Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons

Content Marketing Lessons from Dungeons & Dragons It’s probably not news to you that 91% of B2B brands use content marketing to attract, engage, nurture, and convert their audience. However, it might be surprising to learn that only 9% of those brands rate their content marketing as “sophisticated.” Sophisticated meaning that their content marketing is successful, scales across the organization, and provides accurate measurement to the business. This puts a lot of pressure on content marketers to elevate their game and provide more worthwhile and valuable content experiences. Patrick PinedaAs an adept Dungeon Master (DM) of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) games, TopRank Marketing’s Motion Graphic Designer, Patrick Pineda, can relate. It might sound a little odd at first, but Dungeon Masters and content marketers are more alike than you think. Responsible for creating meaningful and memorable experiences through content that takes people on a journey, you can see the similarities arise. Just like content marketers need to help guide people through the buyer journey, the Dungeon Master needs to guide players through a journey of their own. After serving his friends as the go-to Dungeon Master, Patrick has learned a thing or two from creating lengthy campaigns—some successful, some not—that are both engaging and challenging. Discover Patrick’s lessons from the dungeon and how you can apply them to your content marketing campaigns and programs down below.

What Is a Dungeon Master?

For the unfamiliar, a Dungeon Master is the organizer for the wildly popular, 40-year-old tabletop role-playing game, “Dungeons & Dragons.” Not only do DMs organize the game, but they are also responsible for the game rules, details, and challenges. According to Patrick, the player experience hinges on a DM’s ability to create meaningful content that’s fun to explore. One thing Dungeon Masters are not responsible for, however, are the players’ actions. Like the self-directed buyers of today, D&D players are able to choose their own paths. As a result, DMs are challenged to make sure players finish the game. And just like your audience won’t read every piece of content you put in front of them, the same happens in a D&D game. Certain story elements DMs put together will never see the light of day because every player has a different play style, completes tasks in different orders, and takes different actions. “The best Dungeon Master doesn’t just create a good story, but they also help players reach their goals,” Patrick claims. Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly resonated for me.

5 Content Marketing Lessons From the Dungeon

Having created D&D campaigns that ruled and bombed, here are Patricks top five tips for developing content that resonate with your audience.

#1 - Your audience values originality.

If Patrick creates a campaign that plays to common tropes like a damsel in distress or small town disappearances, the story becomes predictable. But worse than that, the players feel condescended to as the game starts to feel dumbed down. “Cliches and stereotypes will make players groan. It’s important when creating a campaign that I shake it up and play against common conventions,” Patrick says. When examining your content and the story you’re trying to tell, it’s just as important to stay original and play with your audience’s expectations. For example, listicles with social media tips are a dime a dozen. Your audience might be more interested if you flip the idea on its head with social media mistakes. In changing it up, you’re giving your audience something new that they haven’t read before, capturing their interest.

#2 - Appeal to curiosity.

When it comes to creating an adventure for players to navigate, the DM has a seemingly impossible job. They need to create a unique and compelling world that is able to hold players’ attention—something not easily done. In fact, campaigns have taken Patrick days to put together. But that doesn’t come without its drawbacks. “I’ve spent hours upon hours creating content for a campaign. But 80% of what I create may never see any playtime. It’s ultimately the players’ choice as to what tasks they want to complete and what quests they want to go on,” Patrick points out. While the D&D world needs to have a unique and compelling narrative, it also needs to appeal to a player’s curiosity to ensure they keep playing the game and play the parts of the game that you want them to. How does this apply to content marketing? Well, as you know, just because you’re producing content, doesn’t mean that your audience will find it. To find the answers they’re looking for, they might scour the internet, social media, and trusted experts for more information. Having an integrated content strategy that has multiple touch points throughout the buyer journey and an omni-channel approach, helps ensure you’re reaching your target audience whenever and wherever they may be searching. Weaving SEO, social media, and influencer marketing into your content marketing strategy helps improve the reach and engagement of the content you’re producing. Through SEO, your organic rankings and click-through-rates will start to rise, improving your organic traffic. Social media messages that are well written and value-based help attract larger audiences from their social feeds. And, finally, tapping into industry influencers exposes your content to a wider network of like-minded individuals, as well as adding authority and credibility.

#3 - Avoid corraling your audience.

Nobody likes to be told what to do, including D&D players. While the DM writes the game and serves as a referee, they cannot influence a player’s actions. And if a DM attempts to, they could quickly lose a player’s interest. “As a DM, it can be tempting to intervene and make sure that your players are playing the game the way you intended. But this is the one thing you cannot do.” Patrick emphasizes. This is true in content marketing, too, as making calls to action (CTAs) with zero context can be a turn-off for your audience. If you insert a CTA before your audience can learn what’s in it for them, whether it’s downloading an eBook, listening to a podcast, or subscribing to your blog, they’re less likely to do it. In fact, QuickSprout found that placing a CTA above the fold on a page decreased their conversion rate by 17% and attributed it to their audience not fully understanding why they should complete the action. Instead, make sure that your CTAs have plenty of context and explain what the audience will gain by filling out your form, reading another blog post, etc. This helps ensure that your content satisfies your audience’s quest for knowledge.

