Influencer Marketing Golden Ticket

Is Influencer Marketing the Next Golden Ticket? [INFOGRAPHIC] – Influencer marketing is growing like crazy. Will it become the next golden ticket? Check out this infographic to find out. The Shelf

Google Webmaster Tools Rebrands To Google Search Console – Google aims to get more users on Google Webmaster Tools by renaming it to Google Search Console. Search Engine Land

Twitter’s Objective-Based Ads Are Now Available To All Advertisers – Company officially launches beta program that it says has helped improve efficiency and cut costs for advertisers who pay only for certain types of engagement, like website clicks, conversions, lead generation or video views. Marketing Land

Tweets Now Appear In Google Search – Twitter and Google announced that tweets now appear in mobile searches. They will make their way to desktop searches in the future. Find out more about how they’ll be appearing. Twitter

Google to Add ‘Buy’ Button to Search Results Within Next Few Weeks – Within the next few weeks Google will be rolling out a “buy” button that will allow people to purchase certain items directly from its search results pages. Search Engine Journal

YouTube Adds Click-to-Shop Button to TrueView Ads – YouTube is tweaking its commercials to be more like interactive infomercials. Ad Age

Google Launches Shopping Ads For YouTube, Integration With Merchant Center – Thursday, YouTube announced a version of product listing ads are coming to retailers’ video ads with TrueView for Shopping. Search Engine Land

Google Upgrades AdWords Editor to Support Labels – Google has made a worldwide update of AdWords Editor that will offer labels, support for upgraded URLs, call-only ads, in-app mobile ads, and custom affinity audiences. Search Engine Watch

Pinterest to Enhance Promoted Pin Ad Capabilities – The visual discovery platform is going to add a slew of new features to promoted pins, including app promotion. How can marketers benefit from these updates? Pinterest is going to make promoted pins more appealing to advertisers by adding a new suite of ad solutions. ClickZ

Google Says Its Google Preferred Viewers 29% More Likely To Visit Brand Sites After Watching YouTube – According to a study conducted by Google this year, nearly one in ten of its Google Preferred desktop viewers do not watch traditional TV. Marketing Land

The Google-Twitter Deal Goes Live, Giving Tweets Prominent Placement In Google’s Results – Tweets now appear for trending topics in a new carousel format. Twitter doesn’t earn directly off display but will gain new traffic. Search Engine Land

Facebook Now Lets People Call Businesses From News Feed Ads – The social network adds “Call Now” button, enhancing the local awareness ad program for local businesses. Marketing Land

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to Content Marketing: 6 Steps for Building a Massive AudienceJason Quey said, “Great insight Evan, just buffered this! I believe many should focus on the right strategy to a good content foundation.”

On Stand Out or Don’t Bother: Sally Hogshead on Harnessing Your Fascination Advantage, Sebastian Mealer shared, “I love the advice and framework. I took the test and arrived at the two advantages I expected. What I think is great about this is communicating and displaying your strengths, and remembering to focus on them in messages as well as time. Very helpful in distilling unique strengths and value into a concise statement.”

And Daniel Dessinger commented, “Some great tips here. I missed this session at the conference. Thanks so much for sharing with us. I definitely think #4 is our greatest opportunity. It’s easy to focus on competitors and peers and to make sure one is doing what they do. It’s not a creative stance, but it’s more of a CYA approach. Realizing that the REAL success lies in differentiation is a GREAT way to break out of the mold and begin paving a better path for one’s business.”

Then in response to Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design and Optimization, Monica Michaela said, “Hi! I totally agree that “confusion is the enemy of action”. Being very clear helps you build trust between your company and your potential customer.

I also believe that having security badges or/and money-back guarantees on your landing page definitely increases the numbers of conversions because everybody wants to feel safe and trust the company they are buying from. Who wouldn’t? =)”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: The Shelf


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Online Marketing News: Facebook Feed Buzzes Businesses, Promoted Pins Get Powerful, Twitter Shows Search | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Eliminating aesthetically displeasing junk, crap and undesired goods from your own home can become a new irritating activity. All of us doesn’t just conserve through the headaches associated with eliminating rubbish, but also this possible self-injury or even destruction of your office or house coming from looking to remove most of these undesirable items on your own.
Utilizing us is simple. We are able to suit our own schedule for you to yours, whilst outstanding very sensitive to your needs and finances restrictions. With this greater vans and also educated staff, getting rid of those people excess things is often a breeze.

B2B-CONTENT-PLAYBOOK

The 2015 B2B Marketing Report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs sheds a pretty bright light on the true state of B2B content marketing. While 86% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, only 8% rate their content marketing efforts as “very effective”. It’s not so different than teams participating in sports like football. Sure, everyone is playing, but who is actually really good at it?

Fundamental blocking and tackling are key for a winning football game. The same can be said for implementing a successful B2B content marketing program: mastery of the fundamentals is essential. With B2B content creation in particular, marketers must be prepared for everything from understanding the voice of the customer to developing the right mix of content assets.

