).


Marsha Ward, Managing Director, The Pub Hub on:

p: 0330 122 4972 e:

a: Britannia House, Caerphilly Business Park, Van Road, Caerphilly CF83 3GG

Page posted “by Mike Armstrong” from Cardiff Marketing Company MA Consultancy – If you have something to promote please call: 07517 024979.

Link Building Services Cardiff, South Wales & Wales

Link Building Services Cardiff, South Wales, Wales

Here at MA Consultancy we offer three different types of Link Building Services to help increase the ranking of your website:

These Link Building Services are:

  • Citations
  • Blogger Outreach Programme
  • & Relevant Website Standard Links or Content on relevant sites with a Keyword Link

Costs for the Link Building Services Cardiff, South Wales, Wales:

You can get some of our Link Building Services Cardiff, South Wales, Wales for prices from just £200.

For more about the Link Building Services Cardiff, South Wales, Wales including the various different packages available, please follow the link or contact us on: 07517 024979 or email:

Link Building Cardiff, South Wales, Wales

This page was written and posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Web Marketing inc SEO & Social Media Marketing

Web Design Wales

Affordable Web Design Wales

Affordable Web Design Wales The affordable web design service from 333 Websites will produce a professional WordPress business website for your business for just £333 and £33 per month. Their affordable web design Wales service is extremely cost effective so can also be referred to as a cheap web design services (and they offer affordable […]

Web Design Cardiff

So, you are looking for Web Design Cardiff?

If so we can provide you a Web Design Cardiff service via our Cardiff Web Design Company 333 Websites.  333 Websites is a Cardiff Web Design Company offering Web Design Cardiff services to businesses in Cardiff and in the surrounding areas of South Wales…

Affordable website packages for businesses and individuals…

333 Websites’ Web Design Cardiff website customers receive the following features with their new business website:

  • Free domain name

  • Mobile Friendly Website / Responsive Website

  • Unlimited Website Support

  • Cardiff based Website Support Staff

  • Unlimited Email Addresses

  • Cardiff based Website Project Manager

  • Website Design

  • Website Development

  • Website Training Videos

  • Content Management System

  • Website Blog & Integrated Social Media

  • Website Backups

  • SEO Advice & Support to help you make a return on your investment

All this for just £333 and £33 per month (or £430 with a new business logo included and £33 per month).

Why use our 333 Websites web business for your web design Cardiff requirement?

You should use 333 Websites because our team is well rounded, very experienced and very customer focussed.  We believe that our offering represents the best value for money Web Design Cardiff services available in the market place.

What our Web Design Cardiff Team includes:

  • The 333 Welsh Websites team
  • Graphic design team
  • Linux technical team (hardware and software)
  • Web Marketing Specialists & SEO Specialists
  • Experienced Business & Corporate Account Managers

“The 333 Websites Web Design Cardiff Team will work with you on your new Website”

For more about the 333 Websites Web Design Cardiff Team please see the 333 Websites about us page.

For more about the two different website packages that are available when you buy a websites online, please see our Web Design Cardiff home page or to buy your website online now, please visit our online payment page:

Areas of Cardiff and the surrounding areas covered by our Web Design Cardiff services:

Web Design Cardiff

We provide Web Design Cardiff services to Marshfield, Castleton, St Mellons, Trowbridge, Llanrumney, Rumney, Splott, Tremorfa, Pontprennau, Pentwyn, Llanedeyrn, Cyncoed, Llanishen Lisvane, Rhiwbina, Heath, Cathays, Whitchurch, Thornhill, Rhiwbina, Llandaff, St Fagans, Fairwater, Canton, Roath, Adamstown, City Centre, Cardiff Bay, Grangetown, Riverside, Pontcanna, Leckwith, Ely, St George’s, St Nicholas, Dinas Powys, Penarth, Sulley, Wenvoe.

We also provide web design Cardiff services to places in the greater Cardiff area including Cowbridge, Caerphilly Ystrad Mynach, Trethomas, Bedwas, Treharris, Nelson, Pontypridd, Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Llantrisant, Talbot Green, Barry, Newport etc.

For a full list of areas please see below:

What areas of Cardiff & South Wales do our Cardiff Web Designers cover?

We can provide Web Design Cardiff services to businesses in all of these areas of Cardiff and the wider South Wales area:

  • Websites in CF1 – Cardiff
  • Websites in CF3 – Rumney & Trowbridge, Llanrumney, St Mellons, Castleton, Marshfield
  • Websites in CF5 – Ely, Caerau, St Fagans, Culverhouse Cross, Canton & Leckwith, Fairwater, Danescourt, Llandaff, Riverside
    Wenvoe, Peterston Super Ely, St Georges Super Ely, Michaelston 
  • Websites in CF10 – CARDIFF CITY CENTRE (part of), Grangetown, CARDIFF BAY (part of) & Butetown
  • Websites in CF11 – CARDIFF CITY CENTRE (part of), Canton, CARDIFF BAY (part of), Grangetown
  • Websites in CF14 – Birchgrove, Whitchurch, Thornhill & Lisvane, Rhiwbina & Pantmawr, Gabalfa, Heath, Llandaff North, Llanishen
  • Websites in CF15 – Pentyrch, Gwaelod-y-Garth, Creigiau, Radyr, Morganstown, Tongwynlais, TAFFS WELL, Nantgarw, RCT, Groeswen, Caerphilly
  • Websites in CF23 – Llanishen, Cyncoed, Pentwyn, Penylan, Pontprennau & Old St Mellons
  • Websites in CF24 – CARDIFF CITY CENTRE (part of) & Cathays, Roath & Plasnewydd, Splott, Adamsdown
  • Websites in CF30 – Cardiff, 
  • Websites in CF31 – BRIDGEND TOWN, Brackla, Coity, Pen-y-Fai
  • Websites in CF32 – Cefn Cribwr, Laleston, Merthyr Mawr, Ogmore Vale, Tondu, Sarn, Ynysawdre, St Brides Minor, Pontycymer,Llangeinor, Garw Valley, Blaengarw, Blackmill, Bettws, Aberkenfig, St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Websites in CF33 – Cornelly, Pyle
  • Websites in CF34 – MAESTEG TOWN, Llangynwyd, Caerau, Nantyffyllon
  • Websites in CF35 – BRIDGEND: PENCOED TOWN, Coychurch, Llangan, VALE OF GLAMORGAN: Ewenny
  • Websites in CF36 – PORTHCAWL TOWN, Nottage, Newton
  • Websites in CF37 – PONTYPRIDD TOWN including Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Treforest, Hopkinstown, Trallwng, Maesycoed, Pwllgwaun, Hawthorn, Rhydfelen, TREHAFOD,
    YNYSYBWL & Coed-y-Cwm 
  • Websites in CF38 – LANTWIT FARDRE, CHURCH VILLAGE, Tonteg, Efail Isaf, BEDDAU & Ty Nant
  • Websites in CF39 – Rhondda Area (RCT): PORTH TOWN & Llwyncelyn, CYMMER & Glynfach & Trebanog, YNYSHIR & Wattstown, Dinas (part of), Taff-Ely Area (RCT): TONYREFAIL TOWN & Coed Ely & Thomastown, GILFACH GOCH, BRIDGEND:
  • Websites in CF40 – TONYPANDY TOWN, TREALAW, PENYGRAIG, Dinas (part of), Williamstown, Cwm Clydach, LLWYNYPIA, Taff-Ely Area: Penrhiwfer
  • Websites in CF41 – PENTRE, Ton Pentre, YSTRAD & Gelli
  • Websites in CF42 – TREORCHY TOWN & Cwmparc & Ynyswen, TREHERBERT & Blaencwm & Blaenrhondda 
  • Websites in CF43 – FERNDALE TOWN & Blaenllechau, TYLORSTOWN & Penrhys, Pontygwaith & Stanleytown, MAERDY 
  • Websites in CF44 – ABERDARE TOWN, Cwmaman, ABERAMAN, LLWYDCOED, Cwmbach, HIRWAUN, Penywaun, RHIGOS,Penderyn
  • Websites CF46 – MERTHYR TYDFIL: TREHARRIS TOWN, Quakers Yard, Bedlinog, CAERPHILLY: Nelson 
  • Websites in CF47 – MERTHYR TYDFIL TOWN, Gurnos, Penydarren
  • Websites in CF48 – Cyfarthfa, Pant, Merthyr Vale, Troed-y-rhiw, Vaynor, Pentrebach 
  • Websites in CF61 – LLANTWIT MAJOR TOWN, Llan-maes
  • Websites in CF62 – BARRY TOWN (part of), Rhoose, St Athan, Llancarfan, Barry Island
  • Websites in CF63 – BARRY TOWN (part of), Cadoxton, Barry Docks
  • Websites in CF64 – PENARTH TOWN, Dinas Powys, Sully, Llandough
  • Websites in CF71 – COWBRIDGE TOWN, St Brides Major, Welsh St Donats, Pendoylan, Llandow, Colwinston, Llanblethian, Penllyn, Llanfair
  • Websites in CF72 – PONTYCLUN, LLANTRISANT TOWN, LLANHARAN, Talbot Green, Brynsadler, Miskin, Brynna, LLANHARRY
  • Websites in CF81 – BARGOED TOWN, Aberbargoed, Darran Valley, Gilfach, Pontlottyn 
  • Websites in CF82 – HENGOED, Cefn Hengoed, YSTAD MYNACH TOWN, Gelligaer, Maesycwmmer
  • Websites in CF83 – CAERPHILLY TOWN, Abertridwr, Senghenydd, Bedwas, Trethomas, Machen, Llanbradach, Pwllypant, Penyrheol,Energlyn, Trecenydd, Rudry

If you are interested in Web Design Cardiff services in any of these areas of Cardiff or the greater Cardiff area in South Wales please visit our 333 websites site via one of the links.

The Web Design Cardiff post was written “By Mike Armstrong”


Top 250 Twitter Accounts in Wales including many from Cardiff…

Please take a look at the top 250 Twitter Influencers Accounts in Wales, as posted in the Wales Online Article (in Oct).:

In summary the top 50 Twitter Influencer Accounts in Wales are:

1. WalesOnline Twitter Account

Tweeting the latest Welsh news, sports, events and everything else you love about Wales.

Wales manager Chris Coleman: “It means everything!”

2. BBC Wales Twitter Account

The national public service broadcaster for Wales, covering news, sport, TV shows, radio programmes and digital content.

Korma blimey, it’s ! Catch up with Curry Wars on @BBCiPlayer » 

3. Welsh Government Twitter Account

The devolved government for Wales with responsibilities that include the economy, education, health, tourism and culture.

.@WG_CommunityMin launches new £10.9m childcare scheme to help get parents into work 

4. BBC Radio Wales Twitter Account

National English-language radio broadcaster. Presenters include Jason Mohammad, Aled Jones, Bethan Elfyn and Chris Needs.

Can you guess today’s mystery year? Play ‘Blast From The Past’ with @elerision next. 

5. Visit Wales Twitter Account

The official account from the Welsh Government department that promotes tourism in Wales.

Only 100 days to the Year of Adventure 2016 Discover adventure in Wales 

6.  Welsh Rugby Union Twitter Account

The governing body of rugby union in Wales. In 2014 they launched the #iamwales project to chart the progress of the national team and the rugby community.

FT Wales 23 – 13 Fiji

7. ITV News Wales Twitter Account

Updates from the current affairs team at the ITV franchise for Wales. Programmes include Wales at Six and Sharp End.

Wales Weather: Wonderful this Wednesday! 

8. Chapter Arts Centre Twitter Account

Cultural centre for international art, performance and film, based in Canton, Cardiff for more than 40 years. They welcome more than 800,000 visitors each year.

Two more sleeps until ! @chapter_eats 

9. Cardiff council Twitter Account

Wales’ biggest local authority with 29 electoral wards. County Hall is based in Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff Castle hosts a programme of spooky Halloween happenings this October half term 

10. Assembly Wales Twitter Account

The official feed of the National Assembly for Wales.

11 Nov in the , Hedd Wyn will be among the millions remembered who lost their lives in

Read: Which Welsh politicians are the most influential on Twitter?

11. Wales Millennium Centre Twitter Account

Iconic arts centre in Cardiff Bay, home to theatres for musicals, operas, ballet and dance, as well as arts organisation.

Win 2 tickets for Land Of Our Fathers on 20/21 Oct. RT & follow us by 12pm 20 Oct to enter 

12. Derek Brockway Twitter Account

BBC Wales weatherman and TV presenter from Barry

rain on the way tonight. Spreading SE. Easing tomorrow leaving a drier afternoon with spots of drizzle.

13. Carwyn Jones Twitter Account

Wales’ First Minister. Jones also tweets as the Assembly Member for Bridgend, where he was raised.

It’s about time we got some certainty from UK Government with regards to Swansea bay tidal lagoon

Which Welsh politicians made the list? See our breakdown

14. South Wales Evening Post Twitter Account

Swansea-based newspaper covering South West Wales

92-year-old gym fanatic George shows the youngsters how it’s done 

15. The Daily Post Twitter Account

North Wales’ best read daily newspaper, based at Llandudno Junction.

Here’s the front page of today’s Daily Post. For all the latest news and sport visit 

16. BBC Wales News Twitter Account

News, features and analysis from the BBC Wales newsroom

19th Century folly in Swansea sold at auction 

17. We Are Cardiff Twitter Account

A project collecting the stories of people that live the in capital

Nice one Cardiff street cleaners! Sweeping up the city’s mess while the game’s on… ta!

