What Long-Form Content Can Do For Your Brand

Some brands have moved away from long-form content because they fear that the public’s attention span is declining. A myth we have been told constantly. Science has shown this to be false. In fact, in their State of Attention Report, Kelton Research found evidence of the contrary – our attention spans are improving from generation to generation. 

Think about it, a 48-hour straight LAN-party or a weekend-long Netflix binge doesn’t speak to lack of attention. Instead of catering for small-minded ‘goldfish people’, it’s time to share our big ideas. It’s time to move away from the view that our audience can’t pay attention to long-form content. Let’s rather focus our energy on creating content so engaging that readers will want to give it their utmost attention.    

What Is Long-Form Content?

Most search engines define long-form content as between 1200-2000 words – although some brands are publishing content up to 10 000 words. When trying to define long-form content it’s easy to get stuck in the semantics of word-count. In truth, the precise length of long-form content is not important. 

The primary feature is that it is entertaining and rich in valuable information. It must be long enough to discuss a topic fully. No one wants to engage with content that doesn’t say anything – particularly if it’s long. You don’t want your audience reaching for the syrup to add to your waffle. 

The Quartz Curve 

Kevin Delany, the founder of Quartz, created a length optimisation model for online content. Simply put, content from between 500-800 words doesn’t perform well. This is because it is too long to be easily shareable – say for example a tweet or Facebook post, but too short to satisfactorily answer a complex question.

The Power Of Long-Form Content 

A few years ago, short-form content dominated the scene. Now, long-form is starting to make a comeback. Here’s why:

  • Engaging With Your Readers

Ideally, long-form content should be jammed packed with high-value information. By giving your readers something to sink their teeth into, they spend more time engaging with your brand. Increased engagement then leads to better reader satisfaction.

Additionally, longer posts give you the opportunity to redirect traffic through your website. WordStream found that the move to long-form content increased their average time-on-site three-fold

  • SEO Optimisation 

Search engines want their users to be satisfied with their search results. If all your searches bring up short, poorly written articles with no real useful information, you won’t want to use that engine. So, search engine algorithms are focused on pushing good quality, information-dense content to the top.  

Google prioritises texts of more than two-thousand words when ranking search results. This makes sense – if someone is looking for information a longer piece is bound to give them a fuller picture. As a side note, Google preferentially ranks sites with a longer time-on-site. The more time someone spends on your site, the more likely it is that your content is good. We have seen that long-form content increases average time-on-site.

  • Building Brand Identity 

Every piece of communication you put out helps the public build an impression of your brand. Long-form content gives you the opportunity to really dive in and expand on that image. The objective of long-form content is not to punt for sales, but rather to share your values, hopes and aspirations with your audience. Doing so, whilst simultaneously entertaining your clients will well-researched informative content might just be the ticket to building a lasting relationship. 

Another benefit of long-form content is that it positions your brand as a thought leader. This gives you the chance to flex your muscles and flash your pearly whites, as it were.

  • Closing Sales

Long-form content gives your buyer a chance to get to know you before they make their decision. A transparent brand that produces thoughtful content is more likely to inspire trust. Customers who trust you are more likely to convert. This could give you a leg-up over the competition. 

  • Long-Form Content Is More ‘Shareable’ 

Everyone is obsessed with going viral. BuzzSumo has correlated their longer pieces – 3000 words or longer with increased shares on social media. Again, it is essential to emphasise that reaching a particular word count is not the goal. Nobody wants to read a 300-word article that says nothing, nevermind a 3000-word article.

When To Use Long-Form Content

There is no doubt that long-form content is beneficial to your brand, but this doesn’t mean you should throw out all other forms of content. Not all topics need to be expanded into a long article. If you are trying to communicate something simple, that can be said in a few hundred words, it is not wise to drag it out. 

Another point to consider is whether you have the resources to produce quality long-form content. Although it may seem quick and easy to ‘whip up a few articles’, this is not the case. You need access to talented writers with a background in content generation and knowledge of SEO. If this person is a member of your staff, they need to have the time to consistently produce content. One long-form blog isn’t going to help you. This is a long term commitment. 