For most B2B marketers, staying on top of the B2B content marketing game takes practice, practice and more practice to be successful. Drilling those basic skills can mean the difference between winning and losing the business customer acquisition game.

Here’s the good news: We’ve put this B2B Content Marketing Playbook together to provide you with all the content marketing formations you’ll need to play the B2B content game right and maybe even win a content marketing championship!

shutterstock_221686972

Learn the Language of Your Customer

Writing killer content for business buyers takes practice. Part of that practice involves understanding the language of the industry that you’re writing for. It is important to strike a balance between incorporating the proper industry terms while not overstuffing your content or using jargon in the wrong context.

Here are a few steps you can take to catch on to the terms you need to know:

  1. Talk to your current customers – learn their pain points, goals and the words they use to describe what’s important
  2. Review the website content of your customers and their competitors – learn to speak like a native
  3. Search for and absorb information from reputable content sources online – where do your customers discover and consume industry and solutions information? What publications, influencers and peers do they listen to and read?

Connect with the Right Content Marketing Resources

Believe it or not, sometimes you’ll need to bring in reinforcements. Determining whether you need to hire experienced industry copywriters for the short or long-term, depends on the project.

No matter how long contract copywriters or content marketing agency resources are a part of your marketing team’s efforts, learn as much as you can in the time that you’re working with them. Be wary of writers that claim to have industry expertise but don’t provide examples of their work.

When interviewing potential resources, keep the following in mind:

  • How long have they been creating content for the specific industry?
  • Have they written content for a reputable content source or company?
  • What is their process for understanding content goals, customer voice and actual content creation?

Map B2B Buyer Personas to Content

To deliver the most relevant and useful information to B2B buyers, its important to identify distinct customer segments and the stages of their buying experience. To write specifically for a group of buyers and what they care about, it’s useful to create a persona that represents their common interests, behaviors, pain points and goals.

For each persona and buying experience or journey, customers will have different types of questions depending on where they are in the process. The B2B content you create should address the needs of a specific customer persona as well as the broad to specific questions they need answered when investigating the kinds of solutions your company offers.

Let’s assume for a second that the product is a marketing automation tool and the target customer is a large brand seeking a solution to help deliver their marketing in a more structured and meaningful way. It’s important that content is created for any one of the positions/needs below:

  • Director of Marketing: Is interested in seeing if there is a better way to create, distribute and track content.
    • Stage: Awareness
    • Sample Blog Content: 10 Signs You May Need Marketing Automation
  • Marketing Manager: Has been given a directive to create a cost/capability comparison for a variety of different marketing automation solutions:
    • Stage: Engagement
    • Sample Blog Content: 5 Features & Benefits of XYZ Marketing Automation
  • VP of Marketing: Needs to determine if Marketing Automation will be a sound investment for the organization.
    • Stage: Conversion
    • Sample Blog Content: 7 Ways Marketing Automation Saves Money & Improves Efficiency

The examples above only scratch the surface in terms of potential personas, stages in the buying cycle and types of content that can be used to meet the needs of your customers.

playbook fumble

Lead Your Content with Key Points

It’s likely that the professionals searching for B2B solutions have responsibilities outside of purchasing the product that you’re promoting via content marketing (aka, they’re busy). Keep that in mind when you’re determining how to structure content.

Blog posts for example, should quickly summarize key points so that the reader can decide if they would like to continue reading. This sets the stage for what they’ll find in the blog post.

The B2B and H2H Tug of War

B2B customers desire content that meets both their personal and business needs. How can you strike that delicate balance?

  • Be specific
  • Show empathy
  • Focus on solutions
  • Inject voice and personality
  • Create content for where they live (social, mobile), not just where they work (blogs, publications)

shutterstock_90027943

Incorporate Multiple Types of Content

Did you know that there are well over 30 types of Content Marketing tactics? Based on the product or service that content is being created for, and the audience, there is an incredible opportunity to provide multiple content types to provide buyers with the best possible information experience. Examples of tactics that have traditionally worked well for B2B marketing include:

  • Case Studies
  • White Papers
  • Blog Posts
  • eBooks
  • Digital Newsletters
  • Email Marketing
  • Webinars and Real World Events

Also consider the “human” side of B2B marketing through social media, mobile and visually-focused content. After all, buyers are people too.

Include Calls to Action (CTAs)

B2B content should almost always include a call to action of some sort. It’s important that you always give readers direction on what to do next, whether it’s to consume another piece of content, subscribe, share or make an appointment. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering B2B content CTAs:

  • Don’t Be Shy: Your CTAs should stand out as a clear next step. Instead of burying your CTA at the bottom of the page, consider using your content header or sidebar.
  • Keep it Simple: While you may want to know everything about the person completing your CTA, you have to remove the barrier to entry. Ask for only the necessary information you need to accomplish your goal.
  • Offer Value, Again: Remind the prospect what they’re signing up for. Be sure to reiterate that they are signing up for XYZ webinar, which will help them accomplish ABC.

