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The Future of Content Strategy

Content Marketing Strategy
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The Future of Content Strategy Content marketing has seen a lot of changes during the past few years. Many of these changes can be attributed to the rapidly evolving search landscape as well as a huge shift in the way people are actually discovering content. New, more sophisticated search algorithms, changes in how people use search engines, and new ways that marketers go about actually developing their content are just a few of the contributing factors and outcomes. All that said, many marketers still experience the same pain points that were commonplace more than five years ago: "I struggle to measure the ROI of the content I create." We create great content, but we still don’t seem to rank high in Google for our target keywords." "So, I’ve done my keyword research. Now what?" As a response to these problems — specifically the second one — a lot of marketers will create more and more content. Unfortunately, creating larger volumes of the same underperforming content will often result in the same underwhelming results — just at a greater expense. In fact, adding more content to a poor existing site architecture can make it even harder for Google to find and rank your content. That’s not a situation any marketer wants to find themselves in. The answer to these problems spans way beyond the number of blog posts being pushed out each week; the real problem lies in the way that most content strategies are...

What Is a Micro Niche … and Do You Need One?

Content Marketing Strategy
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What Is a Micro Niche ... and Do You Need One? A micro niche is a business offering that’s highly specific. You may also encounter the term sub-niche to describe these laser-focused products or services. Micro niches drill down from niches, which are already segmented out from a larger market. Here are a few quick examples to clarify the difference between a market, a niche, and a micro niche: Market, outdoor gear; Niche, camping supplies; Micro Niche, high-end mountaineering tents Market, tech; Niche, social media platforms; Micro Niche, social platforms targeted to specific interests, such as Ravelry for knitters Market, beauty supplies; Niche, cosmetics; Micro Niche, organic vegan cosmetics Micro niches generally have more adjectives attached (not just ‘food truck,’ but ‘artisan grilled cheese truck featuring locally sourced cheese and bread’) and have a highly specific audience in mind (people who love grilled cheese with fancy additions). Would your business benefit from a micro niche? Among the greatest benefits of micro niches is that they pre-qualify customers and clients early in the marketing funnel. People who are looking for outdoor gear may be looking for anything from hiking boots to fly-fishing rods to harnesses for mountain climbing. But people searching specifically for camping supplies can have very different ‘wants’ as well. They may prioritize: Affordability Ease of use Eco-friendly production Aesthetics Better, best glamping quality Mountain-ready ruggedness Often there will be an overlap of preferred...

Rethinking Your Premium Content: How to Build a Guided Learning Course

Content Marketing Strategy
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Rethinking Your Premium Content: How to Build a Guided Learning Course Are you seeing a lower return of effort for traditional premium content like whitepapers, webinars, ebooks and more? Alternatively, do you find the biggest results just aren't there for the amount of work you put into the creation? If so, you're not alone. While these offers can provide in-depth insights for prospects, not every prospect sees the value in them. Still, we continue offering premium content to build trust throughout the buyer's journey and learn information about prospects along the way. And yet, the problem remains: Where do you draw the line between offering free, useful content and charging for your expert knowledge and insight? Some brands are beginning to define this blurry line by developing their own learning management systems (LMS), as a private hub for paid access to their best educational resources. And yes, you can even build an LMS in HubSpot. Here, we'll explore what a learning management system is, the benefits of using one, and how you can repurpose content into your own guided learning course.  Let's dive in.  What's a learning management system (LMS)? First, let's first make sure we're on the same page with a definition. A learning management system (LMS) is a software application to administer, document, track, report on and deliver educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. It's a portal that users can log into to exclusively access the premium content you develop specifically for your paid...