Final Thoughts 

Investing in long-form content has clear advantages for your brand. Although traditional advertising campaigns are far from dead, we now have more tools at our disposal. The idea behind content marketing is sharing valuable information with your clients. 

Content marketing is not a new concept it’s just changed shape. Think back to the days of companies sending in-house newsletters and magazines to their clients. Isn’t that just the same as hosting a blog on your website? The goal remains the same, communicating valuable information with both your current clients and new ones. Long-form content has the advantage over short form because it provides more space for complete communication. 

If you are interested in starting a long-form content campaign but do not have the time or expertise, contact us at Goodman Lantern

Business Content Marketing: Make Your B2B Blog More than Just A Blur Of Information

Let’s talk about pimping your blog.

Blogging has become a real social phenomenon over the past few years and for good reason. Besides being a great customer service tool, its ability to rank highly in search engines, attract swarms of traffic, create advertising revenue, promote services and generate sales has led to the growing importance of the blog as a business tool worldwide.

Simply put: there just isn’t any way around it.

As books inform us of the past, blogs inform of the here and now.

So what makes a blog great?

Like most things in life, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all approach.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so yes, in some aspects it comes down to your target audience, as well as topic relevance. But wouldn’t it be great if one had a general recipe for success?

There might not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but below are a few of the most fundamental things one needs to keep in mind when hammering out that next blog.

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Touch on Relevant Issues and Predict Any Possible Future Ones

Talking about hot topics is an essential way to get your audience involved and keep them updated on any current happenings. Everyone wants to know what is going on around them and if there is anything they need to look out for.

Including this approach in your blogging could be the hook that reels your catch in.

Most businesses want to find out what’s next for their industries too. Make sure you include up-to-date facts and statistics; audience response has shown that numbers are powerful. This is one of the reasons why statistics can be such persuasive pieces of evidence when bringing across a point.

Acknowledge Your Audience’s Problem Points

In many cases, what makes a blog great is that it provides content that solves the problem your readers have. Now this is not to say that you must monopolise on people’s misery, but pain points are a great motivator to get people to click.

This approach can enable  you to reach out and resonate with your audience rather than just throwing information at them. The fact is that people tend to pay more attention if something can or does affect them directly.

Watch How You Reveal Your Hand

An important thing to remember, especially when it comes to business blogs, is that your audience usually already know you are selling something. It’s how you go about it that matters.

We all dread that sleazy, pushy salesman that gets up in your face and tries to squeeze a sale out of you. So when writing your blog, feel free to include your services or products but don’t overdo it!

Go for a more rounded approach. Include interesting facts and information, concentrate on making your blog educational, engaging and relevant. Convince your audience that they need to have what you’re selling without trying to force their hand.

Making Your Audience Think

It’s a fact that people like to learn. They feel useful when using that brain in their heads, even more so when they can bring an interesting piece of information to a conversation. Blogs are a great way of providing that kind of opportunity for people. After all, it is the ultimate forum for giving and receiving information.

A good point to remember is that people don’t enjoy being spoken at, so when creating a blog rather angle your approach towards engaging with your audience and not speaking at them. Include questions, metaphors and examples that encourage thinking and personal deduction.

Visuals Are Key

Let’s face it, words on a screen are boring!

Lines and lines of black letters on a white screen… no wonder programmers get so many headaches.

Breaking the monotony up with relevant visuals is a must. You have to give those reading eyes a break and the beauty of it is that you can do this while still providing information. Studies show that the human brain is capable of processing information from an image 60 000 times faster than text. So those infographics not only bring colour to your piece but can actually boost what you are trying to bring across, while making your blog easier to read. Win win!

Keep Track Of Your Blog’s Performance

To know if your blog is a success or not you need to dig into its metrics.

Yes, this sounds complicated but fear not! Like everything else an app has been created. A great one to use is Google Analytics. It maps all relevant stats on your blog and feeds back information on how it is doing.

This information can be crucial in learning what works for you and what doesn’t.

Blogging Your Way To A Successful Tomorrow

Blogging has come a long way since it first appeared in the late 1990’s.

It’s become a universal language in its own right. And learning how to do it right is not only a requirement but a status symbol.

