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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.

person holding pencil near laptop computer

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.

Why Business Blog Content is Important

Attention spans are shortening.

People are getting lazier.

Social media seems to be the only thing people have time for these days.

The popularity of visual content is growing by the second.

And it seems like your feed is filled with memes rather than a good read.

So, is blogging still as relevant as it used to be?

Should you, quite honestly, give a crap about keeping your blog going?

Here, have a truth bomb: YES. YOUR BLOG IS STILL THE KING OF CONTENT.

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Your Audience Needs to Be Able to Find You Wherever, Whenever

The digital ecosystem is constantly expanding. As a result, consumers’ expectations are growing daily too. Your audience wants to be able to interact with you on whatever channel they choose, at whatever time suits them. So, while they might encounter you on social media first, they’re probably going to head on over to your website at some point too.

Your blog is where they’ll go digging for more information. It’s where they’ll decide whether you know what you’re talking about or not. If your last post was added yonks ago, they’ll assume you no longer care enough to a) deliver value and b) maintain your image. Think of your blog as the pageant queen of your website. If you don’t keep adding hairspray, she’s going to start looking pretty disshevelled.

We live in an era where consumers tend to do a little extra research when they need to make a large or long term purchase. Your audience probably doesn’t make these decisions lightly, so you’d better have something good for them to read through when they need it.

Partner with influencers and guest bloggers if you have the chance. It helps to give your content more clout and makes your brand seem more relevant. After all, if other people are willing to invest time in your blog, you must be doing something right.

Your Social Media is a Hungry Beast and it Needs Food

At this point, you need to realise that your blog and social media efforts are way more than mere roommates. They don’t simply co-exist. Your social media feed is hungry for good content, and there’s no better place to source something your audience can sink their teeth into than your own blog.

Spend some time coming up with seriously juicy blog posts – including images and video whenever possible. Then take what you’ve created and split it into easily digestible, bite-sized pieces that you can roll out on social media. Fresh content keeps your audience interested. And if they want to spend some time scrolling through something longer, they’ll know your blog is the place to go.

Blogs Are the Key to Value Transactions

When typing up your new blog posts, you need to realise that there’s a value exchange happening between you and your audience. Readers are exchanging their time (and their “share buttons”) for quality content. Whether your blog is informative, educational, emotional, uplifting, or inspirational, you need to give people a reason to keep reading.

Your Blog Supports Your SEO Strategy

You’ve heard this before. In fact, you’ve probably heard it a hundred times. Your blog exists not only to provide value to your website’s visitors but also to feed the SEO machine. Solid blogging with sound keywords can help your business rank incredibly well from an SEO standpoint.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should start keyword stuffing indiscriminately. That would make your content unreadable. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If your content pleases your readers, it’ll please the Google gods too.

You Can Involve Your Audience in the Story-Telling Process

People love a good story. We’re all emotional beings, after all. Well, most of us, anyway. And nothing makes a story better than being IN IT.

Use your social media to encourage interaction from your audience. Whether you’re conducting a survey, running a “best photo comp” or whether you’re asking people to share their experiences, chances are at least a few people will bite. Use their stories on your blog. Feature them. Tag them. Make them feel important. They’ll share your content for sure.

By the next time you ask for social interaction, you’ll probably notice more people on board. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This Time, Peer Pressure Counts

Everyone’s doing it. The blogging bandwagon is a big one. Your competitors are probably out there blogging up a storm. Can you really afford not to do the same?

The key here is to be better in some way. Stand out. Take a refreshing stance.

Are your competitors only blogging about their products/services? Show your audience that you care more about providing valuable information.

Are your competitors blogging up a serious snooze fest? Dig deep and provide something a edgier.

Blog away folks. Blog away good.

Why You Should Hire Native English Writers

For any business, deciding on the best writers to tackle your content needs can be daunting. There are so many factors to consider, and even more questions that arise from these factors. The biggest dilemma stems from choosing between native English writers and second-language English writers.