#4 - Customize content for your audience, not the other way around.

As we mentioned previously, the players are in charge of their actions and how they choose to play the game, making it impossible for DMs to have control over the game experience. This makes it important for DMs to know their audience ahead of time, so they can include important sought-after details into different game components. “I’ll ask players before we start what they hope to get out of the game, whether it’s take down an enemy or just to have fun. Knowing this ahead of time, I can tailor the game to what each player wants to have happen,” Patrick says. For content marketers, this lesson should hit close to home. You need to know your audience well in advance in order to deliver personalized content. If you create content and worry about your audience later, chances are you aren’t engaging the right people. After taking a look at your own audience’s characteristics and interests in Google Analytics, create unique personas for each of your audience members. This allows you to create content that is tailored for each person you hope to attract and engage. For example, if one of your target personas is a Director of Business Development, creating custom content that addresses a unique pain points like identifying new business opportunities or tips from the experts on how to strengthen their existing client relationships.

#5 - Chart your course.

There is a lot going on in a D&D game. And for the DM, that number is amplified as you have to remember every detail about your players, what’s been completed, and what could come next. “To make sure I’m on top of the game and can portray characters well, I chart the game’s relationships instead of story elements. If I focus on the story, it could quickly become useless as players might do things out of order or in a non-linear fashion. By focusing on the relationships and where they fit in the narrative, the game becomes more fluid and flexible for the players and I can keep track of their journey,” Patrick says. Tracking the journey isn’t the only thing Patrick notes, however. He also documents player strengths, weaknesses, and stats as the game progresses. “I keep a character sheet that details each player’s play style. For example, if a player is investing their skill points in intelligence, I can tailor future encounters in the game to focus on problem-solving instead of combat. The opposite is true for a player who invests in raw strength,” Patrick notes. Through detailed charts, maps, and grids, Patrick is able to make sure that his players have a personalized, seamless experience for every campaign they play, regardless of how they play it. By taking the same approach with your content marketing, you can identify opportunities for customization and develop a strategy for weaving your content into the buyer’s journey. For example, by knowing which pieces of content attract a larger audience or drive more conversions, you can use that information to inform your content development and map your content to different stages of the funnel (see below). Grid Assigning Content to Buyer Stages To collect this data on your content and audience, review your Google Analytics behavior and conversion dashboards to find our which pieces of content excel at attracting, engaging, or converting your audience. Metrics like page views and entrances are good indicators for attraction, whereas time on page or number of pages per session can help you understand engagement. And, finally, the number of conversions through conversion tracking is the best way to find your top converting content. Armed with this knowledge you can create content plans that are tailored for your audience’s unique buyer journey.

Your Audience Is the Hero

A good Dungeon Master enables players to become the hero of the story through a personalized game with a compelling, original narrative. As a content marketer, it’s your responsibility to create content that transforms your audience into heroes as well, helping them solve seemingly impossible problems with your expert, best-answer advice. Through an integrated content strategy with originality, personalization, and “best answer” content that’s mapped to the buyer journey, you can become the perfect Content Master for your audience. For more ideas on how to become a masterful content marketer, check out these 25 content marketing tips, including how to tackle writer’s block, repurpose content, utilize storytelling, and more.

The post What Content Marketers Can Learn From an Adept Dungeon Master appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/what-content-marketers-can-learn-from.html

Monday, 16 April 2018

6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content

Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content

Whether you’re a new Marketing leader at a company in need of establishing wins quickly or part of a growing organization with ambitious revenue goals, the challenges within marketing today are greater than ever.

To help make sense out of these challenges, I’ve listed 6 of the top obstacles to brands achieving effectiveness out of their marketing and how collaborating with influencers on content help solve each problem.

1. Challenge: Ad Blocking. 600 million devices using ad blocking, leading to a loss of $22 billion in ad revenue (PageFair). If buyers don’t ever see your ads, what chance do you have?

Challenge solved: Contrary to ads, influencers are liked and because people pay attention to the influencers they follow, shared brand messages are far more likely to attract and engage buyers.

When you subscribe to the idea that everyone is influential about something, especially with their friends, co-workers and social connections, this statistic from Nielsen (83% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over advertising) becomes very powerful.

Collaborating with influencers on content that the influencers then promote to their subscribing community can become a powerful differentiator for any marketing program.

Of course not all customers use ad blocking and there are incredible opportunities to be realized with sophisticated ad targeting. That’s why when properly executed, influencer content can be leveraged for both organic and paid promotions.

2. Challenge: Information Overload. Consider this: 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years. That’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day (IBM). In fact, 74gb of media are sent to the average consumer on an average day (USC/ICTM).

The sheer number of choices faced by consumers and general distrust has turned brand marketing into noise for many customers.

Challenge solved: Influencers are Focused. One of the most compelling reasons a person is influential is because of the specificity in the topics they cover. Because of that specialization, buyers anticipate rather than ignore or feel overwhelmed by what their trusted influencers share.

While some influencers distribute their content on multiple channels, their personal brand focus plus consistency and trust equals a signal that buyers pay attention to.