Like an online profile, your blogs can and do speak for you. The work you create provides a literal representation of who you are and what you seek to provide.

So the next time you write a blog, don’t just indulge in verbal diarrhea. Take note of the things that matter and be classy about it!

Should You Outsource Content Marketing? 6 Questions to Consider

Content marketing is a significant part of any digital marketing tool kit. Content that is SEO-optimised is even more important when it comes to increasing the visibility of your site, as 95% of people only look at the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

However, according to Zazzle Media, 60% of people find it difficult to create consistently valuable and well-written content. 32% of digital marketers also say that their content creation strategy is lacking.

So, if content is such a vital cog in the digital marketing machine, and you don’t have any available resources in your company, should you outsource this function to a content marketing agency?

Here are six questions you should consider before outsourcing.

1. Do You Have The Skills In-House?

Before you decide to hire a content marketing agency, have another look at your team and see if they have the skills that you need to produce great content. Creating outstanding content is much more than being just a good writer. There are other skills – research, social media management, social listening, and the like – that the content marketing arm of your business needs to have. If your team already has these skills, you’re better off in-source this marketing function.

2. What Is Your Budget?

If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, see how much you can spend on your content marketing. Many agencies offer various packages to suit a variety of budgets, so look carefully at your options before you sign up with a content marketing organisation. Do your research and consider several agencies or freelancers. If you don’t have a big budget, consider going for a smaller agency, because the more prominent agencies are more likely to charge inflated rates as they have increased overheads.

3. Do You Want To Work With Freelancers or An Agency?

Depending on your preferences, you may choose to work with a content marketing agency or a freelancer. There are pros and cons, either choice:

  • With an agency, you’re always guaranteed on-time delivery as they have a number of resources who can manage your content creation. However, because so many people are working on your material, the outputs that you receive may be worded slightly differently as you will be having different voices coming through.

  • If you decide to work with a freelancer, you’ll have that personal touch as the person who you’re dealing with is also writing the content. As such, you know that the quality of work that you’ll be getting is consistent. However, if your demands increase the freelancer substantially may not be able to cope with the increased workload.

4. What is Your Content Strategy?

For your content marketing to work well, you need to have a solid strategy in place, which needs to have the answers to questions such as:

  • What do I want to achieve with my content marketing strategy?

  • What type of content do I want to put out into the marketplace?

  • What takeaways do I want my clients or potential consumers to have about my brand and me?

Once you’ve responded to these questions, you can start designing a structure of content that you want to disseminate. For example, consumers like to know what goes on behind-the-scenes in a company, and you need to decide how much you want people to see. You also need to choose what type of content you want to put out, such as videos, blogs, articles, infographics or combination of all of these.

5. What is Your Content Marketing Workflow?

For any project to work successfully, there needs to be a proper workflow in place. Content marketing is no exception. If you decide to outsource your content marketing or develop a team in house, you need to establish a system so that all members of the team know what they need to do, as well as when and how long they have to do this. Questions you’ll need to answer are:

  • Will the content creator need to research the piece themselves or will they be provided the research?

  • How long will the content creator have to put these pieces together?

  • What happens if you don’t like a piece of content that is created? How long will you give them to redo it?

If you prefer working with freelancers, consider hiring an editorial project manager who will coordinate workflows, quality-check the writers’ work and put together editorial calendars so that you don’t have to.

6. How do You Measure Content Marketing Success?

With everything that you do in your business, you need to measure it so that you know  it’s working. There are several metrics that you should monitor to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. For example:

  • If you decide to outsource your content marketing, either with a freelancer or an agency, put in place certain key performance areas and key performance indicators which the outsourcer will need to meet.

  • In terms of measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing, a must is for you to have Google Analytics on your website, so that you can see which content pieces attracted the most visitors to your site.

The Beauty of Content Marketing

Content marketing is the most effective form of digital marketing to date, as it is quite cost-effective to produce and the returns are quite high. However, make sure that you don’t neglect your other forms of marketing in favour of content. The most effective marketing plan is an integrated one which combines aspects such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimisation and public relations with content marketing.

If you find that you are struggling with producing a steady stream of content, there are always other options available so that your company can still create high-quality content pieces. If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, don’t be afraid of trying out a number of options before you find the one that works for you.