While it may seem an obvious choice to some, second-language English writers present a tempting offer, as they are usually less expensive. However, there is a strong argument for avoiding this temptation and choosing a native English writer instead. After all, you get what you pay for, and sometimes cheaper ends up costing you more than money.

brown fountain pen on notebook

Why Choose Native English Writers Over Second-Language English Writers

Native English writers offer many benefits that second-language English writers simply lack. These benefits outweigh the difference in price. From better grammar to a true love for the language, these benefits include:

Better Grammar and Spelling

While it is true that both native English writers and second-language writers learn the same school curriculum, native English writers have been exposed to the basics of grammar and spelling from a young age. Children learn from their surroundings. When you are immersed in a language from a young age, you are far more likely to pick up grammar and language use faster, and more effectively. Simply put, native speakers understand the language itself far better.

When reading a document written by a non-native English writer, there is a higher chance of grammatical and sentence structure errors. This makes the piece less reader-friendly and far more awkward. Second-language English writers tend to make more mistakes and are often less likely to pick up on these mistakes as they go.

Better at Research

Added to the fact that native English writers have a better mastery of the English language, they are also able to conduct proper research. They are able to find and interpret research effectively. So there is a greater chance of the research being relevant and reliable.

Furthermore, fewer instances of plagiarism occur with native English writers. They do not have to rely on the words of others in order to bring a point across to a reader.  They are capable of understanding a piece and interpreting it in their own words. Simply put: they don’t rely on translations in order to fully understand.

Often, second-language English writers rely too heavily on source material. This makes the chance of plagiarism much higher. If a writer does not understand the research they are doing, they won’t be able to interpret and relay the information correctly. This leads to clumsy writing and unreliable information.

More Able to Communicate Effectively

One thing that is immediately noticeable about native English writers is their ability to communicate. Whether corresponding with a client or getting a point across in an article, English writers do it best. This stems from the fact that they have settled into their language. They aren’t intimidated by big words, complex sentences, or multiple requests at once. They are able to use their language in a way that is easy to understand and effective in conveying meaning.

Second-language English writers often find it difficult to convey a point that they themselves struggle to understand. Try as they might, some things are lost in translation. They require more time spent on conveying instruction and explaining what is required of them. This can be time-consuming, which ultimately costs more in the end.

Fewer Revisions and More Initiative

Another benefit of using native English writers is the fact that they develop content with little to no revisions. They are able to receive instruction from a client and present a final piece, even when the client is a non-English speaker. They are able to use the information given and extrapolate from it, ensuring that there is very little need for clarification.

Second-language English writers, on the other hand, tend to require very strict guidelines. They are not likely to be able to take a topic and run with it. You end up having to do half the work for them, as their creativity and extrapolation skills are not of the same standard as native English writers.

A Better Understanding of the Culture

The English language is more than just grammar and sentence structure. There is an entire culture that comes along with it and it can change from region to region. Native English writers understand regional language use, and how it can impact the meaning of the piece. For example, in Britain, the word ‘tea’ has multiple meanings, from a hot beverage to an evening meal. This kind of regional understanding can be lost on non-English writers, and it can be difficult to learn along the way.

Second-language English writers come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. They often lack the proper understanding of the English culture, and specifically where it changes regionally. This leaves large gaps in interpreting information and being able to understand audience appeal.

Able to Use Nuances

Along with regional English come the nuances of the language. Native English writers are far better equipped to understand the little things that make the language, and its users, tick. These small nuances are seldom able to be learned, as they are so entrenched within the culture. This is particularly relevant when appealing to an audience. Native English writers use inside jokes, puns, and wordplay to keep the reader engaged and entertained.

Second-language English writers lack this cultural understanding. This makes them less likely to engage playfully with the reader. In terms of content, it is much better for a reader to be entertained whilst being informed, as they will be more likely to return for more or to recommend content that they have enjoyed.

More Passionate About Writing

Not all English speakers are good writers. As with any language, it takes someone who is passionate to turn words into art. And writing truly is an art. Native English writers have a great love for the language, and writing is their way of expressing this love. It goes beyond a mere job. They find inspiration and creativity in every task. Because native English writers have such a command over the language, they are better able to use their imagination to create unique and inspiring content. They are not limited in terms of creativity, as they are not as concerned that their writing will not be up to standard. Passion is difficult to imitate, and most native English writers write for more than the fact that they are good at it.