3. Challenge: Google Hates SEO. Search Engine Optimization bloggers have been positing this question for 10+ years. With Google algorithm and platform updates including Florida, Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, RankBrain, Mobile, Possum, Fred and the thousands of launches, live traffic experiments, side-by-side experiments and over 130,000 search quality tests, it makes you wonder: is this all for improving the customer experience or is some of it to thwart SEO?

Challenge solved: Google actually likes influencer content. Another key ingredient to why someone is influential is their credibility and authority. An influencer’s specific expertise and their ability to provide insights, answers and even research based perspectives all deliver on the Google’s expectation that content be useful.

Beyond influencer content being useful, there’s the practice of making content worth linking to. Influencers typically have a subscribed audience, many of which publish themselves. When influencers publish and promote content, it naturally attracts links.

By optimizing content for search and activating influencers, brands can create opportunities to help customers find trusted content and everybody wins.

4. Challenge: Buyers don’t trust brands. Or ads. This is a hard pill to swallow: 42% of consumers distrust brands and 69% distrust advertising according to a study by (Ipsos Connect).

Challenge solved: Influencers are trusted.  A recent study by Fullscreen and Shareblee via MarketingCharts found that nearly 40% of 18-34-year-olds are more likely to trust what an influencer says about a brand than what the brand says about itself. Additionally, Twitter reports that users trust influencers nearly as much as their friends.

Collaborating with influencers on content can bring authenticity, credibility and trust to that content. When influencers share that content, the effect of their audiences’s trust goes even further.

5. Challenge: Content Doesn’t Scale. According to the annual study by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, some of the top content challenges marketers included: 60% producing engaging content, 57% producing content consistently.

Challenge solved: Creator Influencers are experts at creating content. Influencer content creation and storytelling skills come in many forms: blogging, podcasting, video, images, and sometimes interactive.

Brands can extend the media creation skills of their marketing departments by partnering with creators with specialized skills. In addition to skill, creator influencers have an audience to promote the content to.

6. Challenge: Organic Social is Dead. Not only is Facebook organic reach down 52% (MarketingLand) but declarations that organic reach on Facebook is outright dead for brands are being stated by many credible industry publications, including Digiday.

Challenge (partly) solved: Influencers have optimized social popularity. Influencers create the kinds of signals that social network algorithms reward with higher visibility. Influencers understand what resonates with their audience in terms of topic, content type and promotion. Those same influencers also have an active audience that engages with their shared content. This is a powerful combination for triggering social network algorithms to prioritize influencer content in the feed.

Influencer Marketing is no silver bullet. Neither is content marketing or any kind of marketing approach.

But when influencers are intelligently researched, qualified and engaged during the planning phases of a content marketing program, the benefits of the collaboration can include improved content in a variety of ways:

  • Authenticity – Choose influencers that represent your customers and the resulting message will be a lot more genuine to what buyers actually care about.
  • Variety – Including experts beyond your marketing department can generate a greater span of content ideas.
  • Quality – Tapping expertise can boost the quality beyond what marketing department copywriters might be able to produce.
  • Quantity – Engaging a group of influencers on an ongoing basis can boost the volume of content. Factor in repurposing and you’ll create even more content options without increasing spend.
  • Reach – Trusted, credible experts promoting content can reach audiences that are very difficult to connect with through any other way.
  • Trust – The credibility, expertise and authority of influencers that collaborate with a brand over time can grow trust for the brand.

On top of that, there are efficiency benefits. We have implemented influencer content campaigns where influencers have contributed anywhere from 20% to 80% of the content for the entire campaign.

Then there are the effectiveness benefits. For an organic influencer content campaign, achieving a 50% share rate amongst influencers is impressive. We’ve had many programs with over 100% share rate. Why? By communicating effectively, setting expectations and making content that contributors are proud to be a part of.

The reality is that influencer content programs can deliver value across the entire customer lifecycle, not just awareness. That means improved engagement and conversions.

There are many more challenges for marketing than the six above. I didn’t get into martech shock (too much tech), difficulty in finding qualified marketing candidates, measurement challenges or the implications of the lockdown on data represented by GDPR in the EU and recent attention being given Facebook by lawmakers. But addressing the six above should give the vast majority of marketers reading this an advantage.

Establishing relationships with qualified, capable influencers can bring a tremendous amount of value to a company’s content marketing effectiveness. When influencer marketing is thoughtful, ongoing and properly managed, it becomes a force multiplier that is difficult to duplicate.

Are you planning a content marketing program right now? Who are your best influencers? Who are your best employee advocates? Which industry media do you have the attention of? Which of your customers are most likely to advocate for your brand? Do you know if they are influential? Do you know which of your prospective customers are influential?

Answering these questions can open the door to content marketing success for your brand and mutually valuable relationships with the people that actually influence your customers.