Experiment with Landing Pages

Landing pages create an enormous opportunity for capturing information that can be used to effectively nurture B2B leads. When experimenting with landing pages here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • There may be different levels of decision makers and different stages of the buying cycle.
  • You can increase the value of good content by requiring form completion
  • Take some time to A/B test your page content and forms
  • Always include testimonials

Why Mastering the Game of B2B Content Marketing is Essential

Jumping head-first into a game of B2B content marketing without mastering the blocking and tackling basics can quickly have you experiencing more losses than wins. In order to create successful B2B content, understand who your customers are, what they care about and how the product that you’re marketing helps solve their business problem. Speak to your target buyer using their language, using the kinds of content they prefer and with offers that will be the most compelling for them to take action.

In football, it’s often said that the best defense is a good offense. Stay on top of your B2B content marketing game by incorporating the basic rules from this B2B Content Marketing Playbook into your content routine.

Photos via Shutterstock: FirstSecondThirdFourth


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Ann Handley Authority Rainmaker 2015

“Do you have any mustard?”

“Give me the mustard.”

“Pardon me: Do you have any Grey Poupon?”

These three statements mean the same thing, but each is a unique way of asking for the desired item. Often, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

In her session at Authority Rainmaker 2015, Ann Handley shared the belief that brand voice is key to creating good content marketing that will set you apart.

There is this idea that as quantity of content increases, quality takes a nose dive. So how do you maintain or increase quality of content while increasing quantity?

It starts with being really good at the basics, like brand voice.

Not More Content…Ridiculously Better Content

  • 77% of B2C organizations are using content marketing. (Source: CMI)
  • 69% of B2C organizations are creating more content than they did 1 year ago. (Source CMI)

You aren’t just competing with your competitors anymore, but you’re competing with yourself and everyone else for mind share. Sometimes it may feel like you need more content in order to get attention.

The answer IS NOT more content…it’s ridiculously better content.

Good Writing is About Getting Inside the Heads of Other People

Producing engaging content is the biggest challenge for content marketers. Producing engaging content means becoming a better storytelling and a better writer.

According to Ann, writing is the guts of content marketing. And good writing isn’t just about grammar. It’s about knowing what your audience needs and wants and telling that story in a really interesting way.

This is where your brand voice comes into play. Ann gave us five steps to create and use a brand voice.

Step 1: You Do You (it’s not what you sell, it’s who you are).

AH 1

At a very basic level, branded web content should answer these three questions:

  • Who are you?
  • Why do you do what you do? This means what value do you offer that no one else does.
  • What are you like to deal with? This means what story are you telling more broadly when people come to your site.

Brand voice reflects your culture, amplifies your story and communicates empathy to people you want to reach.

Ann used the example of CrowdRise. The CrowdRise home page reads: “Raise money for a awesome causes and have the most fun while you do it”. The tagline says “if you don’t give back no one will like you”.

Definitely a distinctive voice: irreverent, fun and inspiring.  According to Gary Wohlfeill, Director of Marketing at CrowdRise, this is more than just copywriting. This is a calculated move to talk about who CrowdRise is and use it as a differentiator.  The copywriter isn’t just brought in at the end. They are there every step of the way.

Step 2: Write it Down

Once you know who you are broadly, then distill it down, so it’s easy to communicate and embody.

Complete this Marketing Madlib.

Our brand is (go ahead and fill out three adjectives):

1.

2.

3.

Ok – keep that handy.

Step 3: Re-frame

A Handley 3

Now that you know who you are, re-frame the three adjectives from your Madlib and put your customer into the story. Your website should be built around who you are and what that means to your customer.

Another example Ann provided was that of Tufts University. Their three adjectives are reassuring, helpful and humorous. So now let’s spin those adjectives to include their target audience, prospective parents and students applying for college.

  • Reassuring becomes relax
  • Helpful becomes no BS
  • Humorous becomes let’s not get too nutty about college

Re-framing the adjectives transforms content about “you” into content that offers a unique value for your audience.

Step 4: Do Not Dilute

AH 4

Writing in a distinctive brand voice is about taking some risks. Content marketing is a magnet that is meant to attract like minded people, and repel those who are not.

If you dilute your brand voice so you don’t offend anyone, it will be that much less powerful. Remember, this is about building an audience, not just getting eyeballs.

Step 5: Sweat the Small Stuff

An Handley 5

Brand voice touches beyond those things you typically think of as content, it’s everything you put out there. Find interesting ways to say boring stuff on your ‘about us’, landing pages, microcopy, and subscribe buttons.

Matching every word on your site to your brand voice (re-framed for your audience) shows empathy, a powerful motivator for consumers.

Quantity and quality don’t have to be enemies. By getting back to basics, who you are, your brand can create a strong voice which attracts the right audience with quantity and quality.


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Good Content Vs. Good Enough Content: A Fight for Sore Eyes with Ann Handley | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Brian Clark Authority Rainmaker Cover

What does it take to become an authority in your industry? How can we make better sense out of an integrated approach to digital marketing?

According to the presentations we saw at Authority Rainmaker 2015, it takes the passion to learn and pursue knowledge, the expertise that warrants credibility and respect of your peers and the time and effort to earn your place as an industry thought leader.