For second-language English writers, on the other hand, content writing is often just a job. They churn out piece after piece, working to a tried and tested formula, and with little regard for uniqueness and finesse. Second-language English writers often end up writing English content because the job requires it, not because they are particularly fond of the language itself.

It is better to hire someone who wants to showcase their passion and talent as they are more likely to do a good job. It is clear to readers when a writer has put time and effort into a piece. The more the reader feels as though the content is special, the greater the chance of them returning for more.

These are just a few of the reasons as to why native English writers outperform second-language English writers, and why they are the better choice.

Native English Writers are the Best Choice

Giving a task to a native English writer ensures that you will receive content that is of the highest standard, with little to no mistakes. You won’t need to send the piece back for multiple revisions, and you won’t need to sit and correct it yourself.

While native English writers may seem more expensive, you always get what you pay for. Choose a native writer and you won’t have to waste money on revisions. You also won’t have to send it to another writer to make up for discrepancies.

Native English writers understand the finer aspects of effective communication. They are able to keep readers engaged and excited about the content they are reading. They are able to use their cultural understanding to give a sense of familiarity to their writing, with little effort and to great effect. Content creation is an investment, and finding the perfect writer should be a priority for any business.

Native English writers exceed the job requirements, as they love writing, and want you to hire them for other projects.

The choice is no longer up for debate. Native English writers are the way to go.

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!

Why Your Business Needs Whitepapers

Think white papers have faded into the grey? Think Again!

Called the “cornerstone report” in business industries, often highlighting benchmark moments in our industrial and financial evolution over the years, white papers have been around for the better part of the twentieth century and despite a few misconceptions they are in fact still in demand.

Why? Simple! There is just no better way to present well researched, in-depth information.

Intriguingly enough, there are many forms in which a white paper can be presented, ranging from a business report released in the Sunday newspaper right through to the ever-familiar online version.

There is no doubt that everyone has read a white paper in some form or another at least once, whether they realized it or not.

They can sneak up on you, you know. This is the very reason why white papers are still so valuable and effective.

They continue to serve several important sales and marketing functions within our business sectors, including generating new leads, increasing company profiles as an informed professional, and setting brands apart from competitors by enhancing what is provided in quality and knowledge alike.

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In recent years, statistics were released showing that up to 51% of companies still rely on content through white papers to research their buying decisions. 96% of consumers want content with input from industry thought leaders, instead of the run of the mill information or jargon one sometimes finds.

So, before you join the crowd in chanting that white papers are on the outs, consider a few points that go quite a way in explaining why and how white papers are still being used today.

Gating

Well-researched and authoritative in a specific topic, these nifty reports make great incentives for users to convert to potential customers or clients on a specific website.

By requiring that interested customers provide their contact information in exchange for free and highly valuable content, you can build what is referred to as a “gate” around any content you are providing. Entry to this information is usually just requires a few seconds of the customer’s time.

Studies have shown that 76% of buyers are willing to register for and share personal information in exchange for white papers and the information they supply – 13% more than those who would do so in exchange for an ebook.

Simple right? This step could turn into a huge business opportunity for those companies who are quick with the follow-up and implementation.

One of the key attributes of white papers is that they are an effective means of generating leads within any business initiative. They are a tried and tested method of collecting information from customers and buyers.

White Papers Establish You as a Thought Leader

Marketing Insider Group defines thought leadership as “a type of content marketing where you tap into
the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a particular topic.

It is through this that white papers show their true strength and value. Each topic is so thoroughly researched and professionally presented that one cannot help but feel deeply informed and motivated after reading one, because let’s face it knowledge is power after all.

White Papers Give You a Competitive Edge

If you want to put your company on the map, you need to find a way to set it apart from the competition. White papers allow you to achieve this.

While it is safe to assume that your competitors create content mainly for social media and engage in some sort of blogging and other means, studies show that it’s significantly less likely that they are creating white papers. This creates a perfect gap for you to step into. People love different.

Statistics from a survey AlterraGroup conducted show that white papers and ebooks ranked only fifth in B2B marketer’s most used content marketing vehicles. While most create social media content (83%) and blogs (80%), white papers and ebooks (65%) are only created by around two-thirds of B2B marketers.

As more businesses and curious consumers seek content and find value in it, the demand for white papers lives and thrives.