18. I Loves The ‘Diff Twitter Account

Cult brand of the capital and creator of Taffywood products

Doing an impromptu meet and greet with Irish campers in Sophia Gardens. (This might be the Irish Consulate)

19. Twitter Account

Welsh Government website promoting Wales to international visitors, students and businesses

There’s a dedicated website for visitors in China – 

20. South Wales Police Twitter Account

The largest police force in Wales, serving 1.3m people. The headquarters are in Bridgend

Out today? Go out, have fun! Don’t be a ……

21. Jason Mohammad Twitter Account

BBC Sport and BBC Radio Wales presenter from Cardiff

Thanks for all your calls and tweets today to @BBCRadioWales – busy one. What will we do when this RWC leaves us?

22. Cardiff Online Twitter Account

News and views from the capital city, run by WalesOnline

The amazing Glow Neon Fun Run is in Cardiff this weekend and you can still take part 

23. Institute of Welsh Affairs Twitter Account

Independent think tank which promotes the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales

report says that where possible some elements of care should be delivered locally. 

24. Cardiff University Twitter Account

Founded in 1883, the institution is the 12th largest university in the UK and a member of the Russell Group. It has around 30,000 students enrolled from more than 100 countries.

Cardiff University researchers identify ‘s “Rosetta Stone” gene 

25. Jamie Roberts Twitter Account

Wales international, British Lion – and qualified doctor, born in Newport. Plays for Harlequins.

Almost, just almost caught a smile from @AlunWynJones en route to training! @WelshRugbyUnion

26. Sam Warburton Twitter Account

Captain of the Wales rugby team since June 2011 and also led the 2013 Lions tour. Plays openside flanker for his home city’s team Cardiff Blues.

Can’t wait, so excited it’s nearly here….Great British Bake Off semi-finals 8pm!!

27. BBC Wales Sport Twitter Account

News from the BBC’s Welsh sport coverage

Closing date soon! Nominate someone who helps grassroots sport in your area: 

28. Visit Cardiff Twitter Account

The official visitors’ website for Cardiff, run by Cardiff Business Council

It’s an ideal time to explore the seafood in Sustainable Food City 

29. South Wales Argus Twitter Account

Daily newspaper covering Gwent. Based in Newport

Traffic very slow after 2-vehicle crash between J25 and J24 on the M4 in Newport 

30. S4C Twitter Account

Public service, Welsh language TV channel

Oes ‘na sefyllfa Romeo a Juliet yn yr achos diweddaraf | Do we have a classic case of Romeo & Juliet here

31. Leanne Wood Twitter Account

Rhondda born-and-bred leader of Plaid Cymru, elected to the Assembly in 2003

Cyfarfod cyhoeddus – heno / @Plaid_Cymru public meeting tonight – 

32. Leighton Andrews Twitter Account

Assembly Member for Rhondda and Minister for Public Services. From Barry

Great campaign on rhe Ynyswen

33. Business Wales Twitter Account

Information, guidance and support for businesses from the Welsh Government

Don’t listen the next time someone tells you being your own boss doesn’t pay… 

34. Buzz Magazine Twitter Account

Free monthly what’s on guide that covers South Wales

“This was progressive rock at its grandest – and I was sold” STEVE HACKETT | LIVE REVIEW

35. BBC Wales Today Twitter Account

Tweets from the daily news programme broadcast on BBC One Wales

In Whitchurch, Cardiff artist @Rmerism is preparing a surprise for tonight’s football special – who’s he painting?

36. BBC Wales Politics Twitter Account

News from the broadcaster’s political team based in Cardiff Bay and Westminster

Live coverage of @fmwales‘s response to draft on @WelshGovernment‘s periscope here: 

37. Sport Wales Ywitter Account

National organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales

Nearly half of young people in Wales now

38. Rob Brydon Twitter Account

Comedian, actor, radio and TV presenter from Baglan, best known for playing Uncle Bryn in Gavin and Stacey

Great time with @ScottQuinnell and Steve Speirs yesterday. Great effort from Wales.

39. Plaid Cymru Twitter Account

National political party which aims to bring independence for Wales

Only an hour to go until @LeanneWood starts answering your questions live on Facebook: 

40. National Museum Cardiff Twitter Account

Museum and art gallery at the city’s Cathays Park

This weekend is your FINAL chance to see our contemporary ceramics exhibition 

41. Adrian Masters Twitter Account

Political editor at ITV Wales and blogger

My view of tonight’s @SharpendITV guests @bethanjenkins @MickAntoniw1 @NickRamsayAM See them yourself 1045 @ITVWales

42. Arriva Trains Wales Twitter Account

Train company operating in Wales and the borders

The toilets on platforms 6 & 7 at Cardiff Central will be out of use for a few weeks while we refurbish them so please use the ones on 3 & 4

43. FA Wales Twitter Account

The Football Association of Wales, including news from the national squad. Behind the#TogetherStronger hashtag

Wales are in Pot 4 for the UEFA EURO 2016 Draw on 12 December: 

44. Shane Williams Twitter Account

Rugby great from Glannaman. Record try scorer for Wales and the nation’s most capped winger

Gutted for the boys however well done to South Africa.

45. Leigh Halfpenny Twitter Account

Wales and British Lions rugby player from Gorseinon. Plays for Toulon

Huge honour to have presented the boys with their jerseys along with @rhyswebb9 for tomorrow’s game @WelshRugbyUnion

46. National Museum Wales Twitter Account

A family of seven museums across Wales, including St Fagans National History Museum and Big Pit National Coal Museum

Another 6 performances of over the weekend @AmgueddfaLechi with @theatrbaracaws @walesremembers

47. George North Twitter Account

Wales and British Lions rugby player, currently playing for Northampton Saints.

Massive honour to receive my 50th cap today. Congrats to @donnytommy on his 1st. Bit rusty but great result!

48. Carolyn Hitt Twitter Account

Rugby-loving producer and co-director at Parasol Media, WalesOnline columnist and author from Rhondda

The only place where exceptional performance should be rewarded with a chair is the National Eisteddfod not

49. What’s on in Cardiff Twitter Account

Listings website in Cardiff from club nights and music to theatre and comedy

Well done to everyone taking part in @raceforlife in Cardiff this weekend! Looked like good muddy fun today!

50. Huw Stephens Twitter Account

Cardiff DJ who became the youngest ever Radio One presenter at 17. Founder of the capital’s Sŵn music festival.

Met Chris Evans this morning! I’ve been a fan since I was 14. Taught him some Welsh for BBC Radio Cymru!

@WelshBiz at #132

The other 200 Twitter Accounts in the top 250 Twitter Influence Accounts in Wales list, are following, including at number 132 @WelshBiz, which is one of our very own Twitter Accounts, run by us here at this Welsh Marketing Company MA Consultancy (@MAConsultancy1 on Twitter) and also part of our Welsh Business Marketing brand which includes our Welsh Business News Blog.

51-100 of the top 250 Twitter Influence Accounts in Wales:

51. Keep Wales Tidy, Non-profit organisation committed to improving a better local environment in Wales

52. Cerys Matthews, Musician, broadcaster and owner of a festival and record label. The former Catatonia singer was born in Cardiff and raised in Pembrokeshire

53. Vaughan Roderick, BBC Wales’ Welsh Affairs editor, who presents politics show Sunday Supplement

54. BBC Scrum V, News and banter from BBC Wales’ rugby union programmes

55. Dai Lama, One of Wales’ best-loved Twitter feeds who came out of hibernation for the Rugby World Cup

56. Michael Sheen, Hollywood actor and campaigner. Born in Newport and grew up in Baglan.

57. Age Cymru, The national charity for older people in Wales

58. The Celtic Manor Resort, Five-star luxury hotel, spa and golf resort in Newport

59. Cardiff Blues, The capital’s professional rugby team, playing at Cardiff Arms Park in the Pro12 league

60. Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Represents and campaigns for voluntary organisations, volunteers and communities. Based in Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Rhyl

61. Arts Council of Wales, The funding and development organisation for the arts in Wales

62. Huw Thomas, BBC Wales’ arts and media correspondent. Based in Cardiff

63. Gareth Thomas, Former Wales rugby captain who won 100 caps during a career with spells in both codes. The sporting hero from Bridgend is now a TV pundit and presenter.

64. Jonathan Davies, BBC rugby pundit and former Wales player in both codes, known as Jiffy. From Trimsaran

65. Cardiff City FC, The capital’s Championship football side

66. Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru AM for South Wales West. From Merthyr, lives in Neath

67. Cardiff Airport, Official feed for the capital’s airport

68. Wales Co-operative, National agency supporting community regeneration, economic development and social justice. Based in Caerphilly

69. St David’s Hall, Wales’ national concert hall, based in Cardiff city centre

70. Sherman Cymru, Performing arts venue in Cathays, Cardiff

71. CBI Wales, The Confederation of British Industry’s Welsh branch of the business lobbying organisation

72. Arts Wales, An arts community that champions Wales’ creative talent

73. Business in Wales, Breaking news analysis from WalesOnline’s business team

74. BBC Radio Cymru, News and updates from the BBC’s Welsh-language radio station

75. Swansea council, Official account for the city’s local authority

76. Huw Edwards, BBC News at Ten presenter from Llangennech.

77. Cadw, The historic environment service for the Welsh Government working to conserve Wales’ heritage

78. Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The National Conservatoire for Wales and leading arts college for music and theatre. Based in Cardiff

79. Heart News Wales, Updates from the news team at Heart radio station

80. Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberals Democrats and AM for Brecon and Radnorshire. Grew up in Brynea, Carmarthenshire

81. Wales Air Ambulance, Charity providing emergency air cover in Wales for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries

82. Louise Elliott, Journalist and BBC Radio Wales breakfast presenter. Brought up in Llandegfan, Anglesey

83. Ryan Jones, Former Wales rugby union captain and British Lions player from Newport. Now a TV pundit

84. BAFTA Cymru, The Welsh branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts

85. Ty Hafan, Hospice for children, helping those with life-limited illnesses and their families. Based in Sully

86. Mike Phillips, Wales’ most capped scrum-half. The Welsh speaker from Bancyfelin, Whitland plays for Racing Metro

87. Nigel Owens, International rugby union referee and TV presenter from Mynyddcerrig, Carmarthenshire

88. Shelter Cymru, Charity that works for people in housing need across Wales

89. Heart Wales, Independent local radio station serving South and West Wales. Based on Cardiff

90. Eisteddfod, The Welsh language feed for news about one of Europe’s largest and oldest cultural festivals

91. Huw Lewis AM, Labour AM for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney. The Merthyr Tydfil-born politician is the Welsh Government’s Education Minister

92. Gareth Bale, Real Madrid star, Wales legend and the world’s most expensive footballer – he’s from Whitchurch, Cardiff

93. BBC Cymru Fyw, Updates from BBC Wales’ Welsh language news

94. St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff attraction voted one of the world’s best open air museums (94)

95. Karen Price, Newport-born arts editor for WalesOnline

96. David Owens, Cardiff journalist at WalesOnline, known for his reporting of the music and arts scene. Founder of Welsh Rock For Refugees

97. Charlotte Church, Singer-songwriter, actress and TV presenter from Canton, Cardiff. A key voice in the anti-austerity movement

98. Laura McAllister, Former Wales international footballer, born in Bridgend. Now chair of Sport Wales and professor of governance at Liverpool University

99. Ignite Cardiff, Events with inspiring speakers who are given 20 blank slides to prepare a five-minute talk

100. Cardiff Bus, The main operator of bus services in Cardiff and the surrounding area

101-150 of the top 250 Twitter Influence Accounts in Wales:

101. Carl Sargeant, The Welsh Government minister responsible for natural resources

102. Lucy Owen, BBC Wales Today and X Ray presenter from Cardiff

103. Adam Jones, Former Wales and British Lions rugby player who now plays for Harlequins. Lives in Merthyr Tydfil

104. Wales Rugby, The latest news from the world of rugby, powered by WalesOnline

105. Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion. Plaid Cymru’s deputy leader and health spokeswoman. From Lampeter

106. Vaughan Gething, Welsh Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth. Lives in Butetown, Cardiff

107. University of South Wales, Formed in 2013, the UK’s sixth largest university set across Cardiff and Newport with more than 30,000 students

108. St David’s Cardiff, Wales’ biggest shopping centre, found in Cardiff city centre

109. Alex Jones, TV presenter from Ammanford, best known for presenting The One Show

110. Big Lottery Fund Wales, Distributor of National Lottery cash, awarding £100,000 each day to good causes in Wales

111. What’s On Wales, Arts listings service.

112. Fair Trade Wales, National organisation for Fair Trade education, policy, support and campaigning

113. National Trust Wales, Organisation protecting the nation’s heritage and open spaces

114. Dafydd Elis-Thomas, AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, member of the House of Lords and former leader of Plaid Cymru. Carmarthen born, he lives in Snowdonia.