How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be

Scientists can’t seem to agree on whether or not attention spans are getting shorter. Thanks to the veritable firehose of content we face each day, our attention spans have definitely changed though. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark say attention spans have narrowed, while new research from Prezi says people are simply becoming more selective about what they devote their attention to.

In this age of instant gratification, instant media, and instant noodles, we are truly spoiled for choice and simply don’t pay attention to things that don’t interest us.

How does this relate to blogging? 

Well.

If our attention spans really are getting shorter, then surely it’s couter-intuitive to have lengthy blog posts or papers, which require the reader to sit still for more than eight seconds.

Despite what you may have heard about the ideal blog length being 600 words, the real ideal length is much longer. How long, you ask? 

It’s complicated. 

Though most of the experts disagree on an exact number, they agree that the ideal length is long. 

MAYBE 1,000 WORDS?

Moz and BuzzSumo coordinated to analyze more than a million articles to better understand how content, links and shares are intertwined. Their research showed that:

  • Content with 1,000 words are more received more shares and links than short pieces, especially when it concerned fact-finding and research.
  • More than 85% of the content online doesn’t reach the 1,000-word threshold
  • The boost in links and search rankings diminished once content got over 2,000 words

Unfortunately, research from SerpIQ seemed to think even longer is better.

WHAT ABOUT 2,416 WORDS?

Keyword research tool SerpIQ conducted a study which  used over 20,000 keywords to find the average content length of top 10 results. According to that study, the top 10 spots on Google were over 2,000 words and the average word count for the number one spot across all keywords was 2,416.

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So apparently Google likes really long content? 

But wait.

There’s more.

MAYBE 1,890 WORDS

More research on factors that affect search engine rankings was conducted by Backlinko, using a million search results from Google. Backlinko’s research showed that content on the first page of Google averaged 1,890 words.

The plot thickens. 

HUBSPOT SAYS 2,250

Hubspot analyzed their 6,192 blog posts, running a number of tests that compared multiple data points to find correlation trends. From that data, they found posts with word counts of over 2,250 words were the highest performing within organic search.

According to their data, traffic drops off sharply once content passes the 2,500-word threshold – but content over 2,500 words also has more backlinks and is shared more often on social platforms.

So How Long Should Your Blog Post Be?

Now you’ve seen the data, how long is long enough for a blog post? That really depends on your goals. As shown in HubSpot’s data, 2,250 words gets the most organic traffic but 2,500 gets more social shares. Once you’ve defined your goals, you can look at just how long your content should be.

No matter how long the content is, though, it should always be high-quality and interesting. No one is going to want to read 2,000 words of badly written or boring nonsense. 

When it comes to SEO, Google’s algorithm is always changing, so it’s important to be aware of current trends when considering ideal blog length. Things like the mobile-first index will affect your SERP ranking, even if the word-count is perfect. What is the perfect word-count for SEO though? 

Something that takes about 7 minutes to read or engage with. 

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Helpful, I know.

Buffer, Snap, Marketing Land and a few others have tried to narrow this down to an actual word count, putting it at about 1,600 to 1,700 words – but that’s not quite correct.

On an easy topic, reading 1,700 words in 7 minutes should be easy for most people. 

On a really complex subject though, 1,700 words might take half an hour to read. 

Of course, the ideal length to rock the SEO also means taking a look at other posts for the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Longer posts tell the search engines that you’re giving readers more value, and so they’re more likely to rank you higher.

According to Brian Dean from Backlinko:

Longer blog posts rank better because they’re filled with details. These details are what is giving readers value. Reader value is driving ranking.

This all brings us back to the fact that a higher word-count won’t make up for a badly written or boring piece. You need to deliver value as well as higher word-counts. 

The Long And Short Of It

Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule for how long a blog post should be – which is probably good, because it’s not really about the word count. Quality over quantity is what’s important.

For the best results in SERP rankings, brand awareness, and sales, you should be producing exceptional content that stands head and shoulders above your competitors’.

If you need some help with that, we can definitely help.