Creating a set standard of professionalism and knowledge has and always will be a winning formula. So the next time you find yourself in a debate about what type of content you should create next, perhaps you’ll spare a thought for the humble, but formidable white paper.

Infographics Aren't Dead

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and nowhere is that more true than in the world of marketing.

Many businesses create websites, hoping to attract more clients, but that is usually easier said than done. The internet is often referred to as the great equalizer, because no matter how good your product and service, on the web, you are competing with every other content creator for your audience’s attention. Over 211 million pieces of content being created every day and standing out from the digital noise is becoming ever more difficult.

Of these 211 million pieces of content are created daily, more than two million of those are blogs posts, and according to some sources, the average time spent reading one of these articles is a mere 37 seconds. How much of a wordy blog post can people really absorb in 37 seconds?  

This is where visual content comes in. Human beings are visual creatures, and our brains processes images 60 000 times faster than text – therefore any content on your website containing visuals is going to be easier for a skimming user to digest. One reason for this is that visual content succeeds in three core areas of value: appeal, comprehension and retention.

Appeal

Visually presented information is more appealing to the eye than a wall of text, and can pique a user’s interest before any information is even processed and because of this blog posts and articles featuring some sort of visual content get 94% more traffic than those without. Posts with visuals also receive 37% more engagement on social media – an important metric for anyone engaged in content marketing.  

Infographics specifically can increase web traffic by up to 12%, and are shared three times more than any other type of content, because according to studies, 94% of people who share posts do so because they think it might be helpful to others.

Comprehension

Since the human brain is hardwired to automatically interpret relationships between objects, allowing for almost instant comprehension with minimal effort, visuals are able to be processed much faster than the language associated with them.

According to studies, people follow visual instructions 323% better than written instructions.

Retention

Studies have shown that people can recall only recall about 10% of written content three days after it is read, which is abysmally low if you’re trying to make an impression. When it comes to visual content though, people are able to recall about 65% of the information three days later.

Why Infographics Trump Other Forms of Visual Content

Infographics are the media that has seen the largest increase in usage among B2B marketers, recently sitting at over 65% and according to a study by Venngage, they are still the top performing type of visual content marketing. Another study by the Content Marketing Institute also shows that the effectiveness rating for infographics also rose more year-on-year than any other marketing tactic.

Though some people might be saying that infographics are dead, they couldn’t be more mistaken. Quite to the contrary, evidence would suggest that they are just as powerful a tool now as they were in the past – for a few reasons:

They are repurposable across multiple platforms

A well-designed infographic can grab a viewer’s attention on any platform – be it on your own blog or someone else’s, on social media sites such as Pinterest or Facebook, or even in print.

They are shareable

As stated earlier, people are more likely to share information when they think it will be helpful to someone else, and at their core, infographics are inherently helpful, because they break down possibly complex information into an easily digestible, visually-appealing format. This makes them ideal for sharing

They can stand on their own without the help of a blog post

Though many infographics are accompanied by blog posts, they do not necessarily need any backup. By their very nature, they are self-explanatory and therefore, are accessible to more than just the people who visit your website.

They can be easily sliced and diced into multiple, smaller social media posts

Anyone who denies the importance of social media for marketers in this day and age should probably be sectioned, so the fact that one infographic could create multiple social media opportunities cannot be seen as anything other than great. More social media posts means more opportunities for new traffic, and more opportunities for your audience to share.

Suffice it to say, infographics are not dead. They are a wellspring of opportunity for the savvy marketer, and should be at the forefront of any inbound marketing strategy.  

You Need a Content Strategy that Works

Here’s a throwback for you:

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Let your mind wander back in time to a world where a blog was nothing more than an electronic journal for the chronically narcissistic, consistently bored teenager or desperate housewife.

Aren’t you glad you don’t exist in that particular space any more?

Flash forward a decade or so, and you’ll see that what started out as nothing more than a mere collection of diary entries has become an integral part of every business’ online marketing strategy. Ain’t technology grand?

At least 90% of B2B buyers have stated that online content has an effect on their purchasing behaviour. The fact of the matter is this: if you’re not on the content marketing bandwagon, you’re rapidly falling behind.