While only in it’s second year, Copyblogger’s Authority conference brought the passion and expertise that will no doubt result in achieving authority status among digital marketing events in the industry.

Alexis Hall, Lee Odden and I had the pleasure of representing TopRank Online Marketing for this informative and entertaining event, which took place at the beautiful Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver Colorado. We met interesting people, created great blog and social content and learned lots of great digital marketing tips to share with our agency team.

Here are some of our favorite takeaways:

Buyers Hold the Power – Daniel Pink

D Pink AR2015

Today’s buyers are extremely savvy. They have access to information and tools, that previously were only available to the sellers. Marketers have an enormous opportunity to begin serving these customers in a more meaningful way.

Find out how by reading The New Era of Sales and Content Marketing – Daniel Pink

Content Marketing Pros Follow Similar Paths to Success – Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi

Content marketing has exploded in popularity and for very good reason. Done right, it gets huge business results at a fraction of the cost of more conventional marketing tactics. Several trail-blazing businesses and thought leaders have been instrumental in driving the adoption of content marketing by not only proving the model, but in many cases defining it.

For companies who have yet to achieve content marketing greatness, make sure you’re on the right track by following Joe Pulizzi’s 6 Steps to Building a Massive Audience

Cleverness Doesn’t Pay When it Comes to Landing Pages – Sonia Simone

Sonia AR2015 2

Clever titles may work great for BuzzFeed and Reddit content, but they can be confusing in the context of landing pages. The goal of any landing page isn’t to get a laugh, it’s to motivate action and confusion is the enemy of action.

Learn how to turn your landing page CRO up to 11 in Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design and Optimization.

Search Engines Are Getting a Lot Smarter – Danny Sullivan

D Sullivan AR2015

As powerful and revolutionary as search engines are, the past year has seen some truly game-changing upgrades at Google. From the Hummingbird algorithm update which moved Google ranking factors far beyond just keywords and links, to the Mobile Friendly update which is helping to usher in a new era of mobile friendly websites, search marketers have had plenty to keep them busy.

Learn more about the where search is now and likely to be going in: Danny Sullivan on the State of Search Marketing in 2015 

Craving More Authority Rainmaker Insights?

This eBook features additional insights and tweetable tips from the marketing experts that appeared at Authority Rainmaker 2015.

Complete List of Coverage From Authority Rainmaker 2015

Below are links to the presentations we covered at Authority Rainmaker:

Thank you to Brian Clark, Jessica Commins and the Copyblogger team for putting on a such a great event! I know most of the attendees would agree, this is a digital marketing event worth repeating and we’re looking forward to what’s in store for next year.

Whether you attended Authority in-person or vicariously through social shares and posts like this, what were your favorite takeaways from Authority Rainmaker?


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Top Digital Marketing Takeaways From Authority Rainmaker | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi has been a content marketer before content marketing had a name. While working at a media company in the Custom Publishing department, he had dreams of starting a small business, which he eventually did in 2007 by starting a blog about content marketing.

Fast forward 3 years later and he had built Content Marketing Institute, which is well-known today as a source of content marketing thought leadership, training, events and consulting.

Today, Joe is joined by many other companies who built their businesses aided by the power of content marketing, such as CopyBlogger, Social Media Examiner, and the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

Being the curious type, Joe wanted to know more about the paths which other businesses had taken in their journey to success through content marketing, so he did some asking around. The interesting thing he found was that when boiled down, there were remarkable similarities between these businesses in terms of the process and steps they had taken, which led Joe to the conclusion that there is a consistent formula for content marketing success.

In his session at Authority Rainmaker 2015, Joe shared six steps businesses should follow if they want to join the ranks of those getting incredible value from content marketing.

Content Marketing Sweet Spot Diagram - Authority Rainmaker 2915

#1 Find Your Content Sweet Spot

It’s hard to make people care about a topic unless you care about it yourself and even harder to hold their attention if you don’t know what you’re talking about. The most successful content comes from people who have identified both:

  • Their area of expertise: what they know
  • Their passion: what they love

Of course, there isn’t always a perfect overlap between passion and expertise, but there should be some. That perfect overlapping area is known as your sweet spot, and that’s where you want to start to focus your content creation efforts.

#2 Find Your Content Tilt

While it would be great if we could all only write about exactly what we wanted (your sweet spot), unfortunately that may not pay the bills without some tweaking. Successful content marketing means serving others first, not yourself, so if your content sweet spot doesn’t align with the needs and interests of your community, it likely isn’t going to attract many eyeballs (or wallets).

Similar to expertise and passion, there may not be a perfect overlap between your sweet spot and what your community wants. Alternately, you may share your sweet spot with others who have well-established authority that would be tough to compete with.

Tilting your content means tweaking your focus so it aligns with an area of opportunity in the community that falls within your sweet spot. Even with the explosion of content on the internet today, there are still plenty of areas which aren’t being served effectively, or at all. If you can tilt your content focus to be the only one that serves the niche, or simply serves it better than anyone else, you can become an authority that attracts and audience and keeps them engaged all the way through to converting into customers.