How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be

Scientists can’t seem to agree on whether or not attention spans are getting shorter. Thanks to the veritable firehose of content we face each day, our attention spans have definitely changed though. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark say attention spans have narrowed, while new research from Prezi says people are simply becoming more selective about what they devote their attention to.

In this age of instant gratification, instant media, and instant noodles, we are truly spoiled for choice and simply don’t pay attention to things that don’t interest us.

How does this relate to blogging? 

Well.

If our attention spans really are getting shorter, then surely it’s couter-intuitive to have lengthy blog posts or papers, which require the reader to sit still for more than eight seconds.

Despite what you may have heard about the ideal blog length being 600 words, the real ideal length is much longer. How long, you ask? 

It’s complicated. 

Though most of the experts disagree on an exact number, they agree that the ideal length is long. 

A Guide For Marketers Who Want to Know What Their Customers Want

It is the job of the marketer to know what their customers want so that they can produce messaging that responds accordingly.  As marketing is not an exact science, sometimes marketing professionals don’t get it right the first time, and have to try a variety of campaign ideas before they hit on one which resonates well with their audience. Often, the marketing department spends quite a lot of money on these unsuccessful campaigns, which results in them being very unpopular with the finance department – as the return on investment is almost negligible.

The good news is that with the wide-spread recognition of digital marketing, marketers don’t have to spend thousands on billboards on the side of the highway without knowing if these are reaching the right market or not. Thanks to programs such as Google Analytics, marketers are now able to see how much traffic is coming to the company’s website and where this traffic is coming from which helps them optimise their campaigns and know which platforms bring in the most traffic.

However, without one fundamental skill no amount of fancy equipment or software will help marketers know what their customers truly want. This is the art of listening to their clients and understanding what they want.

What is listening?

The Merriam Webster Dictionary gives a number of definitions of the word ‘listening’:

  • To pay attention to sound,
  • To hear something with thoughtful attention or to give consideration, and
  • To be alert to catch a familiar sound.

Listening is a superficial activity. It’s all about merely acknowledging the sounds that are picked up by a person’s ear and our brain does nothing with it further. A case in point is that 50% of adults couldn’t detail what a 10-minute oral presentation was all about just moments after they heard it. These subjects were questions 48 hours after hearing the talk and 75% of the listeners couldn’t even recall the topic of the entire discussion.

As we mentioned in the first paragraph, as marketers we need to develop messaging surrounding our brands, products and/or services that respond to audiences that our offerings are aimed at.  This task is made ever-the-more-difficult if we are not taking the information that we are getting from our customers and translating this into actionable insights that will improve our marketing efforts.

Active Listening in The Context of Marketing

Life coaches and psychologists use a technique called active listening. According to Skills You Need:

Active listening means, as its name suggests, actively listening. That is fully concentrating on what is being said rather than just passively ‘hearing’ the message of the speaker. Active listening involves listening with all senses.  As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is crucial that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening – otherwise the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.

Active listening is about hearing and understanding what a person says so that the listener can act on the information that he or she has heard. This skill is vital for marketers to have because they need to take the information that they hear from their customers and translate this well into the campaigns that they put together.

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However, active listening in marketing may not be the same as in a face-to-face conversation. The traditional definition of active listening does hold in circumstances such as focus groups and other instances of verbal customer feedback. Sometimes a marketer will need to monitor their customers’ behaviour so that they can draw insights from it.

For example, say that a company is getting a lot of visitors on their website but not many of these customers are purchasing from the organisation. The marketer needs to actively listen to this behaviour and see what it is telling them. Insights that could be drawn from this behaviour is that perhaps the copy on the product pages needs to be redone and made more descriptive or the check-out button needs to be made more visible on the website’s home page. The marketer can then take these learnings and implement them to see which one will help to increase sales.

Developing a Thinking Environment

Nancy Kline, in her book called A Time to Think, developed an active listening best practice. She says that for active listening to take place properly, a ‘thinking environment’ needs to be developed. In this kind of environment, there is a listener and a speaker. It is the listener’s job to give their undivided attention to the speaker and they are not allowed to interrupt the speaker’s train of thought. Only if the speaker remains quiet for a protracted period, the listener is allowed to say “Tell me more”. The reason why the listener is not allowed to say anything is that this interjection will disrupt the speaker’s train of thought and they will forget what they are trying to work out.