A few years ago, content marketing involved nothing more than churning out bulk collections of mediocre text. It didn’t really matter what you were saying, as long as you were actively posting something, your business was in the clear. With the growth of the Internet, however, that particular landscape has changed. Now, more than ever, the competition is intense. In order to take your business to the next level, you have to create content that is educational, insightful, and engaging.

In short, you need a goal. And in order to achieve that goal, you need a content strategy that works.

Set Your Goals and Start Planning

You can’t possibly begin a content marketing campaign without defining what your goals are. How will you know that you’ve been successful if you don’t have an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve?

Quite obviously, each goal will require a different approach. Your desired outcome will greatly influence the way you tackle each stage of the planning process.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to build brand awareness?

  • Are you looking to instill trust?

  • Do you want to increase traffic to a particular website or landing page?

  • Are you aiming to attract new prospects?

  • Is your major goal to convert leads into sales?

  • Do you want to increase customer retention?

Once you’ve figured out precisely what your goals are, you’ll need to establish your KPIs. You need something solid to aim for in order to keep your efforts on the right track:

  • Increase website traffic to 100k visitors by a specific date.

  • Generate a certain number of new leads per month.

  • Convert a specific percentage of leads into sales by a particular date.

By creating KPIs, you’ll keep yourself (and your team) accountable. The idea here is to work backwards to develop strategies that help you achieve your goals.

Develop A Detailed Strategy

When developing your content strategy, you need to focus on a few key factors. Take the time to lay down some groundwork before diving straight in. This will prevent you from doubling back and trying to figure out what went wrong when you’re too far down the rabbit hole.

First and foremost, you need to figure out who you’re targeting. Invest some time in creating customer personas. You need to be able to successfully connect with your readers in order to generate the kind of results you want.

Keywords are another all-important aspect of any content marketing strategy. You need to choose keywords that are highly searched for in your specific industry. Take the time to figure out which topics are in high demand, and build your content around that. Give your potential audience the information they so desperately seek. Try to find a way to spin these keywords into something original and exciting; often a simple change in tone is all you really need.

You’ll also need to pay attention to where your prospects are in the buying cycle. If, for example, you’re communicating with potential customers who have no idea who you are or what you offer, you’ll need to create content that is focused on education rather than sales. On the other hand, if you’re trying to connect with someone who is already familiar with your brand, you need to deliver valuable content (case studies are a good bet) that will help you close a sale.

Finally, you need to consider which channels are important for dispersing your content. Take some time to figure out the platforms that are most likely to be useful to you, and what your goals are for each of them.

Produce High-Quality Content

As soon as you’ve ironed out your objectives and strategies, you need to start curating your content. You have two options here:

1. Work with your in-house team.

2. Hire professional content writers to help you get the job done.

Quite obviously, the path you choose will depend entirely on your in-house team’s expertise and the availability of time. If your team members are too swamped with their own regular tasks, it’s not a good idea to drown them in additional work that isn’t necessarily in their wheelhouse. Remember, you need quality content, not something slapdash you’ve cobbled together at the last minute.

If you choose to outsource your content development, invest in writers who truly understand the principles of content marketing. Make sure they’ll be able to embody your brand message. A trial task never hurt anybody, so perhaps consider asking them to write a short sample related to a topic of your choice and see if they’re a good fit.

Market, Promote, and Measure

You can create amazing content until you’re blue in the face but it won’t help you if no one sees it. Make sure to promote each and every piece of writing on all of your platforms and leverage them as much as possible. If you have to add in a small advertising budget to boost those posts, do it. A small investment can make a huge difference.

While you’re churning out content, it’s too easy to forget that you actually need to measure the performance of your posts. Circle back at least once a month to see how your content is performing. Check if you’re meeting your KPIs. If you don’t see any progress, make some adjustments. If you do see progress, keep on doing what you’re doing.

In the end, it’s all about trying new things and seeing what works for your business. Be inventive, be innovative, and above all, keep measuring your progress.

you need a content strategy that works

Types of Content Marketing Every Business Needs

Consumer trends indicate that no matter the trade you are in, you can’t escape the demand for digital content. Studies show that people spend about 8 hours a day engaging with digital content. Not only is the rate of daily content consumption somewhat alarming, it is constantly increasing.

