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 buffer.com 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.

Want more content like this?

More than 45,000 marketers and small business owners subscribe to our newsletter to receive our blog posts and exclusive email-only content.


4 Instagram Features That’ll Get You More (Real) Followers

4 Instagram Features That’ll Get You More (Real) Followers

— Read on socialmediaexplorer.com/content-sections/news-and-noise/4-instagram-features-thatll-get-you-more-real-followers/

£51 Million Boost to Wales’ Hi-Tech Electronics Industry

£51 Million Boost to Wales’ Hi-Tech Electronics Industry

£51 Million Boost to Wales’ Hi-Tech Electronics Industry
— Read on welshbizuk.wordpress.com/2018/08/18/51-million-boost-to-wales-hi-tech-electronics-industry-4/

John Chow dot Com   Remove

EIG Bowling Party at Affiliate Summit East 2018

by John Chow, 12 hours ago  .  Save

At Affiliate Summit, we hard but we play harder. After a full day at the show, it Read More →

How To Dominate Your Competitors Content And Boost Rankings

by Rizvan Ullah, 1 day ago  .  Save

Blogging and building an online presence is about dominating your competition. I Read More →

Seth’s Blog   Remove

The truth about logos

by Seth Godin, 2 hours ago  .  Save

Here’s a simple test: Ask a few people to name a logo they like. With very few Read More →

Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing   Remove

Weekend Favs August 4

by John Jantsch, 23 hours ago  .  Save

Weekend Favs August 4 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing My Read More →

Adweek | Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology   Remove

FX’s The Americans Wins 3 TCA Awards For Its Final Season

by Jason Lynch, 9 hours ago  .  Save

The Americans capped off its gripping final season by winning three Television Critics Read More →

Condé Nast Seeks Buyers for 3 Titles That Can ‘Realize Their Full Potential’

by Sara Jerde, 22 hours ago  .  Save

Cond? Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg confirmed Thursday to staffers in a email that after Read More →

Social Media Explorer   Remove

3 Big Social Media Trends In The United States

by Chris Zilles, 12 hours ago  .  Save

The United States now has the highest social media penetration rate in the world, Read More →

Are Your Marketing Strategies Getting Results? Here’s How To Find Out

by Jessica Micmohen, 18 hours ago  .  Save

No matter what marketing systems and strategies you use, you should be able to see Read More →

Marketing News & Advice

Search Engine Journal | SEO Guide Blog   Remove

Affiliate Link Building: How to Do It the Right Way by @annaleacrowe

by Anna Crowe, 17 hours ago  .  Save

If affiliate marketing isn’t in your link building wheelhouse, here’s why you need Read More →

John Chow dot Com   Remove

Eating Well, and with Passion Lunch by Chloe Vegan Restaurant

by John Chow, 11 hours ago  .  Save

During a break at the Affiliate Summit, we had lunch at by CHLOE. The restaurant Read More →

Concocting Creative Recipes for Success

by Michael Kwan, 22 hours ago  .  Save

I absolutely believe that there is tremendous value in following people that you Read More →

Search Engine Watch – Latest   Remove

How to invest in your SEO for the highest ROI

by Tom Casano, 3 hours ago  .  Save

Every business owner’s dream is to have consistent business growth. Unfortunately,  Read More →

Seth’s Blog   Remove

Worth paying for

by Seth Godin, 2 hours ago  .  Save

When you bring a product or service to the free market, the market decides what it’s Read More →

Adweek | Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology   Remove

5 Must-Ask Questions for Prospective Creative Hires

by Sara Ivry, 11 hours ago  .  Save

Twenty-year veteran Christie Cordes, founder of Ad Recruiter–whose stellar list Read More →

Amid Les Moonves Allegations, Advertisers Are Sticking by CBS—for Now

by Jason Lynch, 11 hours ago  .  Save

During CBS Corp.’s quarterly earnings call last Thursday, Les Moonves sounded like Read More →

How to Future-Proof a Career in Marketing When the Old Rules No Longer Apply

by Sara Ivry, 11 hours ago  .  Save

Thanks to digital transformation, there are myriad ways to reach consumers, and these Read More →

Learning Where to Draw the Line: How Agencies Can Deal With Toxic Clients

by Patrick Coffee, 11 hours ago  .  Save

Last October, a pizza chain with a familiar face hired a new chief marketer and a Read More →

Infographic: How Women Want Tech to Shape the Shopping Experience

by Sammy Nickalls, 11 hours ago  .  Save

Women are embracing more personalized, speedy and seamless customer experiences. Read More →

4 more new stories. View all →

Search Engine Roundtable | Search Engine Marketing Blog   Remove

Google: AdSense Fluctuations Not Related To Google Search Update

by barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz), 8 mins ago  .  Save

There are a nice number of Google AdSense publishers, those who monetize their web Read More →

Google Core Algorithm Update Roll Out Slowing Down

by barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz), 25 mins ago  .  Save

On Friday, I reported at Search Engine Land and updated our original story with an Read More →

Google Yellow Submarine Sleep Pod

by barry@rustybrick.com (Barry Schwartz), 41 mins ago  .  Save

What Adobe’s Latest Acquisition Says About the Future of Marketing

Marketers love sharing “content” as part of campaigns, especially the free sort, like social media commentary or videos created by happy customers. That obsession inspired marketing software company Adobe’s Tuesday buyout of Livefyre, a startup that names dozens of large consumer products companies like Coca-Cola, Hallmark, Kimberly-Clark, and Warner Music Group, as its customers. Terms…


Twitter Marketing Tip 7

Step up your social media game with this Twitter marketing tip to get you standing out from the competition:

Share Content More Than Once 

Not everyone can be on Twitter at all times, and most people won’t make a point of visiting your profile in case they missed something, so don’t feel shy about sharing your content multiple times.

On average, your second post of a piece of content will receive 86% as much engagement as the first time you Tweeted it. 

An added bonus of this is that you can experiment with different text or images when sharing the content and compare performance to help with your Tweeting strategy going forward. 

For example, Tweets with URLs in the middle are 26% more likely to get retweeted than Tweets with URLs at the end. If this isn’t something you’ve tried on a previous Tweet, give it a go now. 

If you like this Twitter Marketing Tip you might also like these Twitter Marketing Tips:

This Twitter Marketing Tip 7 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

Content Marketing Altering the Future Predicted in ‘Minority Report’

New post on Online Marketing Hub

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 QuickSprout.com 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“.
| http://ift.tt/faSbAI

For more including images see:

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