The key is to be very specific, as this allows your content to be tightly targeted and specific to the needs of your niche community. As John Lydgate famously said, “you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

The goal for your content should be to please some of the people all of the time, so avoid broad content like a bad cold.

Build Your Content Marketing Base - Authority Rainmaker 2015

#3 Build Your Base

Before you can start to see business benefits from your content, you’re going to need a build a base audience. This takes time for everyone, so it’s important to be patient and set realistic expectations both for yourself and for your key stakeholders.

Brian Clark (CEO of CopyBlogger media) built his base for over 15 months before seeing any monetary gains. Joe admits that when he started the blog that evolved into Content Marketing Institute, he had an audience of one (his mom). It took time for the experts to build a base and it will for you too.

In order to attract an audience, you need to create a content hub for them to go to. While you will need to promote and publish your content to a variety of destinations in order to get traction, your content base or hub is your primary platform where publishing takes place and it should be a place you own, like your blog or newsroom.

The reason why it’s so critical to own your content hub is that it’s insurance for the future. Like many businesses learned last year when Facebook drastically reduced the visibility of brand content without paid promotion, building your content hub on rented land is a recipe for disaster if the landlord decides to change the rules, raise the rent or evict you.

#4 Harvest Your Audience

While our primary focus so far has been to attract new eyes to our content, it’s important to remember to pay attention to retaining those eyes. The internet is awash in content these days and people have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep people coming back or they might forget you.

The key to staying memorable with your audience is to maintain consistent regular touch points by converting them into subscribers. While it may not be the trendiest tactic in digital marketing, email lists are the gold standard when it comes to building a subscriber base. Joe strongly recommends prioritizing email far above social followers, as email tends to generate far better response rates and eventually revenue.

One of the best ways to keep your list growing is to make it dead simple to join. Prominent links on your site template, cross-linked in blog content and on your social channels are essential. Make sure to thoroughly test all your subscription forms as well as reduce required fields down to the bare essentials, as too many form fields are an absolute conversion killer.

While controversial, you should also consider using popup subscribe boxes. Joe was against these at first, but changed his tune when a test showed that popovers not only increased subscriptions but tended to bring in better qualified subscribers compared to the standard non-popup forms.

#5 Diversify Your Offerings

While you should never waver in your topic focus, it makes sense to branch out into multiple formats for your message, as this may help you to both reach new audience members and reinforce your authority among your existing subscriber base.

Joe recommends pursuing a model of content diversification, which includes:

  • Personal content:
    • Blog
    • Book
    • Public speaking
  • Business content:
    • Digital
    • Print
    • In-person

First Build an Audience Then Monetize It - Authority Rainmaker 2015

#6 Monetize

“First build an audience, then monetize it”. For Joe and his team at Content Marketing Institute, their monetization comes in the form of consulting, training and events. Your revenue source(s) will likely be unique to your business, but you should always be on the lookout for new ways to monetize your content marketing.

Although monetization is typically the last step in the audience building roadmap, you should never pass up opportunities along the way to get some monetary value from your content marketing. You may even come across revenue opportunities you never even considered at the outset.

Just make sure that you never cross the line of being pushy or dishonest with your audience in your attempts to monetize. The objective of content marketing is first and foremost to serve your community.

Disclosure: CMI is a TopRank Marketing client.


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Content Marketing: 6 Steps to Building a Massive Audience | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi has been a content marketer before content marketing had a name. While working at a media company in the Custom Publishing department, he had dreams of starting a small business, which he eventually did in 2007 by starting a blog about content marketing.

Fast forward 3 years later and he had built Content Marketing Institute, which is well-known today as a source of content marketing thought leadership, training, events and consulting.

Today, Joe is joined by many other companies who built their businesses aided by the power of content marketing, such as CopyBlogger, Social Media Examiner, and the team at TopRank Online Marketing.

Being the curious type, Joe wanted to know more about the paths which other businesses had taken in their journey to success through content marketing, so he did some asking around. The interesting thing he found was that when boiled down, there were remarkable similarities between these businesses in terms of the process and steps they had taken, which led Joe to the conclusion that there is a consistent formula for content marketing success.

In his session at Authority Rainmaker 2015, Joe shared six steps businesses should follow if they want to join the ranks of those getting incredible value from content marketing.

Content Marketing Sweet Spot Diagram - Authority Rainmaker 2915

#1 Find Your Content Sweet Spot

It’s hard to make people care about a topic unless you care about it yourself and even harder to hold their attention if you don’t know what you’re talking about. The most successful content comes from people who have identified both:

  • Their area of expertise: what they know
  • Their passion: what they love

Of course, there isn’t always a perfect overlap between passion and expertise, but there should be some. That perfect overlapping area is known as your sweet spot, and that’s where you want to start to focus your content creation efforts.

#2 Find Your Content Tilt

While it would be great if we could all only write about exactly what we wanted (your sweet spot), unfortunately that may not pay the bills without some tweaking. Successful content marketing means serving others first, not yourself, so if your content sweet spot doesn’t align with the needs and interests of your community, it likely isn’t going to attract many eyeballs (or wallets).