Mobile devices give consumers access to whatever they desire – they shop online, share posts, view hours of footage and read their favourite blog posts regularly. They share their favourite moments with contacts in different continents and can find info about an incident mere minutes after it had occurred.

Highest-Performing Types of Content Marketing

A business that aims to survive the technological age must have a solid content marketing strategy in place. Depending on what your goal is, you should include at least two or three of the types of content into that strategy.

Blogging

Until 2009, blog posts were usually seen as a social networking service that featured posts about the individual or about an individual topic. It didn’t take long for the blogosphere to branch out into the business sphere. After 2010, blogs became multi-authored platforms showcasing services and products.

Today, having an active blog is as important as having a website. In fact, it’s pointless having the one without the other. Not only are you afforded the opportunity to explain your services or product benefits in each post, you can also add outgoing hyperlinks to established websites, backlinks to older content on your own site, and apply a unique keyword density for each post. In turn, this should give your site credibility and improve your SEO ranking.

Research the keywords you wish to write about. Write a post that is short enough not to bore the reader, but informative enough to engage them. About 2000 words is the sweet spot. If they do not get anything substantial from visiting your blog, they will not return.

Case Studies

Case Studies are like a credit-worthy infographic. Though most case studies have a dull appearance, they are effective because of the content therein. Fully referenced facts about relative topics make case studies a very useful marketing tool in a specific field. To a large degree this is applicable to infographics, as well. A memorable and dynamic infographic will always be riddled with numbers or statistics that convey a very specific message. Though case studies will offer a more fact-based and data-driven format.

With the ever-expanding digital landscape, narrowing down a target audience is one of the most difficult things to do. In writing a detailed case study, you have set your sights on an isolated field of practice. Not only have you compiled statistics and facts into a workable document or post, but you have addressed concerns and offered examples of solutions. Your readers will be industry professionals, students or experts with experience.

Video


The human brain has been designed to better engage with what the eye can see. Studies show that visual content is processed 60, 000 times faster than text and has a far higher recall rate. This means that the viewer will remember what they saw more clearly and for longer periods, as opposed to what they had heard or read.

Since YouTube is owned by Google, there is an automatic indexing that takes place when you load a YouTube video onto your landing page. This means that it is easier for Google to find you on the internet and it will position you out higher on search engine searches. This gives your website an added authority or credibility.

Video also boosts conversion rates, has better customer engagement and offers you access to 1.9 billion active users worldwide. While there are endless statistics gathered from research and studies that prove the power of video, businesses are still skittish to explore this platform.

Social Media Posts

Most businesses have cottoned on to the whole social media thing. They create pages or set up handles and post every other day. While this gets some likes or follows, and gains some engagement, it can drag out too long. The concept of traffic and reach can be misinterpreted and can lead them into a different direction, leaving this vital marketing channel unexplored. Since entrepreneurs or small businesses don’t completely understand it, they quickly lose interest and eventually abandon it altogether.

As a consequence, they either go into idle mode on social media or just disappear after a while. Business owners and CEO’s seldom know how to boost Facebook posts effectively, or how to select the correct target audience. They think Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Twitter have to be treated the same way. Most importantly, they struggle to interpret the analytics, insights or marketing stats for their posts.


If you are a business owner or entrepreneur and you don’t understand the difference between reach, impressions and engagement, then you need to get someone on board who knows the social media game better than yourself. In no way does this detract from your abilities.

Deciding Which Type of Content Marketing to Invest In

While these are the five highest-performing types of content marketing, you can also look at infographics, GIFs or memes, eBooks, checklists and interviews. Including these into your content marketing strategy would be fantastic, but it’s not always that easy. The sad truth is that most SMEs or startups simply don’t have the infrastructure or workforce to tend to all their platforms on a regular basis. In fact, they probably don’t even have available capital to outsource the activity on those types of content marketing.

It is impossible to say which of the platforms mentioned here will deliver the highest ROI. Since they are all powerful in their own way, it is best to look at the five examples above and to select those you are prepared to spend time and money on. Run with it before you discredit it. If possible, just to get yourself on the roll, obtain help or advice from an online content marketing specialist.