What Are Website Traffic Exchange Sites? (And Why You Shouldn’t Use Them)

Content Marketing Strategy
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What Are Website Traffic Exchange Sites? (And Why You Shouldn't Use Them) Traffic matters. The more traffic your website generates, the greater your chances of capturing visitor interest, encouraging user action and generating sales. So it’s no surprise that traffic remains a top priority no matter what kind of site you run. As noted by a recent Forbes piece, everything from specific search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to contextually-relevant content can help boost traffic volumes and increase key metrics, while more technical traffic attractions such as reducing page load delays and improving user experience on mobile devices can also enhance your website impact. The potential downside? These traffic-boosting tactics aren’t quick fixes. They require time and effort to deliver ongoing results — and they’re not guaranteed. Website traffic exchange sites offer a supposedly speedy solution to deliver increased impressions and help your click-throughs climb the charts, but as noted by Google, they also come with significant risk “because they may lead to invalid clicks or impressions and result in your account being disabled.” Here’s what you need to know about website traffic exchange sites, how they work — and the red flags that make them a non-starter for sustained traffic over time. What is a Website Traffic Exchange? The idea behind a website traffic exchange is simple: Quid pro quo — you do something, and you get something in return. In this case, what you’re doing is visiting other business owners’ websites, and they’re visiting yours in return....

What You Need to Know About Commercial Use

Content Marketing Strategy
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What You Need to Know About Commercial Use As marketers, we're often tasked with designing, producing, and creating a variety of content to use across social channels, blog posts, and email. This often includes the use of a wide variety of design tools — including Adobe Photoshop, Canva, and even Getty Images. And yet, we often don't pause to consider: Can I actually use this software for business purposes? More than likely, your team has already ensured you have a commercial license to use the products you design for business purposes. But, despite it being a legal term, it's still critical your familiar with the concept of "commercial use" as a marketer, so you can ensure you're following the law when it comes to creating and distributing content. Here, let's dive into the differences between commercial use and non-commercial use. Simply put, any activity you conduct at your company would be considered for "commercial use", since the ultimate goal of that activity is to increase sales. As such, you'll need to purchase the appropriate commercial licensing agreement with any design software or third-party tools you use to complete your project. Commercial use extends to offline activities, as well. For instance, let's say you use Adobe to design a billboard sign, and FontCreator to edit the font you'll use for that billboard. In this case, you're using the billboard for business purposes with the desire to earn financial gain as a result of your ad — which means it's...

Why A Digital PR Specialist Should Always Be Involved in Content Creation

Content Marketing Strategy
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Why A Digital PR Specialist Should Always Be Involved in Content Creation If you've been on the creative side of content marketing, you know not every idea is a winner. Sometimes projects gather a few links and then vanish under a pile of other content. To compete, you have to ensure the content you're creating, from the idea to the actual execution, is compelling enough to earn the coverage and attention you hope it'll achieve. And there's one really excellent way to do this: involve a digital PR specialist from the get-go. I work in digital PR and have consulted on hundreds of content projects. Below, let's review what I've learned about how content creators and digital PR professionals can successfully work together to create engaging, newsworthy content. 1. Recognize viral ideas. Digital PR specialists are responsible for interacting and building relationships with the media, so they likely spend around 70% of their workday online. Typically, they're reading new studies, picking apart articles, and getting to know writers. It's only natural that after experiencing the nuances of the news cycle, PR specialists are able to recognize which ideas make it big. If that kind of market research already exists in the brains of the outreach specialists on your team, why not utilize it? Getting feedback from the birth of a project means the trajectory of the content will be aimed for top-tier coverage. From the idea stage, it may make sense to create a ranking system with your team....

12 Reasons to Integrate Visual Content Into Your Marketing Campaigns [IG]

Content Marketing Strategy
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12 Reasons to Integrate Visual Content Into Your Marketing Campaigns With some 1.7 billion websites worldwide, it's fair to say the web of 2020 is a cluttered place. Plus, there are over 2 million new blog posts published daily. To help stand out from the crowd, it's vital publishers create compelling and engaging content. But how do you go about creating attractive, engaging, and memorable content? The key is to make it visually appealing. The human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than text. That's a huge disparity and goes a long way to explaining why images and videos are so key to driving engagement on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Simply put, visual elements are key for driving traffic and engagement across your sites and social channels. With all that said, what are the key visual elements you should be mindful of including in your content? Where do the opportunities lie and how can you engage your audience in the most meaningful ways? Fortunately, my team at Ever Increasing Circles has created the following infographic to explore key visual elements you should be mindful of including in your content — as well as where opportunities lie, and how you might engage your audience in more meaningful ways. Check it out, below....