The following tutorial was shared by the Fanatics Media YouTube channel. I always enjoy making time for 1 of their online videos simply because they’re actually great. I think you’ll get something out of it.
The following video was created by the Fanatics Media YouTube channel. They will regularly generate videos of the highest quality and are one of my current go-to YouTube channels. I think you’ll get something out of it.
The following piece of information was first published courtesy of the Curata Blog. I always anticipate looking through 1 of their tutorials simply because they’re incredibly revealing. I’m guessing you’ll get something out of it.
January is way too late to start making the resolutions that will shape your content marketing strategy in the year ahead. Here are six commitments that should be a part of any content marketing plan for 2018.
1. Find the time to go long.
Analyze the data on content marketing influence and authority (as LinkedIn did in a groundbreaking recent study with Buzzfeed) and one finding is overwhelmingly clear: content gets more impactful and effective the longer it is. Blog posts over 1,000 words are far more effective than shorter posts. Over 2,000 words, effectiveness leaps up again.
Why is this? Long form content may be correlated positively with performance because long form content has the potential to cover a wide range of interrelated topics, thus allowing any singular piece to rank for multiple keyphrases on search engines.
Finding the time to create quality, longer-form content should therefore be on every marketer’s agenda for 2018. The best way to do so is to rebalance your content calendar so that you’re pushing out content less frequently but creating content more worthy of people’s attention when you do. You’ve probably noticed that you get the lion’s share of the value from only a small percentage of the content you create. So instead of investing your resources on many pieces that are just “okay,” invest those resources in creating fewer, more powerful content items.You’ll invest the same amount of time and energy, but you’ll get a far greater return on it.
2. Build a proper strategy for your blog.
Your blog is the rug that ties the social media room together. It’s a platform that you fully own, a central hub where you can launch content in any format that you like, and where you can focus your efforts on building a loyal, relevant audience. When your blog does well, your content marketing does well. It gives your content strategy a natural focus and a natural rhythm, it helps to keep you beautifully attuned to your target audience, and it provides you with a regular supply of content that you can choose to amplify on other channels with confidence. Once a piece of content engages the audience for your blog it’s a valuable indication that it could be worth putting paid media behind it.
3. Study the 5% club.
Around this time last year, Beckon’s claim that 5% of branded content generates 90% of all engagement set a content-bashing bandwagon in motion. Marketing commentators quickly jumped on board to declare that the data showed content marketing didn’t work.
Of course, what this statistic really shows is that 5% of content marketing is actually immensely effective – and an awful lot of the rest needs to up its game. If any marketer thought that simply labeling their communications as “content” would automatically increase engagement levels then they have almost certainly learned otherwise by now. But nobody is forcing you to be that kind of content marketer.
There is a formula for content success. It involves earning authority through original, in-depth content, and then leveraging that authority through smart, targeted, paid media distribution on the right channels. Study the characteristics of the 5% and you will be well on your way to joining them.
4. Don’t fall for marketing’s fake news problem.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the goldfish attention span myth? It’s the claim that human beings now have an attention span less than that of a goldfish – and that marketers therefore can’t expect their audiences to concentrate for longer than eight seconds. There’s just one problem with this statistic: it’s complete and utter nonsense. There has never been a study comparing human attention spans to that of goldfish. For that matter, there has never been a study showing what the attention span of a goldfish actually is.
The goldfish attention span myth has been misdirecting content marketing strategies for the last two years – and it’s not alone. It’s far too easy for marketers to fall for snake-oil salesmen-type claims that don’t really stand up to scrutiny but can do a lot of damage when they’re allowed to influence marketing strategies. In 2018, do yourself a favor: when you’re presented with a stat, check where that stat comes from and then decide for yourself whether it’s credible or not.
5. Create video like you mean it.
Video can be a superb tool for driving engagement for B2B marketers – but not if your definition of video content starts and ends with an executive in a suit staring at the camera. Challenge yourself to break new ground in B2B video in 2018. For starters, why not turn that longer-form content you’re planning into the script for a mini-documentary? There are plenty of handy editing tools (such as Videoblocks.com and Powtoon.com) to help.