115. Wales Coast Path, Welsh Government account to promote the long-distance footpath around the nation’s coastline

116. Mark Drakeford, The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services. Also tweets as Labour Assembly Member for Cardiff West at @MarkDrakeford

117. National Theatre Wales, English-language theatre company based in Cardiff

118. Swansea University, The city’s research-led university which has almost 16,000 students and is undergoing an ambitious expansion

119. The Riverside People, Cardiff Farmers’ Markets at Riverside, Roath and Rhiwbina

120. Vale of Glamorgan Council, Local authority with 23 electoral wards, including Barry, Penarth and Cowbridge

121. Tenovus Cancer Care, Cancer charity bring support and treatment to communities in Wales. Based in Cardiff and Carmarthen

122. Alun Davies, Labour AM for Blaenau Gwent. From Tredegar

123. Cardiff Life, Magazine celebrating the best of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

124. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Publicly-funded role that champions children and young people in Wales

125. The Bevan Foundation, Merthyr Tydfil-based charity that develops ideas that aim to change Wales and improve people’s lives

126. Clwb Ifor Bach, Live music venue and club in Cardiff city centre, popular with the Welsh-speaking community

127. CardiffBiz, Sales, marketing and social media consultant based in Cardiff

128. Welsh Labour, The largest political party in Wales

129. Macmillan Cymru, Charity offering practical, emotional and financial help to people affected by cancer in Wales

130. Sian Lloyd, UK’s longest serving female weather presenter. From Maesteg

131. The Welsh Local Government Association, Body representing local government and promoting local democracy in Wales

132. WelshBiz, Welsh business marketing brand owned by marketing company MA Consultancy

133. Swansea City FC, Wales’ only Premier League football club. Managed by Garry Monk. Homeground is the Liberty Stadium

134. Cardiff Devils, The capital’s ice hockey team, which plays in the British Elite Ice Hockey League

135. Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru AM for Mid and West Wales. Lives in Aberystwyth

136. Roath Cardiff, Hyperlocal news and information site for Roath in Cardiff

137. Ken Skates AM, Labour AM for Clwyd South. Born in Wrexham

138. Steffan Rhys, Digital development editor at WalesOnline, who also runs Humans of Cardiff. From Ammanford

139. CityLife Cardiff, Cardiff lifestyle magazine and website

140. Wonderful Wales, Tweets from Southern Wales, the tourism body that promotes South East Wales

141. David Williamson, Political editor of WalesOnline, based in Westminster

142. Disability Wales, Non-profit organisation championing the rights, equality and independence of disabled people in Wales

143. Welsh Conservatives, The Welsh branch of the Conservative party

144. Cardiff Metropolitan University, Formerly know as UWIC, the institution has five schools among two campuses, serving around 12,000 students

145. Sŵn Festival, Music festival held in venues around Cardiff founded in 2007 by Huw Stephens and John Rostron

146. Wales Office, The UK Government’s department of state representing Welsh interests in the UK and UK Government interests in Wales

147. Martin Shipton, WalesOnline’s chief reporter, based in Cardiff

148. Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda since 2001 and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons since September 2015. Born in Cardiff and lives in Porth

149. South Wales Chamber of Business, A business support organisation run by and representing local businesses

150. Simon Thomas, WalesOnline’s rugby correspondent. Based in Cardiff

151-200 of the top 250 Twitter Influence Accounts in Wales:

151. The Cardiff Story, Museum that tells the story of the capital, based in the city centre

152. David Cornock, BBC Wales’ Westminster correspondent. From Penarth

153. Recycle For Wales, Run by Waste Awareness Wales, a Welsh Government-funded organisation set up to encourage the change of waste behaviours

154. Gethin Jones, TV presenter from Cardiff who now hosts ITV quiz show The 21st Question

155. Wales Federation of Small Businesses, Campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of self-employed and small firms in Wales

156. Rebecca Evans, Labour AM for Mid and West Wales.

157. Julie Morgan, AM for Cardiff North. Born and raised in the capital.

158. Llamau, Homelessness charity supporting vulnerable young people and women in Wales

159. Ken Skates, Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism. Also tweets as @KenSkatesAM as AM for Clwyd South

160. Sion Barry, WalesOnline’s business editor, based in Cardiff

161. Scott Quinnell, Former Wales, British Lions and Llanelli rugby player. Now a Sky Sports TV pundit. From Llanelli

162. Bethan Elfyn, BBC Radio Wales presenter and DJ from Bangor

163. Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives and AM for South Wales Central

164. Kevin Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West and shadow minister for trade, investment and intellectual property. Born in Cwmbran

165. Monmouthshire County Council, Local authority with its county hall in Usk

166. Welsh Liberal Democrats, The Welsh branch of the Liberal Democrats

167. Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru AM for Ynys Mon

168. National Library of Wales, Based in Aberystwyth, the biggest library in Wales with more than 6.5m books and periodicals

169. Cardiff Events, Cardiff Council-run account providing information on events taking place in the Cardiff region

170. Llanelli Star, Weekly newspaper covering Llanelli and the Gwendraeth Valley

171. Daran Hill, Founder of Cardiff-based political consultancy Positif Politics

172. Lee Waters, Director of think tank, The Institute of Welsh Affairs, From Ammanford.

173. Nation Radio, Regional independent radio station for South and West Wales

174. Brains Brewery, Brewery and hospitality company that has brewed beer in the capital for more than 125 years

175. Cardiff Half, Cardiff Half Marathon, one of the UK’s biggest road races

176. Lynn Courtney, ITV Wales journalist and producer, based in Cardiff

177. Peter Black, Liberal Democrat AM for South Wales West and blogger. Lives in Manselton, Swansea.

178. Tomos Livingstone, BBC Wales political correspondent at Cardiff Bay

179. Oxfam Cymru, Welsh branch of the charity which works to eradicate global poverty

180. Rebecca John, BBC Wales TV journalist, based in Cardiff

181. Park Plaza Cardiff, Four-star hotel in central Cardiff

182. Katherine Jenkins, Classical singer from Neath, who appeared Dancing with the Stars

183. Feed The Sprout, What’s on, news and information site for Cardiff

184. Penderyn Whisky, Award-winning Welsh distillery that produces single malt Welsh whisky and other spirits. Based in Penderyn, Rhondda Cynon Taff

185. Stonewall Cymru Welsh charity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality

186. Radio Cardiff, Community radio station serving the capital city in Butetown

187. Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for North Wales. Lives in Ruthin

188. Dylan Jones-Evans, Professor of entrepreneurship at Bristol Business School, founder of Fast Growth 50, blogger and WalesOnline columnist. Based in Cardiff

189. Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru politician, who was an AM from 1999-2011.

190. Cardiff Students, Cardiff University students’ union

191. Dan Lydiate, Wales rugby international and farmer from Llandridnod Wells. Plays for the Ospreys

192. Spillers Records, The world’s oldest record shop at Cardiff’s Morgan Arcade

193. Green Man Festival, Independent music and arts festival held every August in the Black Mountains

194. Dan Tyte, Executive director at Working Word PR and author. From Cardiff

195. South Wales Police Cardiff, Feed for South Wales Police based in Cardiff

196. The Riverfront, Theatre and arts centre based in Newport city centre

197. David Deans, WalesOnline’s Senedd correspondent, based in Cardiff Bay

198. Paul Flynn, Cardiff-born Labour MP for Newport West since 1987. Writes a blog

199. Cardiff Castle, News and events at the medieval castle based in the city centre

200. Golwg 360, Welsh-language news website and magazine

201-250 of the top 250 Twitter Influence Accounts in Wales:

201. Gwdihw Cafe Bar, Music and venue and night club in Cardiff city centre

202. WWF Cymru, Welsh branch of the worldwide conservation organisation

203. Robbie Savage, BBC and Mirror football pundit from Wrexham who played in midfield for Wales

204. Pride Cymru, Charity that works to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, race or religion

205. Andrea Byrne, ITV News and ITV Wales presenter based in South Wales

206. Scarlets, The Scarlets rugby team, based in Llanelli’s Parc y Scarlets stadium

207. Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Government-funded body that maintains Wales’ environment and natural resources

208. RNIB Cymru, The Welsh branch of the Royal National Institute of Blind People which supports those affected by sight loss

209. Tom Shanklin, Former Wales rugby international and Cardiff Blues player, now a manager at recycling operator DS Smith

210. Alun Wyn Jones, Swansea-born Wales and Ospreys rugby player.

211. Public Affairs Cymru, National membership organisation for public affairs professionals in Wales

212. North Wales Police, Force responsible for policing North Wales. HQ in Colwyn Bay

213. Owen Smith, Labour MP for Pontypridd since 2010 and now Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

214. Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty. Also tweets as Labour AM for Wrexham (see 229)

215. Cynnal Cymru, Organisation for sustainable development in Wales. Based in Cardiff Bay

216. Jane Hutt, Labour AM for the Vale of the Glamorgan. Lives in Barry

217. Sian Lloyd, BBC News and BBC Breakfast journalist and presenter. Born in Bangor

218. Welsh Water, Water and sewerage company serving 1.3m homes and businesses in Wales and Herefordshire

219. BITC Cymru, Business in the Community is a business-led charity that champions responsible business

220. Urdd, Wales’ largest youth organisation which organises activities, including the Urdd eisteddfod

221. Darren Millar, Conservative AM for Clwyd West. Brought up in Towyn and lives in Kinmel Bay

222. Made in Cardiff TV, Local TV channel that has been broadcasting across the Cardiff Capital Region since 2014

223. Rarebits Collection, A collection of some of the best accommodation to stay within Wales

224. Carmarthen Journal, Wales’ oldest newspaper, serving Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire

225. Love The Valleys, EU-funded project to promote The Valleys

226. Dyfed Powys Police, Force serving Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, covering a land mass of more than half of Wales

227. Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan. The former AM grew up in Swansea

228. Community Housing Cymru, Membership body for housing associations in Wales

229. Lesley Griffiths, Labour AM for her hometown Wrexham. Also tweets as Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty (see number 214)

230. Sara Robinson, Managing director of Brighter Communications and blogger

231. Jamie Owen, Journalist, author and presenter of BBC Wales Today. From Pembrokeshire

232. Ramblers Cymru, Walking charity which works to protect access for the public to the countryside

233. Rupert Moon, Former Wales and Llanelli rugby player. Now works to encourage regeneration in Colwyn Bay

234. Gofal Mental health charity that provides services to the mentally ill and campaigns to increase public understanding

235. Glyndwr University, Formed in Wrexham in 2008 and has a student population of around 8,000

236. Welsh National Opera, National opera company that stages award-winning performances. Based at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre

237. Effective Communication, Communications agency, specialising in PR, based in Cardiff

238. Team Wales, News from the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales. Based in Cardiff

239. Nick Servini, BBC Wales political editor. Born in Aberdare.

240. Carwyn Jones, Leader of Welsh Labour and AM for Bridgend. Also tweets as First Minister (see number 13)

241. It’s On Cardiff What’s on feed for bars, clubs, restaurants and events in Cardiff

242. Kathryn Williams, WalesOnline’s showbiz reporter. From Treorchy, lives in Cardiff.

243. Glamorgan Cricket, Wales ‘ only first-class cricket club based at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff

244. Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Executive director of the Institute of Directors in Wales. Lives in Cardiff

245. Stephen Crabb, Secretary of State for Wales and Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire. From Haverfordwest

246. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Fire and rescue service covering a population of more than 1.4m people

247. John Rostron, Independent music events producer and co-founder of the Sŵn Music Festival. Lives in Mid Wales

248. Ospreys, The Ospreys rugby team, based at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium

249. Alan Edmunds, Managing director and editor-in-chief at Media Wales, publishers of WalesOnline, the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday and the Celtic weekly titles

250. Fly2Cardiff, Passenger focus group that aims to promote Cardiff Airport to people in South Wales

For more on this article please see: WalesOnline Article

The top 250 Twitter Influencers in Wales page was written “By Mike Armstrong”.

For more about our Twitter Consultancy, Twitter Training or Twitter Marketing Service, please click the most relevant link.

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If you would like to have a meeting with a professional to request a quote or for a free consultation, with some advice and knowledge about the business products or services that you require, please complete the contact form on the relevant business services page you are interested in, by clicking the link and seeing what service providers we work with.

Business Services included are:

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Content Marketing Altering the Future Predicted in ‘Minority Report’

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Content Marketing Altering the Future Predicted in ‘Minority Report’
by christopherjanb
marketing-2054-how-content-will-save-coverJust 13 years ago, Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report envisioned the year 2054 as one in which marketing and advertising are so invasive that holograms make frenzied, customized sales pitches to people as they walk through the mall.

In an unnerving scene, protagonist John Anderton’s eyes flashed as retina scanners identified him from a customer database and pushy holograms pitched him items based on his previous purchases, personal attributes, and preferences.

We still have almost 40 years to go until the film’s setting, but it’s already pretty obvious what the screenwriters got right about the future of marketing (big data, personalized ads) and what they probably got wrong – aside from our endless cultural obsession with holograms. Hollywood often shows us how exotic technologies might revolutionize well-worn concepts like display advertising (or heck, even malls), but how well does it predict the totally new concepts that might replace them?

The inescapable sales chatter in Minority Report’s mall scene was meant to raise privacy questions, making 2002 audiences uncomfortable with how much marketers might know about each consumer in the future. To marketers, the scene demonstrates the potential of big data and why marketers need a complementary personalization strategy to make a better first impression.

Now, cue content marketing, which provides value to people and businesses researching their purchases. Its softer approach may be the thing that spares us from the suffocating ad bombardment Spielberg’s film predicted.

One marketing channel is always on
In 2015, businesses have a content channel from which their target audiences never walk away: mobile.

Last November, mobile ad company Flurry found that Americans now spend nearly three hours per day on their mobile devices – more than they spend watching TV. Even more remarkable is that mobile time jumped almost 10 percent in just nine months. As wearable technology enters the mainstream in 2015 and beyond, one would expect that mobile time would grow.