 


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | 6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post 6 Top Marketing Challenges Solved by Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/6-top-marketing-challenges-solved-by.html

Friday, 13 April 2018

Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows

Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows

Influencer Marketing Has Hit Cryptoworld
The proliferation of cryptocurrencies over the past several years has led to a sharp recent increase in the number of paid influencers hired to help promote and legitimize both small and large players in the cryptoworld. Digiday

Google launches Reach Planner for YouTube & video ad forecasting in AdWords
Google is offering a more powerful video campaign reach estimate tool called Reach Planner, aimed at YouTube and Google Display Network advertisers, and featuring reach data to help find the best video product mixes. Marketing Land

80% Lose Trust in Local Businesses if Online Information is Incorrect
Businesses that have incorrect or inconsistent information online lose trust among 80 percent of consumers, while even out-of-date or poor quality photos cause 50 percent of consumers to have diminished trust, according to a recent report. Small Business Trends

Google Switches to Infinite Scrolling Mobile Search Results
Mobile Google search users will see infinitely-scrolling SERP entries in a test the Internet giant recently began rolling out, replacing multi-page results with a seemingly endless number of clickable “more results” offerings. Search Engine Journal

Facebook Discusses How Feed Algorithm Works
Facebook’s news-feed program leader has outlined portions of the company’s latest algorithm for determining what is shown, including a patented system of predictive modeling. Search Engine Journal

One in three trust an influencer’s words over what a brand says
Influencers are trusted more than brands, especially digital creators with over a million followers, according to new report data that also sees diminishing trust for micro-influencers. ZDNet

In a recent survey conducted by DemandWave, 70% of B2B marketers said their No. 1 digital marketing objective is to generate more or higher quality leads.

Pinterest reports 50% gain YoY in SMB advertisers
Pinterest’s SMB advertiser numbers have increased by 50 percent, with 1.5 million businesses using the platform to reach customers. The company has also announced the international expansion of its brand and agency-targeted Promoted Pins “Promote” button. Marketing Land

How Brands Are Getting More Sophisticated at Using Location Data
More sophisticated use of location data will drive related ad spending to $38.7 billion by 2022 according to recent research, and AdWeek explores how location data can best be harnessed and how it has evolved over time. AdWeek

First look at Instagram Nametags, its clone of Snapchat QR codes
More details and the first screenshots of Instagram’s forthcoming Nametags feature — similar to Snapchat’s Snapcodes offering — are now available, giving additional insight into how Instagram’s implementation of a special image scanning system will work. TechCrunch

ANA finds only 36% of marketers say their influencer marketing is effective
Just 36 percent of marketers consider their influencer marketing efforts to be effective, according to a recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) report, however even more — some 44 percent — believe the jury may still be out on influencer effectiveness. The Drum

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:

Marketoonist Cartoon: marketing at the point of sale

A lighthearted look at the point of sale from Tom Fishburne – Marketoonist

Here’s why Sesame Street is turning to Kickstarter for the first time – Fast Company

Q&A: How an Artist Turned a Lifetime of E-Waste Into a Stunning Celebration of Recycling – AdWeek

Enter the Intense World of Competitive Yo-Yoing – Wired

Impressive! Man Doubles Podcast Audience Overnight By Convincing Coworker to Listen – The Hard Times

TOPRANK MARKETING & CLIENTS IN THE NEWS:

  • Lee Odden – 46 Speakers to See at Pubcon Florida 2018 — Bill Hartzer
  • Lee Odden – I asked the world’s Top 100 digital marketers for advice. Here’s how they responded. — Medium
  • Lee Odden – [Interactive Guide] Take Your Content Marketing Program Back to the Future with DivvyHQ — DivvyHQ (client)

Don’t miss next week, when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories, and in the meantime you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don’t miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Digital Marketing News: Cryptofluencers, Google’s Infinite Scrolling, Influencer Trust Grows appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/digital-marketing-news-cryptofluencers.html

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida

Relationship Powered Link Building Pubcon

Keywords, content and links. This is the currency of the Search Engine Optimization world and the rules for spending that currency seem to be in a constant state of flux.

At TopRank Marketing, we take a conservative approach to attracting links through purely organic means. Our focus is on creating content that’s actually worth being linked to with an emphasis on customer engagement and share optimization over pure SEO value.

The irony of this approach is that while we don’t “build links” directly for SEO, the attraction based approach we take typically results in links that are very high value and sustainable that many overt link building tactics.

In this session at Pubcon Florida, Ann Smarty @seosmarty from Internet Marketing Ninjas broke her multi-year silence on link building to share her current insights on the topic of link building through relationships.

To understand link building for SEO, you must first understand what NOT to do.

One important lesson is not to scale link building. Scale risks not being useful to consumers and Google responds to that with penalties.

Early on, Ann recognized the value of guest blogging and started a community. In 2012 Matt Cutts from Google shared that guest posts were ok as long as bloggers simply didn’t duplicate the same post over and over.

However, once SEOs recognized the value of link building, they exploited it. In 2014 Google penalized Ann’’s community and guest blogging has been deemed a risky tactic ever since.

Controlled link building of the past:
* Paid links
* Directory links
* Press releases
* Site networks

The effect of Google’s penalties on link building tactics like those listed above has been significant. 89% of sites that ranked 7 years ago are not ranking today. Marcus Tober, SearchMetrics

The rub: You cannot scale link building, but you can’t really get anywhere in SEO without it.