6. Unlock the amplification potential of your employees.
Employee advocacy is the single most underutilized asset in the whole of content marketing. If you think that’s a big claim, then consider this statistic from our own experience at LinkedIn. We released 123 pieces of content onto our employee-sharing platform, Elevate. Those pieces were shared 4,290 times, which increased the aggregate reach of our content by 15 million. Employee sharing has this power because the combined LinkedIn networks of a company’s employees are typically 10 times the size of its own organic reach. When you create great content as a marketer, you owe it to yourself to give it the greatest opportunity to reach and influence your audience. That simply has to involve sharing by your own employees.
Have questions for Jason? Want more thoughts on what’s next for content marketing in 2018? Join us on November 14th for our next Content Marketing Expert Series Webinar.
Great new piece of material launched courtesy of the Curata Blog. Most probably among the most effective suppliers of information and facts on the web.
Vogue runs this somewhat ridiculous video series called “73 Questions,” where they follow celebrities around their homes with a video camera while asking 73 rapid-fire questions. I suppose this gives the fans insight into both the celebrity’s decorating style as well as their inner lives.
But don’t let my scorn fool you, because obviously I’ve watched it. During Taylor Swift’s “73 Questions,” the interviewer asked her, “What does creativity mean to you?” She answered, “Creativity is getting inspiration and having that lightning bolt moment and then having the hard work ethic to sit down at the desk and write it down.”
Ah, the work ethic. The forgotten flip side of inspiration. All writers are struck with a flash of insight at some point. But that lightning bolt fades fast – and when it does, it means sitting down to a blank space and translating ideas into words people actually want to read.
Writing is a practice. And like any practice, it has shortcuts, tips and best practices that can make your writing crisp and your creative process sharp. Let’s look at five tips that can avoid any bad blood between you and your writing:
Read your content out loud: I cannot stress this enough. Reading your words out loud lets you listen to their rhythm and flow. You’ll be able to hear, not see, where grammatical notations should fall. And your brain will use an entirely different region to determine if your content makes sense.
Use the Rule of 24: Marinating does the same thing to content as it does to meat; it tenderizes it to bring out the full flavor. So write something. Fiddle with it. Then put it away for at least 24 hours and look at it again. Words you may have thought were brilliant may get axed, and you can shake, shake, shake them off. Other constructions you didn’t like as much will appear fixable. You will bring a fresh set of eyes that always results in an improved piece.
Use the end as the beginning: We waste way too much time getting to the lede. Stop! People don’t have time, patience or inclination to listen to you go on and on about Taylor Swift. So write your piece. Let it sit for 24 hours. I promise you’ll find that the best stuff you wrote is at the end. So delete your intro, slide in that ending, and you’re golden. Promise.
Use proper nouns and concrete phrases: People can’t picture a “rational method” and “abstract amount.” But when you say “white house” or “red door,” an image just popped into your mind. So avoid abstract ideas and concretize them for people. Marinating content like steak – see? It’s a concrete idea that you can hold onto.
Layer in voice on the second draft: Ann Handley taught me this, and I’m annoyed I didn’t know this technique till this year: It’s too big a job to convey information while also trying to sound like ourselves, or our brand. So write what you’re trying to say first. Leave it for a while. When you come back to the second draft, then you can layer in all those inside jokes (like song titles) and brand voice differentiators that make the content sing.
Lightning bolt or no, writing words that people want to read is hard. But don’t make it harder. Use these 5 tips to become a fearless writer, and I guarantee you it’ll be easier to sit down and construct a piece of content that enchants your audience. Your reputation depends on it.
The Curata Blog made available this content. These people usually deliver subject matter of the best quality and are also no doubt one of my favorite must-follow bloggers. I hope you find it helpful.
Today videos are ruling the digital marketing world. And that’s no surprise if we consider that, according to Cisco, in 2016 videos accounted for more than 70% of the internet traffic and the forecast suggests it will be up to 82% by 2021.
But as videos offer a wide variety of content types, marketers should be very careful to identify their audience’s needs in order to hit the mark with the right video format. And how can you determine which type of video will be more effective? A good strategy is to focus on the buyer’s journey, this basically means to use a specific video format according to the different stages of the buying process and the user’s informational needs. Let’s take a look.
Buyer’s journey: What is it and why is it so important?