Today, most of us sleep within reach of our smartphones, continuing to read them late at night and first thing in the morning. If a question comes into our heads as we hit the pillow, we have to Google it before we can fall asleep. It’s not difficult to imagine that these habits may even affect our dreams.

According to a Salesforce Marketing Cloud study, searching for information online is the third most frequent activity performed on mobile devices – surpassed only by checking emails and text messages, and more popular than social networking.

If someone in your target audience has a problem that you can solve, the only important question is whether your content is relevant and comprehensive enough to be the best answer on the web during your prospects’ mobile searches. That is the difference between tons of business and very little.

We know quality content is increasingly important to marketing, and that trend is likely to continue as search volume creeps higher. So how could this affect the way marketing is practiced later in the 21st century? Or is 2054 marketing already here?

Advertising will build a better case for products and services by figuring out whom and what we trust
Unilever Senior Vice President of Marketing Marc Mathieu says, “Marketing used to be about creating a myth and selling it and is now about finding a truth and sharing it.”

Minority Report was right to imagine advertising messages tailored to individuals based on their behaviors, interests, and purchase histories. But rather than using unknown virtual sales assistants to make the pitch, today’s brands highlight social media recommendations from our friends and colleagues. If those aren’t available, they send us the kinds of stats or stories to which we have a history of responding.

Expect this trend to continue as our homes become populated with web-connected technology. In 2054, if you start preparing Korean barbecue tacos with Huy Fong chili paste on your “smart” countertop, the kitchen interface may ask if you want to share this recipe with friends. These friends might receive an ad informing them that you use this brand and a list of the recipes you’ve made with it – or even a video of you putting the meal together.

Big brands will purchase virtually all major media companies
In the short term, media companies will continue to amass portfolios of niche and special interest publications to increase ad revenue. This makes them increasingly attractive to major brands, which are starting to see the media outlets as a way to immediately acquire engaged, targeted audiences to whom they can advertise directly.

Many people might consider this to be a dystopian future for journalism – one that would scare away readership. But the Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi does a good job of explaining why brands might actually do a better job of delivering quality content than today’s media owners.

The things you talk about will influence the type of content marketing you see
If you use Gmail, you know that Google has been serving you ads relevant to the topics discussed in your emails for years. The same concept is expected to be applied to wearable devices that will be able to transcribe your conversations. Advertisers already can tell some of our interests by analyzing our hashtags and follows on Twitter and Instagram. But as image-recognition technology improves, brands will be able to understand what we care about by identifying the subjects of our photos and videos.

Content will be delivered based on our activities and emotions, not just our location
Location will continue to determine the kinds of ads we see. For example, our favorite local retail store may send a mobile notification about a sale to us as we walk by the shop. Wearables also will give businesses plenty of other data such as heart and perspiration rates, and even emotional states so they can determine when content might be welcome and when it might be considered a nuisance.

Some brands will invest in wearable products primarily for the potential to create content relationships that strengthen brand loyalty. Imagine receiving a personal evaluation and video tutorials on adjusting your running style from a fitness brand after jogging in your new Ralph Lauren fitness tracking shirt. Or maybe your future shirt “learns” you typically run between 6:45 and 7:30 a.m., starting at the intersection of Damen and Wabansia streets. So a brand monitoring your wearable-tech shirt emails you a blog post about the best breakfast foods to eat before a run and lists stores and restaurants near the beginning of your route that are open.

And if we leave our Microsoft HoloLenses at home, we won’t be harassed by holograms
After all, public three-dimensional projections look the same to everyone and isn’t mass messaging a bit old-fashioned?

Want to learn more about the future of content marketing? Check out the CMWorld 2014 sessions available through our Video on Demand portal and make plans today to attend Content Marketing World 2015.

The post Content Marketing Altering the Future Predicted in ‘Minority Report’ appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

For more on this article including images see :

Content Marketing Altering the Future Predicted in ‘Minority Report’ page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Can You Grow Your Organic Traffic Without Generating Content?

New post on Online Marketing Hub

Can You Grow Your Organic Traffic Without Generating Content?
by christopherjanb
content marketing

Did you know that the average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google has at least 2,000 words of text?

That means if you want more organic traffic, you have to create tons of content, right?

What if you don’t have a content bone in your body—does that mean that you’re out of luck when it comes to your rankings?

There has to be another solution…

Luckily for you, there is. Before we get into that, let’s first dispel the myth that you have to generate more content to grow your organic traffic.

Does more content mean more organic traffic?
When you think of the best ranking sites on the web, which ones come to mind? Sites like Wikipedia, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Mashable, right?

The reason all of these sites rank so well is because they have thousands—if not millions—of pages with unique content. In general, if you create more content, you’re giving search engines more keywords that will help them rank your site.

word count

If you look at the image by SerpIQ, you’ll see that the average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains at least 2,032 words (see link). And when you look at the top three positions, you’ll notice that those web pages have at least 2,400 words.

When you start dissecting the keywords that most of these content-rich sites rank for, the majority tend to be long-tail keywords. Just look at Quick Sprout: 91% of my organic traffic is generated through long-tail terms due to the fact that I write content on anything related to marketing.

long tail traffic

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get rankings if you don’t produce content. Take UpWorthy as an example: they get millions of visitors from search engines when they rarely write more than 100 words of content on a page.

If you search for the phrase “unrealistic bodies,” you’ll see UpWorthy with the first spot on Google.

upworthy rankings

What’s even more impressive is that the body of the post contains only 55 keywords.

You may say that “unrealistic bodies” isn’t a popular search term. And it isn’t. But UpWorthy is competing with 19 million other web pages that also rank for that term. Which means they must be doing something right…

Plus, it’s not the only search term they rank for. They rank for 17,112 more popular terms according to SEMrush. And some of these terms are indeed popular… such as “Rosa Parks” or “Robin Williams.”

But UpWorthy still generates content
I know what you are thinking… UpWorthy only gets organic traffic because they generate content. And sure, they may not create as much content as Wikipedia, but to some extent they still create text-based content.

Airbnb, on the other hand, also generates millions of organic visitors a month, and they rank for competitive terms like “vacation rentals.”

If you look at Airbnb’s home page, what don’t you see? You don’t see much content.

airbnb homepage

Even when you look at listing pages, the only content you see is short descriptions and reviews, both provided by users. The user-generated content might be helping them rank, but it doesn’t perform as well as it would if it were Airbnb-generated content.

Just look at this warning I got from Google last year…

google warning

It shows that Google knows the difference between user-generated content and content created by the website owner. Still, Airbnb ranks for long-tail terms like “Brookstone apartment by Central Park.”

airbnb rankings

And if you want to see a site that ranks well but contains little to no content, check out WhitePages. Just perform a search, and you’ll see that their listing pages contain little to no content, yet they rank for competitive terms like “people search.”

So, what’s the secret to ranking high if you don’t want to focus on content generation? It’s backlinks.

Do backlinks help with rankings?
What Upworthy, Airbnb, and WhitePages have in common is they have a lot of natural backlinks pointing to their websites. When I compared them to using my analyzer tool, I saw that both sites have more organic traffic than Quick Sprout even though Quick Sprout contains web pages with more in-depth and longer content—over 2000 words per page.


If that doesn’t help convince you that links are important, consider this: Moz asked 120 search marketers what they felt impacts a site’s ranking on Google. Can you guess which factor they listed as most important?

rankings analysis

As you can see from the chart above, links are the most important factor (see link below). Twelve out of the top 15 ranking factors were all link-related.

When you look at these popular sites that contain thousands of backlinks and little to no content per page, you’ll also notice that they have something else in common…

They have a lot of web pages indexed. Airbnb has around 45 million pages indexed; Upworthy has close to 10,000; and WhitePages has 105 million.

So, how can you grow your organic traffic without generating more content?

How to grow your organic traffic
Just like Airbnb, Upworthy, and WhitePages, you can get hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of organic visitors per month as long as you do the following:

Build more pages – whether your pages are content-rich or not, you need more web pages. The more pages you have, the higher your probability of ranking for more long-tail terms.
Make your pages count – if Google doesn’t like the content quality on your web pages, you will get slapped with a Panda penalty. To avoid this, you want to utilize technology that helps you create valuable web pages, like White Pages has done. Or you can choose to focus on creating user-generated content such as reviews, like Yelp and Airbnb have done.
Press builds links – UpWorthy, Yelp, and Airbnb all did a wonderful job getting media exposure. By getting mentioned on sites like The New York Times, not only were they gaining traffic but they were also building up their backlink profiles, which helped their search engine traffic. To get media exposure, you can either hire a PR agency or use a free service like HARO.
Be proactive – there are dozens of ways to build links if you are willing to put in the time. This article I wrote recently breaks down seven tactics such as leveraging Quora or using broken link building. And if you find yourself with more free time, check out this guide on link building.
Be patient – if you aren’t writing in-depth articles, your search traffic won’t grow that quickly. In the long run, you can still gain organic traffic, but don’t expect miracles overnight. I remember when I first started checking out Airbnb, they were getting over 100,000 visitors a month from search, and most of the organic traffic came from people searching their brand name. Things are different now, but it took time.
You can grow your organic traffic without generating content. It won’t be as easy as leveraging content marketing, but it is still possible.

Just look at companies like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. They all receive millions of organic visitors a month, and none of them truly focus on blogging. Instead, they focus on creating great products or services.

If you want to grow your organic traffic and you don’t want to create content, focus on building backlinks. It’s the best way to generate more search traffic, even though it is hard work.

How many backlinks does your site have?

For more including images and charts see:

Can You Grow Your Organic Traffic Without Generating Content page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing in 2015

New Post on Online Marketing Hub

What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing in 2015
by christopherjanb
influencer co-created content

Influencer Marketing was a hot topic in 2014 and will continue to gain momentum in 2015 for both B2C and B2B marketers, especially when it comes to content co-creation.

“Why” the warm and fuzzy for influencer content you ask? According to CMI and MarketingProfs, over 90% of B2B marketers are investing in content marketing. Yet, in an age of information overload where 74GB of data are delivered per person, per day (USC), standing out to business buyers can require unreasonable budgets and resources.

Inspired by the need to scale content marketing performance, a growing number of B2B marketers are creating better quality content that gets shared more often, reaches more prospects and grows their influencer network – all at the same time. How so? Through influencer content programs.

Influencer Content Marketing Case Study:
Content Marketing Wonderland eBooks

In 2014 TopRank Online Marketing worked with Content Marketing Institute to create an influencer content program to promote the Content Marketing World conference. The campaign theme of “Alice in Wonderland” aka “Content Marketing Wonderland” borrowed from the conference theme of “Beyond Storytelling”.

The program involved 40+ marketing industry influencers from major brands including: Altimeter Group, Caterpillar, Indium Corporation, charity: water, Bittorrent, Bed, Bath & Beyond, SAP, John Deere, Lattice Engines, Kapost, Progressive Insurance, Boeing, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger, Red Hat, Facebook, EMC Corporation, Cisco Systems, Tumblr, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Dell, Content Marketing Institute, NewsCred, Kraft Foods and more.

Develop an opportunity for influential speakers to participate in content creation that would promote their presentations, the CMWorld conference and create a useful and infotaining resource for all marketers interested in content marketing. The underwriting sponsor for the program was Curata.

Influencers were drawn from the roster of nearly 200 speakers for the event. Based on criteria, influencers were identified, qualified, recruited and engaged to provide advice according to one of 4 themes (Content Marketing Strategy, Audience Development, Visual Content, Content ROI) that coincided with the programming of the event.

Insights provided by the influencers were compiled according to theme into 4 Visual eBooks. Each eBook was complemented by a long form interview with select influencers and posted here on TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog. Each Visual eBook was also supported with an infographic (4 in all) featuring Tweetable quotes from each influencer.

Content Assets Included:

Content Marketing Strategy eBook, infographic, long form interview and blog post
Audience Development eBook, infographic, long form interview and blog post
Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook, long form interview and blog post
Content Marketing ROI eBook, infographic, long form interview and blog post
All assets were supported with social shares on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ from participating influencers, CMI, Curata and TopRank Marketing.

Primary objectives for the program were conference awareness and speaker/influencer exposure measured by page views, and leads for the underwriting sponsor. Leading up to the conference (mid Sept), the eBooks earned thousands of social shares, over 145,000 views on SlideShare and 20,000 page views on TopRankBlog. By the time the conference was held, there were 2,000+ PDF downloads, 800 leads and 200+ event referrals.

All campaign assets remained live for several months after the campaign and the total views, downloads and leads as of Dec 30, 2014 were:

218,971 Total eBook Views:
4,023 Total eBook PDF Downloads:
1,040 Total Leads Captured
The net result of the program was substantial and sustained exposure for the conference, speakers and sponsor leading up to and after the event. Of course TopRank Online Marketing benefitted from exposure through virtually every single content asset, social share and download resulting in numerous inquiries and several ongoing consulting engagements and projects. Overall it was a successful campaign and is the reason we’re producing another conference eBook program for CMI in 2015 – the 5th year in a row.

Along with this case study, I’ve realized that we’ve literally written an eBook-worth of content on the topic of influencer and content marketing.

If you’d like to make working with influencers and co-created content a more productive part of your digital marketing mix in 2015, here are 18 posts to get you up to speed from strategy and planning to winning a budget to tools to performance measurement and optimization.

