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The Content Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2016
Social Media Marketing Essentials You Are Screwing Up
How to Make Sure That You're Not Being a Conversion-Killer
Why You Need Visual Content Marketing In Your Toolbox
The Content Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2016
Content marketing has become one of the most powerful tools at a marketer’s disposal. Instead of attacking consumers with an onslaught of ads, they can now cause potential customers to actually seek out their business organically. As is the case with all marketing tools, though, content marketing evolves. These are the trends you will need to catch up with for a successful 2016.
Google Knowledge Graph Will Change Content
If you have ever typed a query into Google and had the answer presented to you on the results page, without having to click any link, you have experienced Google's Knowledge Graph. It takes information from all over the web and easily presents it directly on the return page. Fortunately, this is usually only possible for simple information. If you start providing content on more in-depth topics, you'll likely continue getting the all-important click.
Visual Content Will Be Even More in Demand
Cisco predicts video will dominate 69 percent of the world's consumer internet traffic by 2017, and there are several valid reasons behind this. One of these reasons is the large move towards video in the content marketing world. The written content market, while still important, has become saturated. Consumers are demanding more visual mediums, and whether it is infographics or video, we have to acquiesce.
Aggregated Content Will Give Consumers Power
If you were to look at the hashtag page for an emerging news story on Twitter, you would see aggregated content. This is information being gathered from all over the web to create one clear picture. With tools like Project Lightning from Twitter, consumers will begin to get more of their content, especially the content we use for real-time marketing, in this manner. Because of that, marketers will need to look for new publication opportunities.
Quality Content Will Be Essential
It seems that many marketing gurus out there have beat the proverbial horse to death when it comes to saying “quality content is a must.” In reality, though, this will be truer than ever in 2016. Since the written content market is becoming saturated, people have tons to choose from. In fact, there are now computer algorithms that allow machines to write simple articles on their own. Because of this, only the best content will rise to the top.
Every so often, there is a mass leap in evolution in marketing. Fortunately, this is not what is happening with content marketing. In 2016, a little preparation can help you stay abreast of these changes.
Social Media Marketing Essentials You Are Screwing Up
Even the most novice social media marketer knows a few essentials. From the best times of the day to post to spacing out these posts for maximum effectiveness; some of these rules are almost common sense. Unfortunately, many of these marketers are also making the mistake of not knowing some very basic social media marketing rules. Here are the ones you may be missing.
Never Make Procrastination Appealing
We have all seen that one furniture store that has had the “One Week Only Sale!” sign outside for the past four years. While this might work well for a physical retail store, it is not doing you any favors with your social media marketing. Procrastination in this world usually means the loss of a sale. Constantly offer new promotions with incentives, and make sure that each has a deadline to opt-in, purchase, share, or whatever call to action you require.
Make Use of the Free Tracking Tools
It seems almost nonsensical that a marketer would not know about the tracking tools available on social media, and yet, some marketers are still not using them. Twitter and Facebook both allow you to see how many people are engaging with your posts and offers. This is a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign. Always use these programs in conjunction with your other data tracking tools.
Paying Too Much Attention to “Experts”
There are undoubtedly those out there who are great with social media marketing, but anyone who says that a certain rule works perfect every time might be overconfident. There are no universal truths in social media marketing. Instead, you should be focused on results. If something is garnering results but does not fall under “accepted knowledge,” who cares? If it works for you, then go with it.
Always Be Clear About What Fans Should Do
There are some out there claiming that Facebook is reducing post reach if there's a direct call to action listed. This myth can be dissuaded by simply posting a “Not sure if fans can see this. Please ‘Like' so we know it is working” post. While it is not pretty, you are sure to get tons of interaction. If your content is meaningful being direct with your followers about what they should do (“Visit our website,” etc.) is fine, and will get results.
Social media marketing is not the future… it's the now. Make sure you are doing it right.
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Create a Content Marketing Plan that Rocks!