The Buyer’s Journey is the entire process that a customer goes through from the moment they become aware that they have a problem or need, to the moment they finally purchase a product or service.
In this video produced by explainer video company Yum Yum Videos, you can check out a more detailed explanation of what the buyer’s journey is and how the inbound marketing funnel works.
This is how the process works, in a nutshell:
Awareness Stage: First, the customer realizes that he or she has a potential problem (or a particular problem) that needs to be solved.
Consideration Stage: Then, he or she starts to do some research on how to solve it and evaluates the options to finally come up with a solution.
Decision Stage: The cycle ends when the customer decides from which company he or she will purchase the product or service that will solve their problem.
For marketers, it’s essential to identify the target’s needs in each part of the cycle, in order to provide them the right content that will make a greater impact and lead them through the sales funnel. And video content is the best option to nurture your audience with the information they need while keeping your audience’s attention. If used wisely, they can be a great tool to boost sales as they can increase conversion rates by 80%. So in this article, we will analyze which types of videos will work better in each stage of the buyer’s journey to boost engagement throughout the process.
This is the starting point of the sales journey: Your potential customer realizes he or she has a problem or need and begins the quest for a solution. Here you have an opportunity to answer their questions and guide them while you position your brand as a reference in the subject. You only have one chance to make a good impression and engage them to continue with your brand, so make sure your content is on the right track and, equally important, high quality. These are the best video formats to make your debut:
1. Educational Videos
Your potential buyers are looking for a useful answer to their problems. With educational videos, you can educate them about certain subjects while you generate brand awareness, positioning yourself as an expert. This way, you can increase visibility and drive more visitors to your site.
These are short videos created to attract people into your sales funnel with a fun and engaging storytelling technique. They are extremely effective to gain visibility with paid ads, increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
3. Social Media Videos
The special feature of Social Media Videos is that they are created by taking into account each network’s practices and values, in order to optimize the content to the social platform of your desire. This kind of format will let you gain visibility in social media, increase engagement and drive visits to your site.
At this point, the buyers have already defined their problem or need, so videos in the Consideration Stage should educate them about solutions for their specific needs. The goal is to help the customer in their research by showing them the best solution to their needs. Let’s see which options you can use to guide them:
1. Explainer Videos
This type of content can explain products or services in a brief and friendly way. Basically, it starts with a certain pain point and then explains how that product can solve it. Mainly, it’s used in websites’ home pages and landing pages, because it’s an easy hook to catch the audience’s attention and explain an idea in just a few seconds, quickly delivering the most fitting information for this stage of their journey (when it’s done the right way). In addition, it’s a successful tool to use in YouTube ad campaigns and, to a lesser extent, Facebook and Twitter, due to its structure and short length -less than two minutes-
The main reason to use explainer videos in the consideration stage is that their main goal is to increase conversions and boost qualified leads.
A webinar is a web based video presentation that is transmitted over the internet. The main objective is to educate the audience thoroughly on a certain topic but in a friendly and human way, because it’s usually lead by an expert on the specific subject matter. By doing this, it can position your brand as a reference on that subject and then increase subscriptions to your site and rise your conversion rate.
3. How-To Videos
As the name suggests, How-To Videos are made to offer your customers helpful guidance in a fun and entertaining way. It’s a step-by-step process that educates potential clients on certain topics or products using an easy and educative tone. This way, they can build product trust and increase up-selling. This allows your audience to get to know the solution you are offering them, and to choose your company over the other possible solutions they are considering.
The Decision Stage is all about building trust with your brand and your product, so they will finally decide to purchase from you. Read on to know which videos will work best:
1. Customer Testimonial
Frequently, prospects require external reviews from peers before deciding to purchase a product, and the numbers don’t lie, those reviews work. A customer testimonial video is a good solution to use to share your client’s experience with your product or service. It’s a powerful tool to build confidence and generate brand trust with potential prospects, which can lead to growth in your sales rates.
2. FAQ Videos
The main goal of FAQ Videos is to provide, in simple terms, relevant information about common inquiries on the product and clear up any doubts the buyer may have. These kinds of videos are great for lead nurturing and lead trust -create a quality bond with your customer by clarifying doubts- and can help you reach a higher number of conversions, close more deals, and build product trust.