The Fallacy of Influence – Lee Odden
8 Things You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing – Brian Larson
How Content Plus an Influencer Network Can Grow Your Business – Emily Bacheller
The Hidden Value of Influencers in B2B Content Marketing – Lee Odden
How to Get Executive Buy-In for Your B2B Influencer Marketing Program – Brooke Furry
Customer & Influencer Research in Social Media – Lee Odden
Influencer Marketing and Content FTW! 7 Steps to Co-Created Awesome – Lee Odden
9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry – Lee Odden
Influencer Marketing in 5 Simple Steps – Jesse Pickrain
The Power of Influence in Content Marketing – Lee Odden
Content and Influencer Marketing is A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business – Lee Odden
5 Tips on Crowdsourcing Your Brand’s Influence – Nick Ehrenberg
Influencer Outreach – 5 Ways to Fail – Lee Odden
How to Incorporate SEO and Influencer Content – Lee Odden
How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500% – Lee Odden
B2B Marketing Innovation: Tips On Creating Social Influence in B2B Marketing from Alan Belniak of PTC – Lee Odden
The Truth About Influence in B2B Marketing from Master Strategist Paul Gillin – Lee Odden
New Report: How Content Co-Creation With Influencers Beats Information Overload – Lee Odden
If that isn’t enough, here’s info on an upcoming presentation on influencer and content marketing I’m giving for the fine folks at BMA Colorado on February 11th, “Create Demand and B2B Marketing Influence with Co-Created Content“.

In the presentation, I’ll talk about best practices and how we’ve worked with organizations like Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs and LinkedIn to leveraged influencer content programs to attract and engage business buyers.

Some of the takeaways include:
– How influencer content creates solutions for multiple audiences
– How to identify, qualify and recruit the right influencers
– How co-created, modular content is planned, collected, assembled and repurposed
– How to inspire co-creators to help amplify your content
– How to use the Attract, Engage, Convert model for influencer content performance optimization
– Best and worst practices when working with influencers on an ongoing basis

Of course, if you’re not in Denver, then here’s a variation on that presentation that I’ll be giving at the B2B C2C conference in Scottsdale, AZ on February 17th, “B2B Content at Scale – How to Create a Competitive Advantage by Crowdsourcing Marketing Content with Influencers“.

For more including images see:

The What You Need to Know About Content & Influencer Marketing in 2015 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

5 Steps to Run Effective Large-scale Content Projects

New post on Online Marketing Hub

5 Steps to Run Effective Large-scale Content Projects
by christopherjanb
5_Steps_Large_Scale_Content_Projects_CoverLarge content projects involve lots of content creation, be that content in the form of words, images, or videos in a relatively short time. Is such a project on your road map, but you’re not sure where to get started? Or maybe you work in a business that produces only small amounts of content, but you’ve always wondered what goes into erecting the girders of large content production projects. I’ve worked on my share of large-scale projects. Think writing 1.6 million words in 12 weeks, auditing 3,000 URLs in 50 days, and updating 910 hotel websites weekly. It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always easy, but it is definitely doable and – dare I say – even enjoyable if done correctly.

Operationally, there are a lot of moving parts to consider when setting up a large-scale content production team. The larger the project, the more opportunities exist for Murphy’s law – what can go wrong will go wrong – to show itself. It’s important that you take the time to properly lay the foundation to guide and support a great team of content producers before beginning your content production. Although this post primarily focuses on the production of textual content, the principles can easily apply to other content forms, including images and videos. Similarly, many of the core principles can apply to smaller production teams.

1. Properly vet content producers
The content is only as good as the people who create it. It is critical that you pinpoint people who are creative yet task-oriented to complete the job by deadline according to your specifications. Evaluate experience and ability in light of the available budget. One main factor that could affect cost and quality is the type of writer you need – a generalist who is an all-around good writer with a broad base of experience who can do research to educate herself and write for a lay audience, or a true expert who is deeply knowledgeable on a subject and can really explain the nuances or cutting-edge issues for a specialized audience.


Some people assume that writers and editors are interchangeable, but this is not the case. You need a team where each role – from writer to project manager – has specific skills. With any writing, editing, or proofreading role, you want to ensure that candidates have experience, employ proper grammar and punctuation, and can share a portfolio of their work. However, you can’t stop there. Here are some additional standout qualities unique to each position:


Creativity in brainstorming ideas and giving a fresh perspective
Quick and efficient research skills
Accurate and interesting work

Proven ability to coach and lead small teams
Willingness to provide feedback in a positive manner
Ability to balance the big-picture focus and organization of the article while still attending to small but important grammatical details
Willingness to daringly reorganize items and/or cut items
When vetting writers and editors, we often ask them to complete a writing-and-editing test in addition to providing work samples. These tests usually yield more accurate results because they require on-the-spot creation with the provided subject matter. This small time investment by writer or editor candidates is usually worth it when they want to acquire a large amount of work from you. However, don’t rely strictly on the test. We’ve found that some highly specialized writers may have a wealth of information to share, but also may need a strong editor.


Attention to detail and organization
Ability to stick to proofreading and not rewrite a piece or edit for content (it’s harder than it sounds)
Project manager

Experience guiding teams through content creation projects
Workflow mapping and editorial calendar creation experience
Familiarity with relevant technology
Proven ability to juggle many different items at once
Ability to communicate and answer questions
Capability to coach, teach, and lead teams
Fearlessness in pruning non-performers from the team
Attention to detail and organization
Proven writing and editing experience
2. Develop a content style guide
Create a content style guide that is shareable with both your client and contractors/employees. The style guide should not be about how to do it (see No. 3 on training materials for that), but rather a what-to-produce document. Style guides often offer the guidelines on format, logo size, logo color, font type, etc. A content style guide certainly can include those elements, but it also focuses on the vision of the content, including:

Target audience
Strategic objectives
Tone, voice, and style
Samples of approved work
Examples of pieces that don’t make the cut (sometimes these are even more helpful than approved pieces)
Examples of tactical items such as headline format, meta data, and specific grammar and usage rules
3. Develop training materials
The better your training materials are, the less time you will spend providing feedback and revisions, and the happier your client will be with the end product. Create a detailed training manual and instructional videos that should be the ultimate reference guide for the project. The manual should be required reading for all contractors and employees working on the project. Focus on:

Audience: Address new-to-the-project contractors or employees; don’t make knowledge-based assumptions.
Pathways: Write for multiple roles (e.g., writers, editors, proofers, project managers).
Process: Clearly spell out workflow and who does what when.
Checklists: Provide role-specific checklists and focus on the most important items each role must perform.
Samples: Provide several samples of quality work.
Screenshots: Provide lots of screenshots to illustrate instructions; pictures are easier to digest and remember.
Table of contents: Provide organization and easy access.
Appendix: Provide further detail if needed.
Instructional videos are hugely useful in training large teams; they distill the information in the training guides into quickly digestible image and sound bites. Videos don’t have to be super polished as they are meant as internal resources to help content producers catch the vision for the project and understand the ground rules. You can use inexpensive software like Camtasia, KnowledgeVision or Adobe Voice to create helpful training videos. Create a series of four- to five-minute videos that focus on specific topics or specific roles (e.g., writer, editor, proofreader).


4. Establish clear deadlines, chain of command, and workflow
Make sure each contractor or employee is provided with clear assignments and deadlines, and understands the importance of meeting those deadlines. Clearly state ramifications if deadlines are missed. Each person on the project should have a direct supervisor to whom he can go with questions, problems, emergencies, etc. Limit the number of people reporting to each supervisor so the project stays manageable. The bigger the project, the more small teams you need to keep production chugging along. Keys to a smoothly running project:

Content management system: Use an easy-to-understand and constantly accessible online tool (your own CMS or Google Drive) to provide access to assignments and deadlines.
Communicate: Provide updates when assignments or deadlines change. Setting expectations early and reminding often are key.
Workflow: Make sure all roles know when and how to share their work with the next person to work on the content. Map a crystal-clear workflow (and include in your training documentation).
5. Provide feedback regularly
It’s important to provide feedback to writers and editors early in the process. Put a team system in place so every writer and editor’s work is reviewed promptly and revisions are guided and double-checked. This prevents the log-jam effect wherein writers are toiling away on their third or fourth piece only to be told their first piece was done incorrectly. They have to go back and revise all the pieces. It’s much easier to revise one piece first and then do the rest correctly than it is to revise three or four pieces and still produce pieces five and six to stay on schedule.

Project managers or senior editors should coach new writers and editors through the process, providing clear and specific feedback about ways their work is making or missing the mark (remember, positive feedback can be just as helpful as critical feedback). Project managers should actively look for:

Dead weight: There are some poor or non-performers in every large-scale project. Set criteria in advance for what dead weight means to your project and be prepared to make cuts accordingly. Criteria could include:
o Number of revision requests by the editor or project manager

o Number of mistakes in the copy

o Number of missed deadlines

Shining stars: There will always be people who are very good at the project and there might be some who can advance to new levels of value. These can include:
o Writers who might make good editors

o Writers or editors who might make good senior editors or project managers

o Contractors who might work great for future or other projects going on within your company

Finally, quality assurance should be a continual part of the process. Don’t assume that once everyone’s been vetted, instructed, reviewed, and coached that production will stay top shelf. That opens the door for Murphy’s law. Stay vigilant, performing random quality assurance checks on all work at various stages – writing, editing, and proofreading.

Large-scale content production is a complicated business, but organization and pre-game planning can make the difference between success and failure. There are hiccups in every project, but by following these five steps, you will be well on your way to setting up a top-notch content production team.

Want more instruction on how to manage today’s biggest content marketing challenges? Sign up for the Content Marketing Institute Online Training and Certification program. Access over 35 courses, taught by experts from Google, Mashable, SAP, and more.

The post 5 Steps to Run Effective Large-scale Content Projects appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

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5 Steps to Run Effective Large-scale Content Projects page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Social Media Marketing 2015: Where Is Your Audience?

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Social Media Marketing 2015: Where Is Your Audience?
by christopherjanb
37 Social Media Marketing Facts including Charts.

Social Media Marketing 2015

In 2015, social media is no longer just mainstream. 2015 Social media’s audience is mature in more ways than one.

Social media is not only mature in terms of its life cycle but also in terms of the age of participants.

Specifically, 56% of US online adults 65 and older or 31% of all seniors use Facebook according to Pew Internet’s “2014 Social Media Update,” based on research of the 81% of US adults 18 and above who use the Internet. (As a point of comparison, here is the social media marketing 2014 data.)

Social media marketing 2015: Where is your audience?

To succeed in 2015 and beyond marketers must understand their audience and how they use social media as well as how social media platforms have evolved.

At a minimum, you’ll need to update your social media persona and use a mix of social media platforms. (BTW–Here’s the Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist to download.)

Social Media Marketing 2015

71% of US Internet users are on Facebook. Unlike other social media platforms that experienced high growth during 2014, Facebook’s proportion of Internet users remained flat with August 2013.

Facebook users continue interact on the platform.

70% of Facebook users engage daily with the social network, up 9 percentage points from 2013.
45% of Facebook users engage with the social network several times a day.
Facebook acts as a social media homebase for its users.
Who do people consider friends on Facebook?
From a marketing perspective, this is an important question to answer since it yields insights into how deep these relationships are.

93% of Facebook users are Facebook friends with family members other than their parents or children.
91% Facebook users are Facebook friends with their current friends.
87% Facebook users are connected to friends of theirs from the past
58% Facebook users are connected to their coworkers.
45% Facebook users are Facebook friends with their parents.
43% Facebook users are friends with their children on Facebook.
39% Facebook users are connected to people they’ve never met in real life. These people are looking to build their audience.
Primarily, people use Facebook to connect with people that are important to them in real life and whom they view as peers with whom they’ll share unfiltered information. Hence the lower results for parents and children.

Among US Facebook users the median number of Facebook friends is 155, of which 50 are actual friends. These results fit almost perfectly with Dunbar’s findings, where the number of relationships an individual can maintain is 150 and close friends account for a third of that or 50. (Here’s further information on Dunbar via The New Yorker.)

As with other forms of social media and communication, Facebook attracts more women (77%) than men (66%).Facebook Data 2014

What does this mean for marketers?

Facebook’s composition by age is getting older. It’s important to note that this research doesn’t measure “Under 18 year olds,” the key social media demographic. As we said in 2013, Facebook is no longer the cool social media kid on the block.
Facebook is retaining its mass social media audience. It’s an important element of your social media and content marketing plans for its reach because marketers must aggregate a variety of third party platforms to match television’s reach despite its declining advertising effectiveness.
Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:
Keep Facebook in your social media marketing mix. Sorry but size counts. That said, tailor your content and interactions to your Facebook followers.
Use targeted Facebook advertising to reach key prospects. Don’t just boost your posts. Take advantage of Facebook’s targeting potential. Check out Jon Loomer’s blog for specifics.
While the percentage of college educated Internet users using LinkedIn reached 50%, in general, LinkedIn users are visiting the social media network less frequently.

13% of LinkedIn users visit the social media platform every day
7% of LinkedIn users visit the social media platform several times a day.
25% of LinkedIn users visit the social media platform weekly, down from 34% in August 2013
61% of LinkedIn users visit the social media platform every few weeks or less often, up from 52% in 2013.
This reduction in LinkedIn visit frequency points to the use of LinkedIn mainly as a job search tool.

It overlooks LinkedIn’s expanded power as a publishing platform and lead generator/business driver. In our 2015 social media predictions, we call LinkedIn, the must-be destination for businesses of all types.

Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips:

Incorporate LinkedIn Publishing into your 2015 content marketing plans. Create a separate strategy to ensure that your content shines on this platform. (BTW—In terms of 2015 content marketing predictions, we forecast that LinkedIn would grow its imprint.)
Leverage the power of your employees on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid of making your employees look good on LinkedIn for fear of losing them. Instead think in terms of attracting more business, customers and employees.
Pinterest is social media honey that attracts women. 42% of online women use Pinterest and 13% of online men use Pinterest.

This shouldn’t be surprising since it’s the home of couch surfing for shopping inspiration.

17% of Pinterest users visit the social media platform daily
9% of Pinterest users visit the social media platform several times a day.
29% of Pinterest users visit the social media platform weekly
52% of Pinterest users visit the social media platform less than once per week.
Underestimate Pinterest’s ability to pull in shoppers and readers at your peril! It’s BuzzFeed’s number 2 source of social media traffic!!!

Actionable Social Media Tips:

Curate your content marketing on Pinterest, regardless of your business type. Take your cue from BuzzFeed. Make your content alluring with pin-friendly images.
Display your products on Pinterest where appropriate. Don’t forget to show prospects how to use your products and to show them in context.
Redirect Pinterest traffic for products that you no longer sell. Bear in mind that prospects may be looking at old pins.
Social media marketers should pay attention to Instagram because it’s unlocked the secret code to interaction. In 2015 and beyond, this playbook will be re-written for video, which people find easier-to-understand.

Make your information visual, useful, consumable, and sharable on a smartphone.

49% of Instagram users visit the social media platform daily.
32% of Instagram users visit the social media platform several times a day
24% of Instagram users visit the social media platform weekly
26% of Instagram users visit the social media platform less than once a week.
Don’t assume that Instagram is just for consumer products. General Electric has been one of the early businesses to leverage the visual power of its products and customers.

BTW, here are 4 key types of visual content marketing using Instagram.

Actionable Social Media Tips:

Make your products and customers Instagram-friendly. Encourage your customers to share their images. There’s nothing stronger than seeing other consumers wearing or using your product.
Find the visual beauty in every aspect of your business. Think how you would explain your business to someone who had never seen before.
23% of US Internet users are on Twitter, up 5 percentage points from 18% in August 2013.
36% of Twitter users visit the site daily, down 10 percentage points 2013.
22% of Twitter users visit the site more than once a day.
24% of Twitter users visit the site a few days a week
40% of Twitter users visit the site less often.
Twitter continues to grow, but at a slower rate. Further, the combination of short message longevity and limited participation, translates to publishing your Twitter content when your audience is active and to publishing your content more than once.

Here are 27 super easy tactics to boost your Twitter strategy.

Twitter Users 2014-Pew Internet

Actionable Social Media Tips:

Take the time to understand your target audience’s use of Twitter. The goal is to maximize your ability to reach your prospects when and where they’re focused.
Slice and dice your content for Twitter. Your aim is to present your content differently to reach the maximum audience possible.
Multi-platform social media 2015
Multi-platform use is on the rise: 52% of online adults now use 2 or more social media sites. This is a significant 10 percentage point increase from 2013.

79% of social media participants who use only 1 platform use Facebook.Multiple Social Media Site Usage-2014-Pew Research Center

The percentage of Facebook users who also participate on another social media network has increased since last year. 94% of Instagram users also use Facebook. This is attributable to Facebook’s ownership of Instagram and to easy ability to share events via photographs with people participants are close to.

In terms of non-Facebook social media interaction, there’s significant overlap between Instagram and Twitter users. This is also attributable to the easy ability to broadcast your activity to others.

58% of Twitter users also use Instagram.
52% of Instagram users also use Twitter.
Social Media Cross Platform Usage-Pew Research Center-1
The bottom line: social media is here to stay.
Marketers must figure out where their audience is on social media marketing 2015. Then they must develop strategies to create tailored content and distribute it by platform.

Where is your audience on social media in 2015 and what are you doing to engage them?

BTW–Here’s the Ultimate 2015 Marketing Checklist to download.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.

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For more including images and charts see:

Social Media Marketing 2015: Where Is Your Audience page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

25 Most Shared Online Marketing Posts of 2014

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Our 25 Most Shared Online Marketing Posts of 2014 by christopherjanb
top online marketing blog posts

We have a rich history here at Online Marketing Blog of talking about topics that have a bit of staying power for relevancy.

From the integration of SEO with social media and content marketing to the growing field of influencer marketing and co-created content, there’s a great mix of advice that we have published over the past year that will be useful for quite a while.

We appreciate your patronage of our site and your generosity in sharing the things that you like. Using a few of our favorite tools, we’ve identified our top 25 most shared online marketing blog posts from 2014 – share counts are rounded to the hundreds. Along with each post is the targeted topic and type followed with notes after the list on some basic patterns – all useful insights for our readers that blog.

1. Digital Marketing in 2015 – Predictions from 21 Marketers Who Know
Social Shares: 12,000
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Digital Marketing
Type: List, Co-Created, Influencers

2. 2014 – 25 Women Who Rock Social Media
Social Shares: 6,300
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media
Type: List, Recognition, Influencers

3. Email Marketing Essentials: A Checklist for Writing Emails That Get Opened
Social Shares: 5,500
Author: Brooke Furry
Topic: Email Marketing
Type: Evergreen, Best Practices

4. 10 Real Time Content Discovery Tools for Curation, Engagement and Sharing
Social Shares: 4,600
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing, Tools
Type: Curated, List

5. 10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015
Social Shares: 3,400
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing
Type: Curated, List

6. The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers
Social Shares: 3,100
Author: Nick Ehrenberg
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: Evergreen, Best Practices

7. 15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies – Career Advice & Insights
Social Shares: 2,400
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: List, Recognition, Influencers

8. Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers
Social Shares: 2,300
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Digital Marketing
Type: Co-Created, Influencers

9. 24 Social Media Tools To Boost Your Marketing Performance
Social Shares: 2,100
Author: Emily Bacheller
Topic: Social Media Marketing, Tools
Type: Liveblog, List

10. 25 Social Media Marketing Experts You Need to Know According to LinkedIn
Social Shares: 2,100
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: List, Influencers, Recognition, Repurposed

11. 3 Content Curation Best Practices to Optimize Your Content Marketing
Social Shares: 2,100
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing
Type: Evergreen, Best Practices

12. New LinkedIn Profile Features: 4 Tips to Optimize Your Presen
Social Shares: 1,900
Author: Evan Prokop
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: Feature Update, Best Practices

13. Social Media Content: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices
Social Shares: 1,900
Author: James Anderson
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: Evergreen, Best Practices

14. Over 100 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2014
Social Shares: 1,800
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing, Statstics
Type: Curated, List

15. 9 Tools to Discover Influencers in Your Industry
Social Shares: 1,800
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Influencer Marketing, Tools
Type: Curated, List

16. Content and Influencer Marketing is A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business
Social Shares: 1,700
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing
Type: Repurposed

17. 5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Optimize Your Social Media Success
Social Shares: 1,700
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media Marketing, LinkedIn Marketing
Type: Repurposed, Co-Created

18. Strategy vs. Tactics. Does Your Digital Marketer Really Know the Difference?
Social Shares: 1,700
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Digital Marketing
Type: Evergreen

19. 3 Ways to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Media Marketing Success
Social Shares: 1,600
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: Evergreen

20. 4 Essential Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2014
Social Shares: 1,600
Author: Evan Prokop
Topic: Social Media Marketing
Type: Liveblog

21. The Number One Secret to B2B Content Marketing Success Plus 150 B2B Marketing Statistics
Social Shares: 1,600
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Content Marketing, B2B Marketing
Type: Curated, List

22. How a Shift from All SEO to Social & Influencer Content Boosted Page Views by 500%
Social Shares: 1,600
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: SEO, Influencer Content
Type: Case Study

23. 5 Social Selling Tactics to Attract, Engage & Convert More Customers
Social Shares: 1,600
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Selling
Type: Evergreen, Best Practices

24. Organic Facebook Marketing Tips From the Pros
Social Shares: 1,500
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Social Media Marketing, Facebook Marketing
Type: Curated, Co-Created

25. 5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants
Social Shares: 1,500
Author: Lee Odden
Topic: Digital Marketing
Type: Evergreen

It’s safe to say that lists continue to do well with 10 of the top 25 posts falling in that type. There were 6 curated posts which is also a popular and efficient blog post type. 8 posts were of the Evergreen variety, showing that original and timeless content, while more time consuming to create, has a distinct appeal.

6 of the top posts were best practices, which are usually pretty popular given the actionable nature of the information. 6 of the posts also employed influencers which would factor an incentive for promotion of the post for recognition. 5 is also the magic number for posts that were repurposed from other content ranging from blog posts to presentations to interviews.

Topically, these top 25 posts stayed pretty close to our areas of domain expertise: Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing and some SEO. Although, Brooke’s post about Email Marketing (an important, but secondary focus) was 3rd most shared for the entire year.

There are many more inputs for topic and type with our posts of course (target audience, opportunity, alignment with events and other marketing objectives) but even at a high level, it’s easy to see some basic patterns in the topics and types of posts our community likes to share on social networks. Hopefully you find them useful in your blogging in 2015 and beyond.

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25 Most Shared Online Marketing Posts of 2014 page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

How to Know When You Need a Content Marketing Agency

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How to Know When You Need a Content Marketing Agency
by christopherjanb

Content marketing agencies don’t try to compete with the full-service marketing agencies. They aren’t the be-everything-to-everyone resource, but they do offer unique value to a cross section of the business community that can benefit from an agency dedicated to content.

Here are five situations where this specialized service might be what the business needs:

1. Early-stage startups that need a flexible marketing solution
You worked out your business plan, logo, website, and all that important stuff. You have seed or Series A funding, but still need to be frugal. Until you receive a more significant investment round, you’re not ready to hire a full-time marketing employee.

You can pay a retainer to a content marketing agency and gain a dedicated content solution that can be customized to meet your evolving needs. Look for agencies that allow clients to modify their retainer packages at least quarterly to allow for the flexibility that a startup requires. Content marketing agencies can assist with planning your online marketing strategy. They can assist in developing written content that meets the diverse needs of a startup, including web copy, case studies, blog content, and white papers. Because your marketing strategy may evolve quickly, an agency gives you the ability to tap into a pool of talent that can be scaled to meet your company’s demand.

2. Mid-sized or large organizations without sufficient internal resources
You’ve got a solid marketing strategy, but when it comes time to execute, you don’t have staff members who have the time to produce content along with all the meetings, trade shows, and other tasks on their plates.

A content marketing agency can collaborate with your internal team to create the content on your editorial calendar, including working with your CEO and subject-matter experts to create blog content and demand-generation papers on their behalf. However, as CMI’s Michele Linn points out, if you don’t have executive buy-in for your content marketing efforts, it will be difficult to tie in an outsourced provider’s work with your larger marketing strategy. To be most effective, it can be helpful to first plan a content marketing strategy and rough editorial calendar internally before you contract with an agency. In addition, a several-month trial run with an agency can help you determine how successful the effort is, and whether it may be worth investing in a full-time employee to assist with content marketing.

3. Organizations with temporary staffing challenges
If your marketing manager just put in her two-week notice or needs to take a three-month medical leave, your blog, and other content marketing efforts don’t need to take a hiatus. A content marketing agency can fill the gaps to sustain your content efforts.

When possible, it’s important to bring in the agency while your employee is still working. While an agency’s role may be limited to content development, it is important to give the agency a clear picture of the company’s overall messaging and voice so that it can develop appropriate content to meet your goals. Many agencies are willing to step in for a set duration, which can be much more fruitful than hiring a temporary employee who is likely on the hunt for a full-time job.

4. Business professionals who want to build their industry reputation
Many business professionals, including CEOs, consultants, doctors, attorneys, and other leaders, want to build or manage their reputations online, but don’t have the time to blog regularly. Hiring a content marketing team to ghostwrite content on your behalf and develop an influencer outreach strategy can be an ideal solution. It’s important to ensure that your content accurately supports your opinions, so you can’t put your strategy on autopilot. By collaborating with an agency to identify the key messages to share with a broader audience, you can build your reputation with minimal time investment. If the agency acts as your ghostwriter, it is important to have a non-disclosure agreement.

5. Marketing agencies without in-house content marketing expertise
You may not have the content expertise to complete a client project that relies heavily on long-form content because your agency focuses on ad copy and design work. In this case, subcontracting to a content marketing agency can be helpful. You can choose to brand the content as “white-label” content, which does not reveal the content marketing agency’s involvement, or identify it as outsourced work so your client can correspond directly with your subcontracted team. While white-label content may help maintain the image of a firm that can do it all, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t run into communication errors when passing feedback to the subcontracted agency or a project could easily get off track.

If you run a content marketing agency or you’ve hired one for your organization, what are some other scenarios where a standalone content marketing agency might be a good choice? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Want more expert insight on how to address your content marketing challenges? Check out all the fantastic CMW sessions that are available through our Video on Demand portal.

Image courtesy of Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

The post How to Know When You Need a Content Marketing Agency appeared first on Content Marketing Institute.

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How to Know When You Need a Content Marketing Agency page posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Behold: Grab Consumer Attention With Power of Images!