Similar to expertise and passion, there may not be a perfect overlap between your sweet spot and what your community wants. Alternately, you may share your sweet spot with others who have well-established authority that would be tough to compete with.

Tilting your content means tweaking your focus so it aligns with an area of opportunity in the community that falls within your sweet spot. Even with the explosion of content on the internet today, there are still plenty of areas which aren’t being served effectively, or at all. If you can tilt your content focus to be the only one that serves the niche, or simply serves it better than anyone else, you can become an authority that attracts and audience and keeps them engaged all the way through to converting into customers.

The key is to be very specific, as this allows your content to be tightly targeted and specific to the needs of your niche community. As John Lydgate famously said, “you can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

The goal for your content should be to please some of the people all of the time, so avoid broad content like a bad cold.

Build Your Content Marketing Base - Authority Rainmaker 2015

#3 Build Your Base

Before you can start to see business benefits from your content, you’re going to need a build a base audience. This takes time for everyone, so it’s important to be patient and set realistic expectations both for yourself and for your key stakeholders.

Brian Clark (CEO of CopyBlogger media) built his base for over 15 months before seeing any monetary gains. Joe admits that when he started the blog that evolved into Content Marketing Institute, he had an audience of one (his mom). It took time for the experts to build a base and it will for you too.

In order to attract an audience, you need to create a content hub for them to go to. While you will need to promote and publish your content to a variety of destinations in order to get traction, your content base or hub is your primary platform where publishing takes place and it should be a place you own, like your blog or newsroom.

The reason why it’s so critical to own your content hub is that it’s insurance for the future. Like many businesses learned last year when Facebook drastically reduced the visibility of brand content without paid promotion, building your content hub on rented land is a recipe for disaster if the landlord decides to change the rules, raise the rent or evict you.

#4 Harvest Your Audience

While our primary focus so far has been to attract new eyes to our content, it’s important to remember to pay attention to retaining those eyes. The internet is awash in content these days and people have short attention spans, so it’s important to keep people coming back or they might forget you.

The key to staying memorable with your audience is to maintain consistent regular touch points by converting them into subscribers. While it may not be the trendiest tactic in digital marketing, email lists are the gold standard when it comes to building a subscriber base. Joe strongly recommends prioritizing email far above social followers, as email tends to generate far better response rates and eventually revenue.

One of the best ways to keep your list growing is to make it dead simple to join. Prominent links on your site template, cross-linked in blog content and on your social channels are essential. Make sure to thoroughly test all your subscription forms as well as reduce required fields down to the bare essentials, as too many form fields are an absolute conversion killer.

While controversial, you should also consider using popup subscribe boxes. Joe was against these at first, but changed his tune when a test showed that popovers not only increased subscriptions but tended to bring in better qualified subscribers compared to the standard non-popup forms.

#5 Diversify Your Offerings

While you should never waver in your topic focus, it makes sense to branch out into multiple formats for your message, as this may help you to both reach new audience members and reinforce your authority among your existing subscriber base.

Joe recommends pursuing a model of content diversification, which includes:

  • Personal content:
    • Blog
    • Book
    • Public speaking
  • Business content:
    • Digital
    • Print
    • In-person

First Build an Audience Then Monetize It - Authority Rainmaker 2015

#6 Monetize

“First build an audience, then monetize it”. For Joe and his team at Content Marketing Institute, their monetization comes in the form of consulting, training and events. Your revenue source(s) will likely be unique to your business, but you should always be on the lookout for new ways to monetize your content marketing.

Although monetization is typically the last step in the audience building roadmap, you should never pass up opportunities along the way to get some monetary value from your content marketing. You may even come across revenue opportunities you never even considered at the outset.

Just make sure that you never cross the line of being pushy or dishonest with your audience in your attempts to monetize. The objective of content marketing is first and foremost to serve your community.

Disclosure: CMI is a TopRank Marketing client.


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Content Marketing: 6 Steps for Building a Massive Audience | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Content Marketing: 6 Steps for Building a Massive Audience appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Sally Hogshead Authority Rainmaker

Why is Jägermeister the bestselling liquor brand that no one likes?

Because it’s toxic taste is what sets it apart from all the other liquor choices behind the bar. The worst it tastes, the more people talk about it. That creates a unique experience that people seek out.

This illustrates what Sally Hogshead suggested in her opening keynote at Authority Rainmaker – different is better than better. Sally is a best selling author, keynote speaker and marketer who has consulted for brands ranging from BMW to Target.

Sally says that the uniqueness of a brand is what can be translated into their competitive advantage. When you are able to put that competitive advantage into words, it translates into something people will evangelize and purchase.

The same logic for brands can apply to individuals too. Your unique advantage is what will makes people hire you, promote you and remember you.

The key is knowing what your unique advantage is, how to describe it and harness it to focus on doing what you are good at.

Sally Hogshead tell us how to leverage your Fascination Advantage® in order to stand out and transform your career.

What is the Fascination Advantage?

In ancient Latin, facsinare means to bewitch or hold captive so people are powerless to resist.