There's little worse than being the cause of your own business missteps. However it comes about, you feel the fool for stepping in it, and would do anything to take a step back in time. Since in all likelihood that's not going to happen, perhaps it would be good to look at some of the ways we can inadvertently sabotage our own traffic and conversions. They are a lot simpler than you might think, and also easy to fix!
8 Ways to Kill Traffic and Conversions
Lack of testing
If you decide that testing isn't important or you can't be bothered, you deserve what you get. Even the best marketers test every aspect of their offers, (one reasons why they're the best!) and leave little to chance. Test it all, and do it systematically.
Wrong type of traffic
Usually the main reason why people bounce off your page, getting the wrong type of traffic can be as simple as optimizing for the wrong keywords, (usually unwittingly) and getting a whole host of people showing up who have no interest in what you're offering. Make every effort to rank for exact phrases, and match your content to those search terms. (Paid or organic)
Too many hoops
Making your prospective customers jump through too many hoops before getting what they want is a sure way to kill conversions. Only ask for what you absolutely need, and no more!
A weak call to action
The only thing worse than a weak call to action is the lack of one. Ask for exactly what you want, in no uncertain terms!
Slow page loads
You have but a few seconds, usually less than four, to capture your visitors attention and draw them into your offer.
Poor on-page SEO
Take care constructing page title tags and Meta descriptions. A poor job here can lead to your page not ranking as well as it might, costing you valuable traffic and probably sinking any quality scores you are seeking due to page irrelevance.
If your page is not responsive to mobile formats, you are going to lose up to half of your audience right from the start. With more than 50% (and growing) of all web traffic now coming from a mobile device you really need to come join the party.
Not enough landing pages
Not having a dedicated landing page for each search term you hope to rank for (or pay for) is a sure way to get poor quality scores and even poorer search rankings. While it may seem like a lot of work to create multiple optimized landing pages, it will be well worth the trouble. Besides, these days there are many tools that can make this very easy.
Committing any of these traffic and conversion mistakes can hurt, but the good news is that now you know, and can avoid them entirely!
Why You Need Visual Content Marketing in your Toolbox
If you actually need any more evidence the Web is gaga over visual content, look no further than the fastest-growing sites over the last several years. Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and more have captured the audience for good, and are set to deliver a steady stream of visual content to a device near you 24/7.
This presents a challenge to marketers who haven't yet embraced this form of content marketing. It won't be long before you'll begin to notice that your more traditional forms of content are being displaced by various forms of video, images and more. And by then you'll also be losing ground and money to your competition.
Visual content has been proven to enhance engagement, time on site, interest and sharing. (In fact visual content is shared 3X faster than text!) All of those things sound pretty good to me!
3 Primary ways to create visual content for marketing
Video is all grown up now. There are many ways to create and use video for your marketing purposes, and you need to be making video a regular tool in your marketing mix. The traffic from YouTube alone is worth it, not to mention the advantages video has over text when it comes to conversions.
There's a reason why the top photo sharing sites Instagram and Pinterest are ranked as the 27th and 36th most popular sites on the internet respectively. People are into imagery, and the ease of sharing and creation has made this into a social media phenomenon.
Some popular ways to make videos include…
- Talking head videos
- Slideshow videos
- Animated videos
- Shorts (Vine, Instagram)
- Customer Testimonials
- Product demos
- Videos sales letters
- And many more!
Creating unique imagery for your various marketing purposes, such as for blog posts, site content, advertising images and more is easier than ever. Free tools abound that help you easily edit and shape your image and message exactly how you would like it, and create many versions for testing purposes as well. Not only that, the images themselves can have many incarnations, living on your web properties, the aforementioned photo sharing sites, Google images and more.
A hybrid of text and imagery, infographics have their own unique uses in the world of visual content marketing. These are becoming easier and easier to create, as tools are sprouting up that enable even those of us with very modest skills to create stunning infographics.
These allow you to share what could be viewed as “dry” content textually in a way that's alive and visually compelling. Moreover, one of our favorite things about infographics is the amount of times they get shared, bringing traffic and valuable backlinks. A triple threat performer if there ever was one!
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