The adjusted approach suggested by Ann is “link earning” vs. “link building” with a focus on building relationships

1. Relationship powered link building. The most important rule is that you do not “ask” for links. Be authentic. Genuinely and openly do your best for each opportunity you come across.

  • SEMRush does a great job at this – they have multiple active community managers, they create free and useful content that attracts links organically.
  • “The best way to ensure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen.”
  • Spend at least 20% of your time genuinely helping people without asking for anything back.
  • Make sure your brand identity is consistent across all your web networking channels.
  • Create relationships of mutual value and the relationships will grow. This is true with people who are not yet influencers – they may be more willing to collaborate. But when they do become influencers, the relationship will be far more valuable.

2. Resource Building + Outreach (Trust bait)

  • Brainstorm educational resources and types. What can you contribute to the community in terms of educational content?
  • Research niche quotes (answerthepublic.com). Research niche questions. (serpstat.com and buzzsumo.com/research/questions
  • Research broken links in your industry and related industries: Take a trusted resource in your industry and use Majestic Site Explorer to identify broken links. Find all pages linking to that deleted resource. Then reach out to with a fix using your resource.
  • Research broken links in your industry and build a powerful connection. Work with industry experts (scientists, teachers, writes) to create a better resource than the original. Enhance your outreach by mentioning a notable industry expert who has been working with you on the new resource (that had been involved with the deleted resource).

Why use research-powered trust bait linking:
1. You create a better guide, it improves content quality
2. You can refer to a well known expert in your outreach
3. You’ll receive links from your experts / contributors
3. Viral Marketing and relationships.

Create a variety of formats of content, aka digital assets. Use viral content + social media promotion + smart email outreach. Get exposure on popular destination or community sites. For example, find moderators or sub-reddit influencers to seed your content on Reddit.

Content that gets featured on Reddit’s front page can attract many links. If you seed your content the right way, it can get noticed by many media properties which can mean a quantity of high value and organically sourced links.

Tools for seeding content assets:

  • LaterForReddit allows you to discover relevant subreddits and analyze what time slots and days of week are best for discovering content. Also helps identify active Reddit users and moderators.
  • Twiangulate  can be used to discover influential media contacts (journalists or bloggers) in your niche / location. Search using the specific publication name to find employees.
  • BuzzSumo to discover more influential media contacts in your niche. Search content to find interviews that have already been done and who did the interviews. Also who was the interviewee so you can interview them as well.
  • Twitter Lists & TweetDeck to manage influential media and engage with them.

To EARN links:

  1. Engage in relationship building 24/7 with influencers, bloggers, and journalists.
  2. Create a LOT of good content, both educational and viral / entertaining + identify people who can help you get the word out.
  3. Invest in community management and brand ambassadors.

Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/relationship-powered-link-building.html

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO

This session on influencer marketing and SEO is the first up for me on day one of Pubcon Florida, which has grown from a one day to a two day event. It’s easy to see why: The speaker line up is chock full of current smart search marketing advice from a great collection of expert practitioners.

With moderation duties handled by Susan Wenograd @SusanEDub the speakers for this session included the dynamic duo of:
Marcela Devivo @marceladevivo from SEMRush
Dixon Jones @Dixon_Jones from Majestic

First up is birthday woman Marcela Devivo. Happy Birthday Marcela!

Influencer Marketing is hot right now for a variety of reasons: consumers increased use of ad blocking, increased competition and working with the right influencers can make your marketing more effective, especially with SEO.

But working with influencers and getting them to pay attention to your brand can be hard.

There are many examples of big brands leveraging influencer marketing including Pedigree, Hulu and Bob’s Red Mill. But there are also small brands like YogaClub that have had great results too. “Working with influencers revolutionized our brand.”

Impressions are nice, but how do you get influencers to truly impact your ROI?

One of the best ways to get ROI out of influencer marketing is to bring it into your SEO strategy.

To do that, understanding the top SEO ranking factors will help you understand opportunities to incorporate influence with SEO.

  1. Site traffic – Number of direct visits for high volume keywords. Influencers can be a great source for direct traffic. Influencers can generate demand for your brand which also creates visits to your site.
  2. User engagement signals – Visitors coming to your website from search – pages viewed per session and bounce rate. Influencers that have a trusted niche of followers that trust them to recommend sites to visit. That trust should result in an audience that delivers stronger user engagement signals.
  3. Links – Total backlinks to a domain, referring IPs, and total follow backlinks. With influencers you get links they share to your site but ideally, their followers may also link to you. One way to work with influencers this way is through giveaways where content is part of the contest.
  4. Natural organic content – Longer content tends to perform better than shorter content. Things like keywords in the title and H1 tags. Influencers can contribute content to your site that your brand owns. Then you can encourage influencers to share that content that they created hosted on your site. You can also use Facebook ads to promote that content. Alternatively, you can sponsor the influencer to create content on their own site and encourage them to promote.

Steps to build an effective influencer marketing campaign:

  1. Start by picking the social media channels you want to target.
  2. Create a list of potential influencers using Google, social networks or specialty tools / networks of influencers.
  3. Shortlist your influencers.
  4. Contact the influencers via email, phone and/or social media. Get creative.
  5. Get pricing information from the influencer.
  6. Negotiate a detailed agreement with deliverables. Focus on long term partnerships.
  7. Send the influencer a descriptive campaign brief.
  8. Track, monitor and amplify their posts.
  9. Measure performance.