Sounds pretty powerful, right? Your fascination advantage, is the thing about your authentic self that will allow you to captivate.

According to Sally, there are 7 primary fascination advantages. For most people there 2 advantages where they communicate most confidently and effortlessly.

The 7 Fascination Advantages:

  • Innovation: Creative brainstormers
  • Passion: Relationships builders with strong people skills
  • Power: A leader who makes decisions
  • Prestige: Over achievers with higher standards
  • Trust: Stable and reliable
  • Mystique: Solo intellect behind the scenes
  • Alert: Precise detail manager

The combination of your primary and secondary advantage are what create your archetype. Once you know your archetype, you can open the door to harnessing your best self.

Find out your type here: howtofascinate.com/you (Code: copyblogger)

49 Personality Archetypes

10 Things you Can Do Better Once You Know Your Fascination Advantage

Once you know your fascination  archetype, you know what differentiates you from others. Remember, different is better. Once you know what makes you better, you can leverage that to do even more.

Number 1: Create your anthem

An anthem is a very short phrase that describes how you are different. It is the easiest way to describe your unique value.

Typically a combination of an adjective (describes you) and a noun(describes what you do). For example Cutting Edge Social Strategist.

Number 2: Update your marketing copy

One you have your anthem update your LinkedIn profile or resume to speak to your unique advantage.

Number 3: Stand out to get hired and promoted

Now that you have been able to condense and communicate your unique advantage, continue to leverage that in the job you choose and the tasks you complete. When you focus on being the best authentic you, it becomes very easy for the right people to hire you to do the right things.

Number 4: Don’t become a commodity

A commodity is interchangeable. Competing with everyone else who is saying the same thing you are, is a hard way to make a living. Use your Fascination Advantage to side step the competition, as you offer a unique value proposition.

Number 5: Avoid tasks that do not speak to your strengths

If you are a Catalyst (Passion + Innovation), then be careful of tasks which focus on very detailed follow up. Focus on your strengths and if possible, pass the tasks you are less adept on to someone who is the best at them.

Number 6: Be more convincing and confident 

When you are at your most authentic and natural you will be most convincing. For example, an Innovation archetype will be at their most compelling when speaking about creative ideas, rather than the details of a project (leave that to the Alert archetypes).

Number 7: Build better teams

Great teams are built on diversity. Having a balanced team will allow others to take the lead where you are not comfortable. If you only hire people who speak the same language as you, you’ll be at a disadvantage when completing tasks that require other skills. For example, if the primary advantage of your whole team is passion, there will be great banter, but not much follow through.

Number 8: Convert People into advocates

Powerful brands aren’t merely purchased, they are evangelized. Honing in on what you excel at, will encourage people to not only hire you, but to spread that word around. Good word of  mouth, is a great way to build your career and business. If you can’t offer value on a project, it’s best not do it at all.

Number 9: Do more with less (less money, less words, less time)

If you are able to harness your Fascination Advantage, you can do more with less. Fascinating brands get more reach and recall with less budget. You can do the same by focusing on your strengths, spend less time communicating is words and platforms that are ineffective.

Number 10: Take advantage of a short attention span

The average human attention span in only 9 seconds today. With only 9 seconds, what is the most fascinating thing you can say? Speak the language of your advantage and you will be more likely to captivate your audience in a very short time period.

Imagine that you as an individual can be as compelling as some of the most powerful brands in the world. Look inward to your natural self, in order to determine, develop and harness your competitive advantage for marketing, for business and for personal success.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Stand Out or Don’t Bother: Sally Hogshead on Harnessing Your Fascination Advantage | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Stand Out or Don’t Bother: Sally Hogshead on Harnessing Your Fascination Advantage appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Sonia Simone - Authority Rainmaker 2015

Copyblogger’s Sonia Simone kicked off her Authority Rainmaker presentation with a question that has certainly been asked before.Is marketing evil? Unfortunately we’ve all come across misguided campaigns that seem intended to trick people rather than help them. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be.

“Like brushing your teeth before going out on a date, marketing is about putting a good face on what you have”, explains Sonia. You may be able to pull the wool over people’s eyes in the short term, but tricking your audience is a sure path to failure in the long run. Every brand’s reputation is pretty easy to research on the internet these days and people just aren’t dumb enough for a truly ‘evil’ strategy to work.

So, effective digital marketing is decidedly not ‘evil’, but can we learn something from evil people? According to Sonia, we certainly can. Drawing on some classic villains including Dr. Evil and the Joker, Sonia laid out how well-meaning digital marketers can benefit from adding just a little ‘evil’ to their landing pages.

Dr Evils Landing Page Optimization Tips - Authority Rainmaker 2015

Always Try to Shoot Fish from a Barrel

The best way to generate conversions from your landing pages is simply to make it easy for people to convert. Like a barrel, a well-constructed landing page puts visitors directly in the firing line of your offer and doesn’t include ‘leaks’ or distractions to divert them from converting.