3. Company Story Videos
These videos, also known as “About us” videos, present your brand, the working team and the values that you stand for. It’s a good strategy to show the human side of your company and build a strong connection with potential customers. If you can build trust with them, it’s a huge step towards the final goal: increasing sales rates.
4. Product Videos
A video about your Product should show its best features as well as the whole experience of using it: the benefits of your product and how it works, all of that in a brief and entertaining video. It allows you to build trust about your product, position it in the search engines and also bring your leads closer to the final purchase.
Understanding all the steps that a buyer goes through before purchasing a product will let you provide the right video content to make a greater impact. Because you already know that videos are highly effective for increasing conversions, if you use them correctly. And choosing the right format according to the stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration and decision stage- will allow you to guide your potential customers through your sales funnel.
A successful video campaign requires a high quality video, and that’s not a cheap thing to do. So if you want to make the most out of your video marketing budget, it’s essential to customize your videos according to your customer’s needs.
Want more on creating a content marketing strategy for your organization? Check out Curata’s content marketing strategy guide below.
This next submission was in fact produced by the Curata Blog. They will continually produce content of the best quality for that reason are no doubt one of my new must-follow writers. I think you’ll find it helpful.
Are the content marketing KPIs you use selling your work short? Are you struggling with how to better quantify content marketing’s impact on your organization, especially when it comes down to dollars? It’s okay to admit it; you’re definitely not alone. Content, although named king just a few years ago, now seems to be scrambling to make sure the emperor does, in fact, have clothes. So what’s the problem?
The expectations for a content marketer’s areas of expertise have inflated in every direction. We’ve needed to evolve into masters of multiple formats as diverse as blog posts, whitepapers, social media, webinars, videos, podcasts, snaps, and other assorted forms of micro content. This multiplicity of formats and channels also means that the role of the content marketer has expanded from the traditional roles of writer and editor to include designer, videographer, and often ad hoc website developer among others.
What’s more, content marketing has become more operationalized, making organizational skills such as project management, people management, technology evaluation, and especially data analyzation increasingly important. Even the title of “content marketer” might be somewhat outdated given that we support not just marketing in all its permutations, but also sales, customer success, HR, and any number of other departments or initiatives at our organizations.
With such a diversity of channels, roles, and spheres of influence, content marketing KPIs can be very difficult to define.
Content Marketing Influence: Hiding in Plain Sight?
But content’s omnipresence ironically might be responsible for making its full impact opaque. Most marketing analytics and attribution tools are focused on a specific function or point in the funnel (such as SEO, acquisition, or demand generation) instead of measuring the impact of the content that all of these functions utilize. It’s like David Foster Wallace’s famous anecdote about the invisibility of ubiquity.
For many of us, trying to measure the ROI of content marketing is like trying to measure water in the ocean: overwhelming and too slippery to pin down. Think of all the different types of data a marketing team may use to determine what a successful program looks like: search position, social shares, pageviews, conversions, MQLS, opportunity value, and revenue. These are all different types of data using different systems used by different teams for different purposes. Sounds insane, right? Yet here we are. And this problem is compounded for the content marketer because none of these things are actually meant to measure content marketing KPIs, at least not primarily or fully.
What’s even more pernicious is that not only is data across different marketing functions siloed, but so is access to and knowledge of these different systems. The majority of content marketers are focused on creating, managing, and distributing ever-increasing amounts of content on an ever-increasing number of channels, not Salesforce. And the folks who are responsible for the complexities of marketing automation or CRM systems are typically focused on lead and account performance, not content’s influence on those leads and accounts. So when it comes to content marketing KPIs, their point of view is often limited to conversion rates of gated content items, not all the links the chain that might have lead up to that conversion.
Create a Content Marketing KPI Structure That Fits With Your Business Model and Culture
All of these missed connections results in a very limited perspective on content marketing’s impact. For the content marketer, that means that we are often perceived as an internal service organization instead of as a strategic partner equal to acquisition or lead generation. If that sounds familiar, then one of your main goals should be to work to change that perception. It can be a chicken-and-egg problem, but the best place to start is by developing content marketing KPIs that speak to your company’s business model and culture.
Understanding what your organization values, where content is playing a role, and how content marketing is perceived by both the marketing function and the wider business will allow you to map content marketing KPIs that are both comprehensive and readily received. It also helps you understand if you’re currently measuring the things that truly reflect your impact.