Hacks for working with influencers:

Measure influencers against each other with an assessment tool. Gather all the data about influencer activity and estimate the CPM value. Include data like: followers, blog traffic, demographic data, engagement per post.

Calculate total relevant audience. Then figure out the engagement to audience ratio. Add total cost and divide by total relevant audience divided by 1000. With this data you can identify which influencers are the best to work with.

Combine Facebook live videos with influencer amplification. Live videos often have good organic reach. Run ads against the influencers own audience. Be sure to use the same post ID when you promote content to build social proof.

After the live video on Facebook, upload them to YouTube, creata a bog post with them, get the influencer to share your video blog post and use Facebook ads to amplify the posts.

Following these guidelines will result in links, traffic and engagement – all signals that are good for SEO.

Next up is Dixon Jones who is retiring after 20 years in the industry at the end of this year. Congratulations Dixon!

Dixon asks, to leverage influencer marketing to improve SEO what are we trying to do? Get them to write about you and to get them to like and share your content.

Likes and shares are nice, but they’re just not as impactful to SEO as links.

BuzzSumo did some research on why people share and link to content which is useful when planning how to get influencers to link to your content.

Why might influencers link to your content?

  1. Original insights research
  2. As reference to support an article
  3. To share authoritative content including research and facts
  4. To cite dynamic data that changes

But do links still matter? “Yes” says Andrey Lipattsev from Google. Also Google’s Gary Illes, “Ranking without links is really, really hard. Not impossible, but very hard.”

Takeaway – An influencer can amplify a link for you very effectively.

How many links is enough? Dixon says “one” if they’re from the right source. It’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. That means being careful about which influencers you work with.

Steps to engaging influencers:

  1. Identify the right influencers. Use Majestic’s search engine to find relevant content with desirable inbound co-linking ratios. Also, BuzzSumo’s tool for finding top content and authors for a keyword. Review where they publish. Use whatever communication tool that the influencer prefers – not what is most convenient to you.
  2. Engage the influencers. Doing this right is hard. Networking is priceless. It’s your chemistry not the tools that matter. Use tools like Influsionsoft, Sendible, Outlook, Rapportive. Build trust, be honest and be sincere. Ultimately, its about the beer (for Dixon). Build genuine relationships that can be leveraged when you have something valuable to share with them.
  3. Define the digital asset. Content isn’t necessarily king. The best thing might be an idea, a produce, or a process. It doesn’t have to be a URL.
  4. Prepare the launch. When you have something good to say and great relationships with relevant influencers, send them a preview of what you’re going to announce. Tell them the link URL and the exact time of launch. Then remind them it is live.
  5. Monitor results. Choose a KPI and stick to it, Is it a digital asset? Traffic from the influencer’s content? Search traffic? Citation flow or Trust flow? Just be sure to look at impact over time, not just in the short term. Compare similar campaign metrics with each other vs. mis-matched metrics.

Finally, Dixon asks and answers: How can you get influencers’ attention? By sharing something new, authoritative, referenceable, or unique.

And that’s a wrap. Great job Marcela and Dixon!

If you’re interested in influencer marketing tools to use or other content about influencer marketing, be sure to check out our past posts on the topic.


Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2018. | How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/how-to-leverage-influencer-marketing.html

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018

Social Media Marketing Benchmarks Report 2018 Social media marketers, how are you feeling? Take a minute to breathe if you need to. The last few months have been a wild ride. Fatigue, vertigo, and even a little nausea are perfectly understandable. As I said before, social media isn’t dying, but it is changing. Marketers are used to quick changes, naturally, but it’s important to be sure we’re making the right changes. We should approach evolving our social media with the same data-driven, strategic rigor that applies to everything else we do. The good folks at Rival IQ recently published their 2018 Social Media Benchmarking Report. The data points to some clear directions for the next evolution of social media marketing. Here are some of the key data points – and, more importantly, what you should do about them.

#1 - Influencers Have the Highest Engagement Rate on Facebook

Facebook Engagement Benchmark 2018 The report breaks down engagement by platform and by vertical, which invites some intriguing comparisons. If you’re in the food & beverage industry, congratulations! You’re likely seeing some of the highest engagement. If you’re not, however, there’s no need to roll out a new Cloud-Based SaaS brand of soft drink. Influencers are also hitting the top engagement rate (a whopping .24%, but more on that later).

What to Do:

TopRank Marketing has been talking about influencer marketing since before it was cool. These stats underline the importance of co-creating content with influencers who are relevant to your audience. It’s incredibly tough for brands to make a connection with organic social. Influencers can provide the person-to-person relationship that most people want out of social media interaction. Read: Death of Facebook Organic Reach = New Opportunities for Influencer Marketing

#2 - More Posting Doesn’t Equal More Engagement

The highest post frequency on Facebook is in the Media vertical, with an average of over 10 posts per day. That’s an artifact of an old way of thinking about social media: Flood your page with posts and hope one or two stick. That strategy doesn’t seem to work anymore. Media has the lowest engagement rate, at .08%. Especially with Facebook, upping your posting frequency is counterproductive. The algorithm will show your posts in fewer feeds, fewer people will interact with them as a result, and you start a vicious cycle that ends up slashing your organic reach.