Emily Havers conducted a study which tested how effective participants felt this methodology was. She found that:

“It was apparent that the Thinking Environment behaviours were considered significantly different from the behaviours that manifest in ‘standard’ business meetings. 95% of interviewees contrasted at least one characteristic of a Thinking Environment meeting with a regular business meeting. The most common attributes of regular business meetings highlighted.”

The skill of active listening is invaluable for marketers as this helps them dig deeper into what the customers are telling them. Armed with this information, marketers can make very definite moves about how to put this information into practice and benefit the business.

How to Generate Leads that Translate into Sales for Your Business

When it comes to modern business, you can do all the marketing that you want, however unless this translates into leads which your sales team can convert into sales all of your marketing spend will have gone to waste. The process of lead generation differs from business to business and from industry to industry, and marketers must often take advantage of any new technology that is developed to find new ways of generating leads. 

In this article, we’ll explore the best practices to follow when looking for qualified leads for your business.

What Is A Lead?

Before we get into how to generate leads for your business, let’s first look at what a ‘lead’ is. According to LeadSquared, a ‘lead’ is “…an individual or organization with an interest in what you are selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like an email ID, a phone number, or even a social media handle.

For example, if a person sends you an email asking for more information about the products and services you sell, then this person is a lead as they have the potential to result in sales for your business.

Define Your Target Market

The first, and most important thing that is required when you begin generating leads, is for you to have a clear picture of who your target market is.  This is because if you know who it is that your product and/or service appeals to, then you know which platform you need to use to reach them. 

Take social media as an example. If you know that your target market consists of people between the ages of 18 and 24, and you want to show your product off, you know that Instagram is your best bet as 75% of this age group uses it.

Choose The Most Effective Form Of Marketing

Now that you’ve defined your target market, you need to choose which marketing channel would be most appropriate for your company. Digital marketing offers so many avenues for you to choose from and, as such, you can reach people who you would not typically have with traditional marketing.

We’ve already mentioned social media marketing as an avenue that is available for you to use in your marketing. Other tools that you can use are:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO),
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and
  • Content Marketing.

The type of marketing that you use to advertise your brand will depend largely on the nature of your business. To take an example from social media again, if your brand is a business-to-business (B2B) brand, you should be using the marketing solutions that LinkedIn offers, as people frequent this channel to connect with other like-minded business people and to form mutually beneficial connections. 

However, if you’re more of a business-to-consumer (B2C) brand and want to generate awareness you’ll probably benefit from using Facebook to get your message out there.

Use Lead Magnets

As the name suggests, a ‘lead magnet’ is a tool that many marketers use to attract leads to their business. Optimonster offers a more comprehensive definition:

A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.

The more applicable a lead magnet is, the more people will give over their contact details to get this incentive. Hubspot uses eBooks very effectively to generate leads for their business. 

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However, what can happen with useful eBooks is that people sometimes download them without any intention of buying the company’s product. So, if you do decide to use a lead magnet – and we strongly suggest that you do, because they are incredibly effective – make sure that there is a strong tie-in with your product and that the lead magnet gives people a reason to want to buy your product. Also, don’t give away too much information that your product is responsible for generating, as this takes away people’s incentives to buy.

Use Multiple Lead Magnets

In your marketing campaign, don’t wait to see if one lead magnet works before trying another one. Try out many so that you can get a comprehensive picture of what works so that you can implement similar solutions. For example, if you’re using an eBook on your site, also try posting a how-to video that people have to give you their contact details to download, to see which one attracts more leads to your business.

The world of commerce is particularly competitive, with many more players entering the scene daily. This means that you need to be continually nurturing your existing customer base and acquiring new leads so that they don’t migrate to your competitors. Keep a fresh stream of content on your site and other social media channels so that your customers and potential clients don’t get bored and are kept engaged with you and your brand.

Keep An Eye On Your Website Stats

Set up Google Analytics to run on the back end of your site so that you can monitor which lead magnets are most appealing to your website visitors so that you can generate more content such as this and quickly remove content that is not performing.