Inclusive content marketing KPIs allow you to prove content marketing’s value to your organization. But beyond proving your worth, the right KPIs will allow you to grow as well. You’ll be able to quantify and justify spend on your content program, perhaps even expanding your program to include additional content formats (like video) or improve the depth of your team’s design or coding skills with specialized hires.
Take Control of Your Team’s Time and Resources
Even more importantly, inclusive content marketing KPIs based on what you know works. Too many content marketers have to make guesses about what to create because their metrics are insufficient. Or even worse, content marketers may spend a lot of time creating content just to placate the “hunches” or opinions of people throughout the company. Sometimes these perspectives can be helpful, but other times it just sends the content team chasing their tails. A solid, data-based approach using the right content marketing KPIs gives you firm ground on which to make decisions about what and where to spend your team’s time and resources. Data-driven content creation will help earn your seat at the strategic table.
So how does the content marketer map KPIs that demonstrate content’s true impact on the organization?
First, you have to deeply understand your business. Discovering the answers to these questions is an essential starting point:
What is your company’s business model? How does your company make money?
What is your company known for? What does is want to be known for?
Who are your company’s customers?
What does your company value internally? (actions speak louder than words)
In what ways is success defined for the business overall?
Once you’ve defined the big picture, hone in on marketing’s role within the business:
In what ways does marketing contribute to the organization’s goals?
How is that contribution measured today?
Is the marketing function perceived as a service organization or strategic partner?
What are all the different sub-functions within marketing?
Are the marketing functions equally credited with driving marketing’s contributions? If not, which areas are credited the most?
Then dig into content’s role in both the marketing function and in the wider organization:
What are content’s current responsibilities?
What are content’s current KPIs? Do they encompass all of your responsibilities?
How does content support all of marketing’s sub-functions?
Do other business units utilize content that your team creates?
Does your team create content specifically for these other business units?
Having insight into these questions will help you identify what your company values and how it defines success. You can also uncover any new opportunities to demonstrate content marketing’s impact through data.
Aligning Your Content Marketing KPIs to Success Stages
Revenue generation or revenue influence is the ultimate measure of success. However, it should not be the only measure. Some experts advocate for using revenue as the only metric, but I think this is over-committing. The revenue metric is the result of getting a lot of other metrics right along the way. Especially for businesses with long sales cycles, it could take months (or years) to get feedback on your work if your only measure of success comes at the very end of the cycle.
I recommend aligning your content marketing KPIs to the traditional funnel model, especially if your business is oriented around lead generation. Funnel models have certainly changed over the years with more and more complex stages. Start with a simple Top of, Middle, and Bottom reporting framework first. This will be easy to understand and share with others in your organization.
Strategic Content Marketing KPIs vs. Operational Content Marketing KPIs
One other thing to consider is that KPIs aren’t the only kinds of reports you’ll need. There’s a whole other class of reporting that I like to categorize as “operational” content reporting. Those are reports that help you make specific decisions: what to write, what to promote, what to socialize with your sales team. The following KPIs are intended to help you track your program’s high-level success and contribution to the business at each funnel stage. They are by no means the only reports you could and should create, but they are foundational and are the best candidates for an executive dashboard.
Content Marketing KPIs: Top of Funnel
These KPIs are intended to measure awareness and interest. For the content marketer that almost always includes both search and website metrics.
Average Position of Unbranded Terms
This query report based on Google’s Search Console data within Google Analytics shows the average position – or SERP (search engine results page) rank – of all the unbranded terms that a user types into Google to surface a URL from your website. The lower the number, the closer it is to the first position on page 1. From a KPI perspective, your objective should be to get that number as low as possible.
“Unbranded” means the search query does not contain your brand name. Most brands rank in the top spot for their branded terms. By focusing on unbranded terms, you can get a better line of sight into the performance of your thought leadership topics. Since this is taking into account all of your unbranded terms, the average position for all those terms may be quite high, especially if you are in a highly competitive space.
Another option for this report is to further refine unbranded terms into topic clusters. You can create reports that are focused on one keyword or a group of related keywords. This report is important because it tells you how competitive you are in the search channel via your position and if (via the CTR) users’ intent matches up with the content you are creating.