What to Do:

Stick to one or two posts per day, and really make them count. That’s right at the industry average, and seems to be the threshold on most platforms for how much an audience wants to see branded content. If you have ten potential posts, get ruthless: Pick the two that are most interesting, most relevant, most valuable to your audience. Then save the rest for a roundup blog post at the end of the week.

#3 - Engagement Rates Vary Widely by Platform

We tend to talk about social media as though it were a single monolithic platform. Of course we know there are differences between channels, but the report underscores just how much they can vary. The engagement rates for Instagram are above the 1% mark, with some verticals seeing over 3%: 2018 Instagram Engagement Benchmarks 2018 Twitter Benchmarks While Twitter has an average engagement of .046%. That’s 4 hundredths of a percent, or engagement on one out of every 4,000 posts.

What to Do:

If Instagram fits your brand, and your audience is there, these stats are definitely an endorsement for hopping on the 'gramwagon. But don’t count Twitter out completely. There is a great deal more content posted on Twitter than Instagram, and Twitter moves a lot faster. So that low engagement rate shouldn’t scare you off completely. Instead, use Twitter to boost your brand awareness, provide customer service via social media monitoring, and to engage with potential influencers. Paid posts on Twitter can also have a powerful impact. One of our technology clients initially ruled out Twitter completely. We were able to prove they had a potential audience on Twitter and helped them run a paid program. In the end, their Twitter engagement was far higher than engagement on any other platform.

#4 - Engagement Is Low on Every Platform

More than anything, the report shows just how low the benchmarks are across the social media spectrum. If an email marketing campaign had a .046% average open rate, we would be throwing in the towel writing our resignations at the same time. The drop in engagement makes sense, though, with how social media platforms have evolved. They used to be based on delivering all the posts the user opted into seeing. Whatever accounts the person chose to follow, that was what filled their feed. Now every major social site is curated by algorithm. The user doesn’t control what they see, and neither do brands.

What to Do:

There are two key ways to thrive in the Age of the Algorithm. We’ve already covered the first: Start thinking of most of these channels as pay-to-play. Take your most compelling content and throw some paid promotion behind it on your highest-performing platform. Then A/B test your audience targeting until you find the sweet spot. The second is to produce the type of content that the algorithm will promote. For Facebook and Twitter, that increasingly means native video. Facebook in particular has been explicit about their favoritism for video. Posts that match what the platform wants to promote will get a bigger initial push, which can help you get engagement, which will signal the algorithm to promote it more. It’s also a good idea to explore the major platform that’s missing from Rival IQ’s report: LinkedIn*. The reported engagement rate on LinkedIn is .054%, lower than Facebook but higher than Twitter. However, it’s easy to more than double that benchmark with a little optimization, as this infographic from LinkedIn shows. You can also branch out on LinkedIn by having your C-suite post their own thought leadership content on their own accounts. Personal posts are likely to get more engagement and more shares.

Stay on Your Mark and Don’t Get Benched

Social media marketing is still one of the newest marketing disciplines there is. We’re still developing best practices as the platforms continue to evolve. It’s a little like trying to build a train while you’re going 60 miles per hour down a track built on top of a pool of lime Jell-O. These benchmarks can provide a starting point for the next iteration of your strategy. They might not speak to your specific vertical or audience, but they do highlight the broad changes taking place across social media. To make sure your train keeps rolling, focus on just a few high-quality posts per day, boosted with paid ads on your most valuable channels. Need help mastering social media marketing? Here’s how we helped one company expand their reach. *LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing Client.

The post Social Media Marketing Benchmarks: What Works & Where to Focus appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/social-media-marketing-benchmarks-what.html

Monday, 9 April 2018

Crushing Conclusions: Why Content Marketers Shouldn’t Skip the Ending

Importance of Conclusions in Content Marketing

Importance of Conclusions in Content Marketing We marketing writers spend a lot of time crafting a piece of content. In fact, according to Orbit Media’s most recent blogger survey, most writers spend about three and half hours crafting one blog post—which is a one-hour jump from its first report in 2014, highlighting to me the focus on quality over quantity of output. But let’s be honest, regardless of how long we spend on a piece of content, we have our priorities in terms of how we spend that time. The title, while just a few words, is how we grab audience attention or entice the click. The introduction is how we hook the readers. And, of course, the body is at the heart of it all where we make good on everything we’ve promised in the headline and introduction. But when it comes to tying it all up with a solid conclusion, I’d argue that many of us aren’t giving that component the thought and care it deserves. In today’s crowded content landscape and increasing numbness to marketing messages, we can’t afford to leave any opportunity for engagement, connection, and conversions on the table. So for me, conclusions shouldn’t be an afterthought, but rather an essential marketing storytelling element for three main reasons—which is something I detail in this little video shoot I did with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis. Take a peek at my video debut if you want the Cliff's Notes, but I encourage you to keep reading to get more depth and examples that can inspire the next piece you craft.