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Behold: Grab Consumer Attention With Power of Images!

by christopherjanb

Humans are visual creatures and everyday more than 1.8 billion images are uploaded and shared on the Internet. Images greatly enhance messaging and help content stand out in an oversaturated marketplace of information. In this article, you’ll learn why the following items are essential considerations when using images for marketing purposes:

Images are critical attention-getting components in a marketing mix because customers have access to more information today than ever before.
Images for your marketing purposes don’t have to be overly expensive, but it’s important to be willing to invest in a photographer or image that best fits the needs of your company.
If you are sharing images and information that is not properly researched, your brand image can suffer.
Benefits of using images
How do you grab viewers’ attention and get them to look at your content? Images provide a great way to stop viewers from continuing to scroll right past your content and onto to the content of a competitor.

Looking back at the last three months of posts on one of the Facebook pages I manage shows a significant difference in posts with images compared to posts without images. Facebook posts without photos achieved only 6.8% of the reach that posts with images received. Additionally, posts with images received more interaction than posts without images. (None of the posts were promoted or used in Facebook advertising.)

Now, there are not many people who would disagree that posting photos is more beneficial on Facebook, Blogs, and Twitter than not posting images, but there are some important things to take into consideration before roaming the Internet to find images for your web site, blog, Facebook page, or advertisements.

Considerations for utilizing images
The most important consideration when utilizing images in your content is to make sure the photographer or creator of the image is clearly mentioned (if required) and you have their consent to use the image. As a photographer, there is nothing more frustrating than pouring your heart and soul into an image only to find someone took it from your site and is using it for their content.

A few years ago I was working for a nationally touring musician. Because of this I had a Google alert set up on their name. When I was checking their publicity for the week I noticed a photo of mine that was used without my permission. The author never contacted me to get permission, and did not site me as the photographer. They completely disregarded the copyright information on the image and used it for their personal gain. When in doubt, ask for permission.

Depending on your need to utilize exclusive images for your site, you can decide to invest in stock photography, hire a photographer, or utilize open source images.

If you’re ok with not having exclusive rights to your images, you can utilize Google’s search functionality, which allows you to search for images based on their usage rights, or visit the Creative Commons to find an engaging image that fits with your content.

If exclusivity is essential to the message and goal of your content, hiring a free-lance photographer, or crowd-sourcing images can be very beneficial. Setting up a relationship with photographers can be instrumental down the road as your content and photography needs grow. If you’re looking to hire a free-lance photographer, here are some things to keep in mind.

Determine your budget, but don’t be afraid to invest in what you really want. Yes, there are a lot of people out there with a digital camera who want to make a little bit of money, but you may not get what you’re looking for. Simply taking one, good quality photograph can be very time consuming. Select a photographer who can give you want you want in the time frame you’re looking for.
Set up a detailed list of what you’re looking for and what the turn around time is.
Determine in advance how you will use the images. There is a significant difference in photographing something for a web site and photographing something for a billboard. If the photographer doesn’t know this in advance you may not get an image that can be used for a large space.
How much editing will need to be done before the images are complete? This is especially important when doing company headshots. Skin retouching, stray hair removal, and other “cosmetic” changes can take a lot of time and the photographer will bill you for that.
Make sure you know who will do the resizing of images. Do you have a graphic designer at your company that can do the resizing if the photographer cannot?
Be specific with the photographer about how the images can be used. Would you like the sole rights to the image? Can they use them for their portfolio or their advertisements? Are both parties allowed to share the images on social media? If you’re doing company headshots, will the employee be able to use the photograph for their personal use? Determining all of these uses in advance will save confusion down the road.
Good photos can be difficult to attain. If you’re taking your own photos, purchasing photos, or working with an up-and-coming free-lance photographer, here are some things to keep in mind when selecting photos.

Make sure the photos do not include logos of any kind on any aspects of the photo unless it is your company’s logo. This includes shoes, shirts, hats, or elements in the background of the photo.
Do the people in the images reflect the your company’s image? One thing a coworker told me that has stuck with me is that certain groups of people look for signs in images to try to anticipate it they’re welcome in a certain space. For example; we were putting up new signage in a building and my co-workers said that LGBT* students look at signs and advertisements to try to see if they’re accepted at a university. If every advertisement features one man and one woman, how will LGBT* students interpret that messaging?
Does the image you’re selecting have room to grow? Could the image fit into an integrated marketing communications campaign?
Research before you distribute
If you’re creating your own images, or sharing others, it’s important to make sure you’re creating and sharing the most relevant and accurate information possible. Image manipulation in the form of charts, graphs, maps, and infographs can mislead viewers, which can impact your company’s brand image. Sharing valuable content is a great way to grow your customer base, but sharing without proper research can cause customers to loose faith in your content.

If you are sharing content created by someone else, it’s important to, again, gain the permission of the creator and do a little research to make sure the content is accurate and reliable.

It’s important to understand that images such as infographics can be misleading in a variety of ways. Even if the data is sound, the visual display can be misleading and vice versa. Make sure you check the validity of the information you are sharing, even if it comes from trusted new sources or web sites.

In today’s information-packed society images can grab viewers’ attention and increase their engagement with your content. As a company, business, or organization it is important to know how to legally and ethically attain images for your marketing tactics and ensure that the content you’re sharing is as accurate as possible. If not used correctly, images can do more harm than good for your brand image. Copyright issues can significantly damage a company’s image.

When my photo was posted without my permission all of the web analytics and “exposure” from their blog post couldn’t make up for the fact that they stole my photograph. Because the company decided not to seek out my permission and would not apologize right away, I refused to let them continue using the photograph. If they had apologized and made a plan to ensure this didn’t happen in the future I would have considered letting them continue use of the photograph with proper credit.

How would you react to a blatant disregard for copyright considerations?

Image copyright: Kat Shanahan

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Kat Shanahan
Kat Shanahan
UC Promotions Coordinator at UW-Whitewater
Kat Shanahan is the Promotions Coordinator for the James R. Connor University Center at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Kat oversees the UC Graphics & Marketing department and manages 10 IMC campaigns yearly. Additionally, Kat works heavily in branding, social media, and technology. Kat is pursuing a MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University and serves a Student Ambassador/Blogger for the program. Kat also owns a small photography business focusing on event and lifestyle photography.
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5 Tips to Help Your Colleagues Become Successful Content Creators

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5 Tips to Help Your Colleagues Become Successful Content Creators
by christopherjanb
Help-Colleagues-Content-Creators-Cover ImageLike many others, I’ve faced challenges when it comes to content marketing, but one of the most frustrating was getting my colleagues on board with content creation. No matter how much we discussed the importance of their input, it was rarely smooth sailing for one reason or another.

Fortunately, that changed. It’s taken several years, but I now feel confident that I have an almost foolproof method of ensuring colleagues not only get on board with the strategy, but also become key contributors who truly want to create content. These five points (used together or individually) create the environment in which in-house success is achieved.

1. Don’t force people to be involved.
Not everyone can effectively transfer thoughts from their head into a document. Until I realized this, I decided who should be involved in content production based on their role within the organization. I didn’t take into account whether they could actually produce content – or even whether they wanted to produce it.

When people don’t want to produce content or find it to be a struggle, they’re instantly going to consider it a chore – doing it reluctantly, leaving it until the last minute, or creating something that isn’t what was intended. They are likely to produce content that is unsuitable for publishing.

Instead, you need to have discussions with your team to identify who can – and wants to – produce content. Talk to potential contributors either in groups or individually to explain the importance of content marketing, what you are looking to achieve, the type of content to be produced, and how they can play a role. Then ask who wants to help. By taking this passive approach to signing up content creators, you’ll find people who are willing to be involved and are more likely to produce valuable content.

2. Understand you have colleagues who can write effectively.
Don’t limit your conversations with potential content creators to people whose roles naturally lend themselves to writing. When I started as an SEO specialist, I developed the content marketing strategy under the impression that I and the brand and communications manager would create the vast majority of the content. However, after some general discussions unrelated to the strategy, it became apparent that we have a number of people in-house who have a wealth of information to share.

Never assume colleagues who aren’t officially on your content marketing team won’t, can’t, or don’t want to write. You may not always have experienced writers queuing up to be involved, but you may find at least one or two contributors who can be coached and can produce content regularly outside of their daily roles.

3. Don’t ask for complete blog posts.
I’ve worked within organizations whose staff possessed a vast amount of knowledge to share, but simply didn’t have the time to produce a completed post by assigned deadlines. After chatting with the contributors who were finding content creation difficult, I discovered that developing the key messaging for the content wasn’t the issue. The problem was finding the time to take the key messaging and turn it into a full-fledged blog post.

So I stopped asking for complete blog posts. Sure, I had to be more involved in the creation of the content, as I only received 200 words of notes or bullet points, but it was like my past ghostwriting work. I took their list of points, produced the content in full, and then sent it back for approval before it went live.

Contributors were happier, as it was much quicker and easier to get down their initial thoughts than it was to produce a complete blog post. We received more content regularly, and it didn’t affect the end result because more often than not I already had to edit posts for the “readability” factor.

4. Make it clear what you need and by when.
Set accurate and realistic deadlines for all of your contributors. As humans, we’re creatures of habit. If we know we have to do something by a set time every week or every month, we get into the routine of doing so. In addition, understand contributors’ other work responsibilities and priorities to determine deadlines that work for them as well as your production schedule.

5. Remember that a bit of competition can be healthy.
One of the things I’ve found is that contributors really have enough time to do it, but they push it so far down their list of things to do – usually because they don’t realize the importance of it (no matter how many times it’s discussed) – that it never gets completed.

Open up your content production schedule spreadsheet to all contributors so everybody can see who’s done what and who hasn’t done what they were supposed to do. Seeing this information can spur colleagues to compete against each other, striving not only to meet deadlines but also to submit content before their colleagues do.

Note: This method isn’t suitable for everyone. It depends on everything from personalities to your way of working. Don’t just implement this point without research and analysis first.

If you’re struggling to find in-house contributors who want to create content, try some of these tips. You may not need to look at all five and you may find your own ways (please share in the comments). As Joe Pulizzi said, “There is no one right way to achieve content marketing goals.”

Want more expert advice on how to improve your in-house content creation? Check out the fantastic 2014 CMW sessions that are available through our Video on Demand portal and make plans today to attend 2015 CMW.

Cover image by acky24 via

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30 Quotes From Content Marketing Influencers in 2014

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30 Quotes From Content Marketing Influencers in 2014
by christopherjanb

As a newer member of the TopRank Agency blog team, I spent a good part of my first couple weeks here digging through the past year’s blog posts and getting up to speed with TopRank content and best practices. As I did, I found that I was jotting down quotes and notes that stood out to me — some from industry leaders, and others from up-and-comers I haven’t yet met. In sharing this list with you, I hope that you’ll find the same insight and utility that have discovered.

Here are a just a few (OK, 30) of my favorite quotes from some of the best brains in the business. You may have your own quotes that you remember well from conferences, books or blog posts in 2014. If so, feel free to share!

As you will see, I have categorized my favorite quotes into four topic areas: Strategy, Tactics, Predictions, and ROI. In doing so, I noticed that some people’s quotes fell into multiple categories, also that some individual quotes could have fit more than one category. (I don’t know that this changes the relevance of the quotes themselves, just an interesting side note.)

Content Marketing Strategy

Michael Brenner

“Content is the atomic particle of all marketing across paid, owned, and earned channels. A Culture of Content starts with an obsession of customer.”
Content Marketing Best Practices Report: Creating a Culture of Content


Brian Clark

“The best “native” advertising helps build an audience into a a long-term business asset, and that’s a goal worth spending on in conjunction with owned content creation.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2015


Andrew Davis

“Some of the best content has no CTA. There’s an implied action that sparks a new journey!”
A Writer’s Guide: Calls to Action – Tips Inspired by Tweets from Content Marketing World


Gurdeep Dhillon

“Modern marketing is about taking risks and not being afraid to fail. No matter how much we research and study our audience, we’re not always going to hit the mark when we create content. The key is to recognize the failures, learn from them, and move on. And the way to do this is simple … measure everything!”
How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy eBook


Kevin Green – Dell (client)

“Many people forget how new search and SEO really is to the average user. Most digital marketers are still thinking in terms of keywords, but consumers are getting more conversational. Search is getting smarter and more effective at understanding the nuances of a user’s requests and serving them not only the results they are looking for, but in an experience that helps them better discover and learn.

Digital is now the first touch point for the consumer and a channel where the consumer has greater control over what they see and when they see it. In a world where the intended target has limitless choices, it’s up to Digital Marketers to understand the customer journey, customer expectations and desired outcomes from a myriad of scenarios.”
Digital Marketing – What Does It Really Mean? Insights from 9 Brand Digital Marketers


Ann Handley

“Does your content lead readers on a journey, or does it merely stuff them as leads into a pipeline?”
Infographic: How to Grow Your Audience – 10 Tips from Facebook, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger


John Jantsch

“I believe organizations will go deeper into overall strategy with digital marketing – Chief Digital Officers will help organizations lessen their focus on demand creation and heighten it on organizing an end to end customer journey through digital storytelling tactics.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015


Deanna Lazzaroni (client)

“Social has a powerful way of connecting great minds. Don’t be afraid to tell the world why you’re one of them. Build your brand.”
15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies – Career Advice & Insights


Rebecca Lieb

“Content strategy is the infrastructure of content marketing. Without answers to ‘why’ & ‘how’ the result is chaos.”
Content Marketing Strategy Infographic – 12 Tips from SAP, Boeing, CAT, Progressive, John Deere, charity: water


Jason Miller (client)

“Standing out is overrated. As a content marketer you really need to ask yourself: “Do you want to stand out or do you want to truly connect with your customers and prospects?” The answer is a balance of the two.”
Rock & Roll Social Media & Content Marketing Interview with Jason Miller of LinkedIn

“We don’t need more content — we need more relevant content,”
Welcome to the Funnel, We Have Leads & Names – Jason Miller of LinkedIn at MnSummit


Joe Pulizzi

“If we only talk about ourselves, we’ll never reach customers”
5 Content Marketing Best Practices Most Businesses Aren’t Doing, but Should! #SMMW14


Mark Schaefer

“Are you human? Isn’t that the essence of how this online world started, why we love social media, and what people expect if you are going to build trust and loyalty? And yet, this is getting increasingly lost in a world preoccupied with traffic, search rankings and automated marketing software.”
5 Must Read Perspectives on Social Media Marketing Strategy


Scott Stratten

“I’m the first person to preach about customer experience, but if your product is terrible, I don’t care if you’re the greatest customer/community believer in the world, it won’t help. We always talk about the importance of social media, of being where the customer conversation is, but we need to tend to our own home first.”