Percentage of Organic Users on Website
This report is based on Google Analytics’ Audience Overview. I added a segment of organic traffic (traffic on your website that came from search engines), to isolate the performance of that segment and compare it to overall traffic or even other segments such as display advertising. I think it’s most powerful to represent these numbers as percentages. Based on this example, you could report that organic accounts for 74 percent of all users (or unique visitors) and new users and 71 percent of all sessions (or visits) to your website.
Recently, top of funnel metrics like these have gotten a bad rap in the industry as “vanity metrics.” I think that’s a bit unfair. Sure, visits do not equal revenue (heck they don’t even equal conversions), but for most companies, there’d be no leads without traffic, no opportunities without leads, and no revenue without opportunities. At best, it is incomplete to only use top of funnel metrics as your indicators of success. But if you are using full funnel KPIs in the proper context, then I believe they have a place on your strategic content marketing KPI dashboard and in a data-driven content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing KPIs: The Middle of the Funnel
These are content marketing KPIs that meant to measure depth of engagement and intent to purchase.
Percentage of Organic Traffic That Converts
This is a Google Analytics conversion report that gets much more specific than the organic traffic report. In this example, the GA instance has many different options for goal completions. The goal many content marketers would interested in at this point are conversions from premium pieces of content: white papers, webinars, videos, etc. For others it might be a demo or contact request or a newsletter sign up. You could even run different reports against different website goals. Again, expressing this metric as a percentage of the whole allows you to quantify your impact.
One thing to note is that these conversions don’t necessarily equal leads. A conversion may be completed by an unknown lead or visitor, therefore would not be a new lead. That’s why I consider this report a great measure of engagement and possible intent to purchase.
Another option for this report is to hone in on a particular area of your site, say, the Resources section that houses all your ebooks. Use a Goal URL report and filter by page path:
New Leads by Program & Asset
This Marketo report takes the concept of conversions a step further and allows you see how many new leads your premium content generated. Instead of using anonymous data like Google Analytics does, a marketing automation program such as Marketo will be able to show you the number of “New Names” your content generated versus names that might have already existed in your database. Post-conversion, those previously “unknown” leads are now “known” leads. Because you have to create a distinct Marketo program for every piece of content to get this performance data, most marketing organizations only create programs for premium or gated assets and not for ungated assets such as blog posts.
MQLs by Program & Asset
This Salesforce report takes the concept of a “new name” or a lead and takes it still a step further. An MQL (marketing qualified lead) or an AQL (automation qualified lead) are leads that go through a qualification process before marketing hands them off to sales. It’s an indication of both the quantity and quality of leads your content has generated.
These reports are similar, but the differences between them can tell you different things about your content. For example, if a content item is high on conversions but low on new names, then you may need to figure out a better way to reach new audiences. If a piece is driving a lot of new names but very few MQLs, then it might not be attracting the right kind of leads for your business.
Content Marketing KPIs: Bottom of the Funnel
These are metrics that measure content marketing’s influence on opportunities and revenue.
This Curata report uses advanced content metrics to show the dollar value of the pipeline created by content marketing. The report tracks all of the content consumed by a contact associated with an opportunity before the opportunity was created. Essentially it shows you how effective your content is at creating new opportunities. An important thing to note is that Curata can track gated as well as ungated content influence. If you are struggling to measure blog performance or connect any top of funnel content to bottom of funnel metrics, this type of report may be able to help.
This KPI shows the total value of opportunities that were nurtured by content (again, all content both gated and ungated). The report tracks what the opportunities’ contacts consumed while the opportunities were open. This report tells you how much and which content items were part of the purchasing decision process.
And here is the ultimate content marketing KPI: how to calculate content ROI. this report shows how much revenue is influenced by content marketing. The report shows the value of won opportunities where contacts consumed content anywhere along the journey prior to the opportunity close date.
Similar to the progression through the middle of the funnel from conversion, to lead, to MQL, these bottom of funnel KPIs show the influence of content through what has traditionally been thought of as the sales process.
Hopefully these suggestions for strategic content marketing KPIs for the top, middle, and bottom of your funnel points you in the right direction for building a strategic content marketing dashboard for your company.
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