Although lead generation is not an exact science, there are strategies that you can follow to make sure that you get a return on investment (ROI) for your marketing spend. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques to see what works because you can quickly change if they don’t. That’s the beauty of digital!

Blotting out the Confusion in Blogging & Content Marketing

B2B blogging and content marketing are buzzwords tossed around on a regular basis. A leading technique used for professional purposes and company growth, through successful implementation they have become a recognized norm in the marketing world.

When used in a business sense, the intricate details of blogging can be somewhat daunting, especially when just starting out – writers could find that, when applying their budding blogging skills to business and sales targets… things don’t always go according to plan.  Why?!

The simple answer? As fundamental as blogging may be, by relying solely on one technique, you may find yourself only getting halfway. So what can you do?

You can hit it home with the wider scope and bigger possibilities of content marketing, of course!


Now, this is where some might pause and think, “What is content marketing, and how is it different to blogging?”

Great question! We have the perfect  answer. Blogging is content marketing – the backbone of it at least. And just like any living, thriving concept, there are a couple of things that make it tick.

So let’s break it down…

Content marketing comes in many different forms, including video content, animation, infographics, white pages, social media – and blogging of course!

It’s easy to get confused by how the different aspects work and what their exact roles in marketing are so, to simplify:

The main difference and strength found when taking a marketing approach over and above blogging, is that you can essentially gain access to a more fully evolved form of content.

In doing so you can utilize the power to not only enrich your business concepts and information, but shoot past any set goals and create content that really stands out and screams success.

Exchanging your Blogging Hassles for Booming Revenue Through Successful Content Marketing

In many things, the how of what you do is the defining point in any scenario. This cannot be more true when it comes to marketing.To ensure you get the very best results for your efforts, content marketing is the perfect tool to enhance what your blog already has, and really make it stand out.
Here are a few tips best kept in mind when making your content work for you:

Plan Ahead! 

In content marketing, planning is everything. So before you even think of releasing your content, you need to start with a solid, detailed and productive gameplan. Ask the right questions and record the answers; make your own marketing roadmap. For example:

  • Why should you start using content marketing over and above your blogging?

  • How will it benefit your business?

  • What will the best platform or content form be for your goals?

  • What will your marketing budget be?

  • What are the required timelines?

  • Who is your most beneficial target audience?

Versatility Shows  

Using content marketing can be like a business makeover. People who have known you could see you in a whole new light, and when done right, people who never even noticed you could suddenly remember your name. It all comes down to how you approach your content and more so how you present it to the world.

As mentioned before, there are a couple of ways to do this, including:

  • Jazzing up your approach with interactive infographics that can visually back up any points you are expressing. People love statistics!

  • Creating increased impact through video content that can aid or enhance your written content on the subject.

  • Turning to a professional to assist with the overall presentation of your content, to add a level of attractiveness not always found with amateur presentations.

  • Concentrating your topics on what the CLIENT wants to experience.

Take Your Show on Every Road

Once you’ve taken the content marketing leap of faith, planned your journey and decided on your delivery, the only thing left to achieve is getting it out to the masses!

Most companies have their own websites and, naturally, this is the very first place they go with their snazzy content. However, in most cases, it is the only platform they use.

This is a major industry error, simply because the best way to make your marketing approach a success is by making sure you look at it and it from every angle possible. Again, there are a number of ways you can go about this:

  • Post your content on your web page, but do not stop there!

  • Utilize well- known social media sites and other websites

  • Consider paid advertising or attractive outbound marketing techniques (notifications, newsletters, marketing brochures and so on)

  • Consider using professional marketing emails with a link to the content on your website.

  • Most importantly, upload new content often and in different places.

Getting the Best of Both – By Looking at the Bigger Picture

Blogging is not only a fundamental tool when used in the correct element, it is a functioning application in the bigger spectrum of marketing and what it can mean for your content. The true strength in this matter is not in trying to use one approach more than another, but in using each approach to compliment the other.

Versatility should always be your end goal in this ever changing world, and through the use of not only blogging but social media, infographics and video content you could effectively bring your content to life.

So, the next time you get busy planning your new approach, don’t get your B’s and C’s in a knot, remember the better the blog, the better the variety, the better your chances of reaping in the rewards!