“What it comes down to is transparency in marketing, that’s where the consumer comes in. Marketing is no longer about what brand message the company wants to put out, it’s what the customer thinks. Good or bad. You don’t define your brand. If you want to know what your brand statement is, ask a customer.”
What’s Next in B2B Marketing? #MPB2B Interview with Scott Stratten @UnMarketing


Nazli Yuzak – Dell (client)

“Be prepared to fight the good fight! Social media is still about building human to human relationships. There may be a lot of content to share from your organization but you have to defend the customers’ perspective and make sure that they are being presented with the most relevant content to where they are in their journey.”
15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies – Career Advice & Insights

Content Marketing Tactics

Ardath Albee

“Let’s say you develop 5 resources to help prospects reach an objective. A prospect reads the 2 resources about and solving a specific problem and a case study about a company similar to theirs, but ignores the 3 that take a different perspective. Now you know exactly what type of information will be relevant to entering into a dialogue with the prospect.”
How to Show Real ROI For Your Content Marketing eBook


Brian Clark

“To please your audience, research their problems & desires, observe their content interactions & iterate.”
Infographic: How to Grow Your Audience – 10 Tips from Facebook, MarketingProfs, ExactTarget, Copyblogger


Jason Miller (client)

“Take your content and treat it like leftover turkey. Slice and dice it and use it in as many ways possible.”
18 More Amazing Search & Digital Marketing Takeaways from #MNSummit

Ann Handley

“Writing doesn’t have to be long to be meaningful. I’d argue that the words we use everywhere – on our websites, on our landing pages, on our LinkedIn profiles and so on – are just as important as the words we use in places we typically think of as ‘writing.’ ”
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content – Interview with Ann Handley

Michael Stelzner

“Those that pitch are becoming ignored. A little bit of selling here and there is great, but those marketers who do nothing but sell, sell, sell, are gonna get ignored, dismissed and overlooked by consumers and prospects. Get cracking folks, it’s time to actually care. That means dedicating more resources to things that are harder to track, like answering customer questions and providing more value online.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015


Amy Higgins – concur (client)

“When crafting a blog post, think about the title – if just the title is shared in a tweet, will someone what to read it?”
Content Plus Social is A Sweet Song to Sing – Interview with Amy Higgins of Concur

Content Marketing Predictions

Brian Solis

“I’d love to say that by 2015 we will truly see digital strategies that are integrated across social, mobile, advertising, marketing, comms, et al. But, we won’t. What we will see though is a more conscious effort to bring disparate groups to the table to learn how to collaborate across screens, channels, and moments of truth to deliver ONE experience to customers wherever they are in the lifecycle.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015


Jay Baer

“With content marketing reaching near-ubiquity, the success pendulum will swing toward boosting consumption of content. That will put a new focus on math, testing and optimization as content production and content distribution become equally important.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015


Pam Didner

“The major change for 2015 is NOT about digital marketing. The major change will come from Marketers by Going Back to Basics: reevaluate the target audience, determine what works and what doesn’t. Re-prioritize and be smart about resource allocation and investment.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015


David Meerman Scott

“Marketing (one to many) and sales (one to one) are beginning to use the same techniques of content creation and real-time engagement. The best organizations will not run marketing and sales as separate “departments” but will merge the two functions into one customer facing organization focused on revenue generation.”
21 Digital Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2015

Content Marketing ROI

Joe Pulizzi

“Skip analytics reports for your CMO. Instead, focus measurement reporting on performance: sales, cost savings, and customer retention.”
Infographic: Achieve Real Content Marketing ROI – 10 Tips from CMI, Dell, Kraft Foods, Curata, NewsCred


Michael Brenner

“Content Marketing ROI is no harder than ROI for the rest of marketing. But many folks ask the question more as a defense mechanism for change. You will hear marketers ask this question despite not knowing what the ROI is on the rest of their marketing spend. So start with that benchmark. What is the ROI of marketing? Content marketing ROI is easier because content marketing results are easier than something like advertising.”
Lessons on Marketing Strategy and Content Marketing ROI – Michael Brenner Interview


Mark Schaefer

“The way I measure content marketing success would vary by every customer. I would start with this question — ‘What is the behavior or attitude we are trying to change?’ Usually we can backward engineer from that response to find a set of measurements or leading indicators to determine our progress.”
A Practical Approach to Content Marketing Success – Interview with Mark Schaefer
As I mentioned, if you have any memorable quotes from 2014, feel free to share. There are surely more than 30 I could have pulled from the past year’s archives. I’m looking forward to 2015 at TopRank, where I’m sure I’ll fill a notebook or two with quotes from even more great minds we come across at TopRankBlog.

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16 Stats That Explain Why Adaptive Content Matters Right Now

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16 Stats That Explain Why Adaptive Content Matters Right Now
by christopherjanb
folded measuring tape

Big data. Content. Growth hacking. Pivot. Engagement. A few words and phrases that make us want to stick a fork in our eye each time we hear them. Or stick a fork in the eye of the person using the words.

We all hate buzzwords, but it’s hard to get away from them. A phrase sticks and soon a parade that rivals Macy’s is trailing behind it. That popularity begets even more popularity, and, well after the phrase has worn out its original meaning, everyone is using the damn word.

Thing is: behind each buzzword is a meaningful truth. And quite possibly, a trend worth joining. For instance, anyone who jumped on the big data or content bandwagon did not miss out. In fact, they were rewarded.

And I’m going to make a similar statement about the buzzword for 2015: adaptive content. Pay attention.

Adaptive content 101
Some of you might recall the phrase “adaptive content” from the last episode of The Lede podcast. And some of you might recall the difficulty we had defining the phrase. The definitions we shared span a spectrum of ideas.

Garrett Moon from CoSchedule described adaptive content as the idea of creating once, then publishing everywhere, which was at one time NPR’s official content policy (see COPE).

This is a concept we use here at Copyblogger, and we’ve talked about this before with the asset pillar, especially with infographics. That definition is useful, but it’s just a start.

Dig further into the research (what little of it there is) and you’ll probably think to yourself: “This is nothing more than sophisticated personalization.” You know, the email newsletter you get every day that begins, “Dear [your first name]” or Amazon’s recommendation engine.

While this is true about adaptive content, these examples are all rule-based. We tell our machines, “Okay, if he does X followed by Y, then we think he’ll appreciate Z.” Marketers and search engines both want to guess the user intent.

Very primitive. Very clunky. We should be able to do better.

Our hope with adaptive content is to tailor content to a customer’s experience, behavior, and desires. Like a custom-built mold.

In essence, adaptive content is a culmination of everything we’ve been talking about — experience maps, storyboarding, empathy maps — and what we’ve been saying for so long about creating an experience.

Adaptive content merges all these disciplines under one roof.

It’s almost like choosing your own adventure
I’ve got two examples for you. Let’s start with a simple one.

Mars Cyrillo, product and marketing VP at CI&T, pointed to the experience of buying an airline ticket. Normally we’ll go directly to the airline’s website, find the best flight, and then go to Expedia to buy the ticket.

Instead, Mars explains, adaptive content would be American Airlines recognizing that people behave this way, and then delivering an incentive or specific content that would keep visitors on their site.

This could be as routine as a pop-up offering car rentals or hotel rooms at a reduced rate exclusive to the American Airlines website. It just depends on how much American Airlines knows about its customers.

Noz Urbina wrote about another great example on Content Marketing Institute. He describes a wine-tasting adventure with his partner where the winery provided tablets at the table during the event, but that was it.

Fun, but pointless.

For starters, Noz said they could have:

Allowed check-ins by social media (which should’ve been a no-brainer).
Displayed a personalized welcome screen.
Suggested wine lists and accompaniments like cheeses or crackers.
Adapted the micro-copy and tone of the website based on his visit.
But the winery missed the mark, especially this mind-blowing opportunity:

What they should have done was display a personal welcome screen on the tablet that they gave, and allowed people to add items to the shopping cart that would then add to their final bill so that when they went to the cash register, they paid for what they drank there.

That would’ve been adaptive content in action.

And the reason this is so important: We all come to expect this kind of service (just like Noz did). Whether it’s at the gas pump, the golf course, massage parlor, movie theater, or in our living rooms and offices, we all believe that our experiences should be more interactive.

Why? Smartphones.

Some seductive stats
This overly attached love affair with smartphones has been building all along — and is not going away any time soon. Witness:

About 13 percent of Internet traffic comes from global mobile users. In 2009, that number was just one percent. What contributed to this rise in mobile use? Shopping.
Seventy-seven percent of mobile users use search engines and social sites on their phones.
According to a Google Smartphone User study, “88 percent of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.” Read: smartphone users are highly-motived buyers.
More importantly, nine out of 10 searches on a mobile device end in an action: reservation, purchase, appointment, download.
Commerce success begins with a superb mobile experience. A Compuware study suggested that if you deliver a bad mobile experience, then more than half of those users will not recommend you — and probably recommend the competition instead.
According to Google search data, one-third of all CPG (consumer packaged goods) searches now originate from smartphones. This trend will only continue to rise since, as Google wrote in a 2011 paper called Zero Moment of Truth, “Search is always accessible — from anywhere, on any device and at any given time.”
Deloitte Consulting confirmed the power of smartphones over commerce in a 2013 paper that demonstrated the devices influenced $159 billion of U.S. retail sales in 2012.
But what it comes down to is the merging of the offline and online world as McKinsey stated: “According to published reports, 48 percent of U.S. consumers believe companies need to do a better job of integrating their online and offline experiences.”
Fifty-four percent of U.S. consumers want in-store digital, mobile touch points.
Often the buying phase starts long before the purchase. Eighty-eight percent of consumers research (and these days, the research could start on a mobile phone, laptop, tablet, watch, or pair of glasses) before they buy, consulting an average of 10.4 sources.
Online research efforts often involve visiting online reviews, ratings, and recommendations, which according to Prestige Marketing leads to 105 percent higher conversion rates. Are you taking advantage of ratings and reviews?
Showrooming — when consumers use their phones to comparison shop in stores — is no longer a threat to brick-and-mortars and reverse showrooming — when consumers go online to research products but then head to brick-and-mortar stores to complete their purchases — is actually on the rise (69 percent), creating an opportunity for forward-thinking businesses to capture more sales.
In other words, smartphones rule the commerce roost. In addition, opportunities for creating personalized experiences through adaptive content are abound, as these further studies suggest:

56 percent of U.S. consumers are happy to buy from a retailer that offers a good (not even great, mind you) personalized experience. (Registration required to view study.)
In this 2012 Consumer Search report, 65 percent of respondents said they look to friends, family, and social media for gift-giving ideas. Interestingly enough, 64 percent also said they look to companies to provide that sort of inspiration.
Companies seem to recognize this desire because 94 percent of them say personalization is critical to their success.
And it’s been long known that personalized e-commerce sites can increase conversions by 70 percent.
So the question is: Are you inspiring your customers with this type of personalized experience?

The challenges that lie ahead
Let me highlight some keywords from this data dump: search, website, mobile, personalization, and engagement. These are the key concepts behind adaptive content, which leads me to think the new environment we are in is less about content and more about experience.

As Jerod said in our conversation on The Lede, “It serves up almost a customized experience for them that is different from what another person gets. Each experience is individualized to have maximum impact.”

Of course, experience is built on content.

But adaptive content presents at least two challenges for a marketer:

Implementing the technology.
Creating the content.
The technology is not easy to figure out and will vary depending on each business’s individual needs. That disadvantage, though, is the perfect opportunity for companies to say, “How can we make software solutions to make adaptive content easier?”

The other challenge is finding the resources to create the content. If you have six customer avatars, then you have six different paths, and each of those paths break off two, three, or four different times. You’ve got a lot of content to create.

No problem if there were 48 hours in a day.

So, with those challenges and some unanswered questions before us, in 2015 we will be diving into the deep end of the adaptive content pool. Our hope is to provide answers and solutions for these challenges so we can all be on the right side of cutting-edge marketing and emerging technology.

Welcome to 2015, and stay tuned.

Adaptive content in action
Have you seen businesses successfully employ adaptive content?

Or have you observed missed opportunities for businesses to use adaptive content? What could the companies have done differently?

How can adaptive content help your business create a superior customer experience?

Let’s continue the discussion over on LinkedIn …

Image by Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash.

About the author
Demian Farnworth
Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

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