To get more ‘fish’ into your barrel, it needs to be inviting to your audience. Make sure your landing pages (and by extension your whole website) look professional, are easy to use and load fast. Test your forms across all major devices and browsers, then test them again. Even better, ask your grandma to test them.

Also, your offering needs to be something that people actually want. As Sonia explained, if you’re trying to sell broccoli ice cream, it doesn’t matter how well you market it, because nobody wants that.

Social Proof is Scarily Effective

Just like nobody wants to miss a party that they know their friends will be attending, people are much more motivated to join a list, download an ebook or sign up for an offer if there is evidence that others like them have already taken the same action.

Smart marketers have been aware of the power of social proof for a long time and the really smart ones are incorporating it into their landing pages to help them convert better.

A few ways to take advantage of the evil power of social proof:

  • Endorsements from influential people in the industry
  • Case studies
  • Social share count widgets
  • Facebook Like Boxes

 Landing Page Title Optimization - Authority Rainmaker 2015

Don’t Be Too Clever

Catchy clickbait headlines may work well for BuzzFeed, but they are notoriously poor performers on landing pages.

One of the fundamentals of high-converting landing page is clarity of messaging. While clever headlines may be attention grabbing, they are often confusing and confusion is the enemy of action.

In addition, confusing messaging can lower the perceived trust people have for your company, which is absolutely the last thing you want when potential business is on the line. Would you prefer to trust your health to a doctor who knew her craft, or one who could entertain you with jokes?

There’s a time and place for cleverness, but landing pages are rarely a good fit for either.

 The Terrifying Power of the Call to Action - Authority Rainmaker 2015

A Good Call to Action is Like Jedi Mind Control

When it comes to landing pages, your biggest competitor is inaction. Everyone’s attention is extremely limited, so make sure you aren’t wasting your audience’s time by being confusing or ambiguous with what they are supposed to do by including a good call to action.

Really killer calls to action have the following attributes:

  • Incredible clarity
  • A clear benefit
  • Builds trust

Provide Multiple Paths to Your Evil Lair

Any evil genius with any credibility has at least a few routes to reach their lair. There’s the hallway with spikes that pop out, the ventilation shaft hidden behind a bush and of course the front door (with lasers or something…).

Each of these distinct paths to the inside of your lair appeals to a different kind of secret agent or commando. The cautious and pragmatic spy will likely prefer to take their time and slink in through the ventilation shaft, while the overpowered bruiser henchmen will crash their way through the front door.

Similarly, visitors to your landing pages are likely to respond to different paths to conversion. Varying degrees of experience with your brand, places in the sales cycle and personal values are a few factors that can cause people to respond better to different messages or formats.

Boiling it down, Sonia says there are two major categories which your visitors are likely to fall into:

  • Already sold – These are the people who know what they want, know you can deliver it and are ready to convert. Make sure you have a direct, frictionless, straight-to-the-point path to conversion for these visitors. Don’t waste their time.
  • Need some convincing – There’s a reason these people made it to your landing page (perhaps a useful blog post, ebook, or webinar you created?), but they’re not quite sold yet. A softer call to action will likely work much better for these visitors to help convince them it’s worth it to become a customer.

Make People Feel Safe

In order for evil geniuses to be successful, they must be able to build trust. In order for your landing pages to convert visitors into customers, you have to do the same.

According to Sonia, your audience’s single biggest fear is feeling stupid. Most people want to believe that your offering is everything you claim it is, but they can’t be sure until it’s too late. What if they buy your product and it doesn’t work? What if they join your email list and receive nothing but spam? What if they come to your webinar and you share incorrect or unhelpful information?

All of these unfortunate outcomes can make someone feel pretty stupid. Unfortunately, anyone who has used the internet for a while has probably been in at least one of these situations before, so they have built in wariness about it happening again. Therefore, in order to convert visitors to customers, you need to help them overcome the fear that you’ll make them feel stupid again.

In order to help your audience feel safe to do business with you, make sure your landing pages:

  • Project credibility
    • Include visual indicators such as security badges and privacy policy links.
    • List endorsements from trusted authorities.
    • Include references to other clients you work with.
  • Reverse the risk
    • Offer a money back guarantee.
    • Start with a free trial.

Evil is Good - Authority Rainmaker 2015

The objective of any strategic digital marketing campaign is to translate attention into action. A well made landing page can be scarily effective at doing just that. But, as the decidedly non-evil superhero Spiderman famously said, “with great power comes great responsibility”, so please make sure to use these evil landing page optimization tips for good.

Keep your eye here on Online Marketing Blog as well as Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and Twitter @TopRank for coverage of the Authority Rainmaker conference. You can also see the eBook we created featuring advice from Rainmaker speakers here.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2015. |
Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design and Optimization | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Dr. Evil’s Guide to Landing Page Design and Optimization appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Is marketing evil? Sonia Simone kicked off her Authority Rainmaker 2015 presentation with a question that has certainly been asked before. Unfortunately we’ve all come across misguided campaigns that seem intended to trick people rather than help them. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. “Like brushing your teeth before going out on a […]

The post Evil Tips for Landing Page Optimization – Sonia Simone appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.