3 Reasons Conclusions Deserve Content Marketing Care

#1 – Content consumption is bite-sized.

First of all, it’s no secret that humans have short attention spans. How short? Roughly 8 seconds. And in an age of so much content at our fingertips, so much content that is ready to be consumed—it’s overwhelming. As a result—whether we’re curious about a new trend, researching something we may need to purchase, professional development—we often scan or skim content to get satisfy our need for credible, quality content in the shortest amount of time. All that said, there are absolutely moments when we’re willing to commit to diving deeper and give something our full attention—which brings me to my next point.

#2 – If we’ve done our jobs and we’ve enticed a reader to the end, we absolutely want to leave them with something of value.

At a minimum, you should be circling back to your main points to give your audience a great summary and then providing them with a next step. Depending on your industry, audience, topic and stage in the funnel, there’s a few different considerations here: The Engagement Play Keeping folks on-page and encouraging them to interact with the content. The easiest example here is asking a thought-provoking question that relates to the topic and gives readers a chance to lend their voice. Here’s an example from my recent post regarding Facebook’s latest algorithm changes and what they meant for influencer marketing. As you can read, there’s a summary, actionable next steps from a takeaway and other reading standpoint, and then a related question to encourage discussion. Engaging Conclusion Example for Content Marketers The Emotional Play Appealing to your reader’s emotions by leaving them with a little food for thought, inspiration or encouragement is a great way to reinforce every word up until that point and create a more personal connection. From my perspective, this route is especially great for thought leadership pieces. In my journalism days, one of my go-to tactics here was to end with a compelling quote from one of my sources. I’d bring it all back together and then frost it with an interesting, uplifting, or sometimes a little heart-wrenching quote to really drive it home. Here’s a subtle example from the *LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog. Titled Play Ball! How Marketers Can Apply the Principles of Spring Training and Experimentation, this baseball-themed post discusses how marketers can use spring training as inspiration for validating and optimizing social ad campaigns. With baseball season kicking off, the metaphor itself has a great hook for appealing to their audience’s interests. When it comes to the conclusion, the minimum best practices of circling back and providing a summary are in play. And it’s done with the inspirational, “you can do it” sentiment woven throughout. Then the final line—”Step on up to the plate and give it a try”—gives readers “permission” to try a little something new. Of course, there’s a related CTA, too. Emotion Evoking Conclusion Example for Content Marketers The Tactical Play This one is simple and probably one of the most widely used. This is all about giving readers something to do next. You’ve addressed a pain point or issue, you’ve offered insights and some solutions, but now the question is: What do they do next? I want to be careful to say that this isn’t just a simple call to action. The conclusion should absolutely lead them to believe that the end CTA is worth their time. Here’s a lovely example from TopRank Marketing’s Anne Leuman. Her recent post on search marketing integration, which featured a philosophical theme, she reinforces her main point and highlights key benefits. When it comes time to deliver the next step, she uses a “but wait there’s more” approach that tells the reader they have more integration possibilities to discover. Tactical Conclusion Example for Content Marketers Play Integration These three plays don’t stand alone. They can be played with and combined to fit your topic, audience, and natural next steps for readers. In our own Nick Nelson recent post In a World of Diminishing Trust, Data-Driven Marketers Can Turn the Tide, Nick tackles consumer mistrust and what that means for marketers moving forward. He begins with data-mishap story, outlines the trust issue, talks about the solution, and then it’s time for the conclusion where he artfully leverages a combination of the plays above. His first few paragraphs tug at the emotional and inspirational heartstrings, but also delivers tactical value with next steps and takeaways. Conclusion Example from Nick Nelson But his final line really drives it all home: Final Line of Nick Nelson Conclusion Finally, the related CTA isn’t just a simple “Read more” line. CTA in Nick Nelson Conclusion

#3 – Every great story has a great ending.

Last, and certainly not least—and although it may sound a little hokey: Every great story has a great ending. No actually, every great story deserves a great ending. Period.

In Conclusion …

< Wow. No pressure or anything. > We marketing writers are dedicated to our craft, spending hours to develop click-worthy headlines, compelling hooks and valuable body copy. But let’s not forget that every great story needs to have a great ending. At a minimum, you should be circling back to your main points to give your audience a thoughtful summary and then providing them with a next step. And depending on your industry, topic, audience, and stage in the funnel, you should blend tactics to leave readers with something of value—whether that be inspiration, food for thought, actionable nexts steps or takeaways, or a little mix of everything. The bottom line? Take it from the Master of Conclusions, Tom Smykowski: Don't Skip the Conclusion Meme Looking for ways to up your writing productivity, while also delivering on quality? Getting started can be the hardest part, so why not start with your conclusion? Get more content productivity hacks to help you take creation from failing to flying high. What are your thoughts on the importance of conclusions? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Share your thoughts on the subject.

The post Crushing Conclusions: Why Content Marketers Shouldn’t Skip the Ending appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.


Article Source: http://bathseoexpert.blogspot.com/2018/04/crushing-conclusions-why-content.html