How to Communicate Your Value Proposition

In business, people tend to use a lot of jargon. Many of these terms are quite ethereal and don’t accurately describe what is being referred to. Take, for instance, the word ‘strategy’. The way that businesses use  this term conjures up, in the minds of a marketer or small business owner, a lengthy document. This document has specific sections they need to fill. This is despite the fact that these may not be relevant to your business. At its core, a strategy is a roadmap of where you want to go in your business. It can be as short as a page or a mind map or it can run into a myriad of pages. The type of business you run dictates what format this document will take.

The term ‘value proposition’ is another one of these types of terms. In this article, we look at what ‘value proposition’ means and how you can communicate this to your customers.

woman in red long sleeve shirt holding white paper

What is a ‘Value Proposition’?

A ‘value proposition’ is the value that a company offers their customers. Put another way, a value proposition looks at what someone will get out of their interaction with the company.

As an example, Wordstream has listed a number of value propositions that have been developed by well-known companies:

  • Uber: “The Smartest Way to Get Around”

  • Apple iPhone: “The Experience IS The Product”

  • Slack: “Be More Productive at Work with Less Effort”

In a couple of words, these value propositions communicate to customers exactly what they will be getting from the company:

  • With Uber, you know that you will travel in the most convenient way possible.

  • You know that Apple will give you a superior experience with their iPhone.

  • You know that Slack facilitates you being more productive without the hassle of admin.

How do you Communicate a Value Proposition?

A company’s value proposition forms part of their brand. A ‘brand’, according to Jerry McLaughlin in his article entitled What is a Brand, Anyway?, is:

“… what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.”

For example, when people see the Coca-Cola brand name, they think about certain things. For example:

  • The way it tastes, and

  • Their experience with the product.

Yes, the logo and tagline do form essential parts of a brand. This is because these are the outward symbols that customers recognise. However, a brand goes far beyond this.

Digital Marketing and Branding

Technology is changing so quickly that it’s quite difficult to keep up. Digital advancements have been made to facilitate our lives however, we still want to keep that personal touch. This is why the feared ‘robots’ will never take over.

These technological advancements have made it much easier for us to market our products and/or services. We have also been able to popularise our company’s brands and make our target markets aware of our value propositions.

Social media marketing is one of the best ways in which to showcase your brand and value proposition. Using this method of communication you can show your target market and existing customers:

  • Who you are,

  • What you stand for,

  • What you offer, and

  • What value your offerings will give customers.

 Dove’s Self-Esteem Campaign is a great example of how they communicated their brand using the following social media platforms:

  • Facebook,

  • Twitter,

  • Instagram, and

  • YouTube.

The organisation commissioned a third-party to research self-esteem. Dove used this research in its television and print advertising as well as its social campaigns. Hashtags – such as #RealBeauty, #NoLikesNeeded, and #SpeakBeautiful – were used on social media to encourage users to boast about their inner beauty. When Dove discovered that 70 per cent of women don’t feel that they are correctly depicted in advertising, the company took the decision to not retouch all photos used in its marketing. Dove has been putting together powerful, engaging campaigns around self-esteem for a long time. This is a proof of the brand’s ability to make waves for positive change and make it part of their brand identity.

Another very powerful way that brands can communicate their value proposition is through content marketing.

The Content Marketing Institute defines ‘content marketing’ as “… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

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Why content marketing is so valuable to brands is that it does not suffer from space limitations when it comes to communicating a company’s value proposition. By using a blog or a video, marketers are able to draw clients, make them invested in the brand. They are simultaneously made life-long brand advocates.

A great example is Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” campaign. The company gave Coca-Cola drinkers the opportunity to personalise a can of Coca-Cola with their name on it. A total of 150 of the most common names in Australia were added to the side of the bottles. People loved it and it generated a lot of buzz around the Coca-Cola brand.

Today’s market is absolutely drowning with brands. In order to ensure that you stand out from the crowd, you need to check that your brand and value proposition are unique. If they are not, you will be looked at as just being part of the crowd. This means that you must not rush putting together your value proposition. Take the time and think what you are bringing to the market so that you can ensure that you are proud of it.