Predictable customers Few media channels Brand controlled the message Trade shows, trade mags, request literature, Sales people came to visit, we went on site visits.
THIS happened. Technology, specifically the Internet, put all the power into the hands of the customer. As customers, we have more options than ever on what we consume with relation to content. Only the brands that do the hard work to make it interesting engaging and pretty darn enjoyable to interact with will win the battle for faithful customers.
The end of ‘interruptive marketing’ as we know it (Seth Godin) The broadcast model is broken
Not necessarily a linear process but you need to consider all of the stages carefully
“Anything created and upload to a website: the words, images or other things that reside here.” Handley & Chapman “Content Rules” 2011
“How a brand creates, delivers and governs original or curated content to attract and retain customers, positioning the brand as a credible expert and , ultimately, motivating a change In behaviour” Pulizzi & Barrett 2008
Google continuously craws the web to index content it can see
Applies ranking to each against multiple factors (on page, off page and social factors)
As you enter search text google:
Checks Spelling Identifies and corrects possible spelling errors and provides alternatives. Auto Complete Predicts what you might be searching for Recognizes words with similar meanings Gets to the deeper meaning of the words you type in context Searches Index via stacked algorithms and provides the Search results
Large Scale Data Analysis has show that for discoverablity being on the first page is everything.
People simply don’t visit the second page unless they’re desperate
So getting the right ranking factors for your content is essential…
There are current estimate to be over 200 ranking factors
Here we see Search Metrics 2014 analysis of a selection of the estimated 200 raking factors and their weighting.
Social Signals are heavily weighted but transient. They don’t last long.
Your Backlink profile is very important, with the number of quality backlinks providing a stable heavy weighting but again this can degrade over time.
Onpage Content factors are next which are vital and most importantly permanent. They don’t change over time.
Onpage technical factors are last. These are important but can be seen in SEO terms as Hygene.
So how do these factors get used. This is all down to the Google Angorithm.
Each year its estimated google changes its algorithm 500-600 times and year.
That averages almost twice a day.
2000 – 2004 PageRank - Content Keywords and page authority - this was revolutionary in the search market and enabled Google to quickly kill Yahoo and AOL.
2004 – 2006 More Content for Keywords (Keyword Stuffing)
People understood you could gain rank by keyword stuffing, hiding keywords, placing large amounts of content into hidden pages etc. It was a arms race.
2006 – 2009 Fresh Content Promoted
To try and beat the arms race Google promotes new content to provide better results for News and Fresh Content
Universal Search was introduced with the inclusion of News, Video, Images and Local Results into SERPs
2009 – 2010 Everyone Needs a Blog - Fresh Updates with lots of Content being distributed across many Distributed Blogs, Spinning of Content and Link Farms start to emerge and again its an arms race
2010 – 2012 Panda Update, Content Needs to be Unique (Duplication/Link Farms Penalised)
Again to beat the Arms Race Google releases Panda, this is a major release and heavily penalises duplicated or spun content. Many major ecommerce site see a dramatic fall in ranking, the black hat SEO industry changes tack and focuses on link farms and link distribution to regain losses
2012 – 2013 Penguin Update, Can’t Buy Links, Penalises Suspected Auto Link Building
2014 – Humming Bird (Major Update – Complete overhaul of how on page content is crawled and indexed- Content needs to be Useful and Authentic. Context is take into consideration and On Site Engagement Factors are more important than links – Dwell Time and Bounce Rates are see as factors of how useful was the content to that search term so the rankings are learning over time.
So now these three major Algorithms now work together to produce all page ranks
In simple terms, social signals are still very important
Off page link building and developing a quality, authentic backlink profile is important.
but keyword stuffing is dead.
With “speaking” technology advances such as Siri & Google Now, Google needed to prepare itself for the future of search. More and more people are asking Google direct questions, and they are expecting the search engine to understand what it is exactly that they are trying to find out.
Example Where can I find the closest dealership with a black Audi S4 with leather?
In a pre-Hummingbird world, Google would scan its index of webpages for content matching the query or containing a slight variation of the query. It would find the pages with relevant keyword content, order them based on the more than 200 signals it receives such as inbound links or domain authority, and serve them to the user in a search engine results page.
With Hummingbird, Google now deconstructs the query by focusing on the meaning behind each word to gain better understanding of the user’s intent:
“[Where : Adverb meaning at or in what place] can I find the [closest : Superlative adjective meaning “a short distance away”] [dealership : Local business type] with a [black : color] [Audi : Automotive manufacturer] [S4 : Product | Car model] with [leather : Product feature | interior fabric]?”
It is dissecting the query to understand the intent behind the search. It even understands that when you say “the closest,” your physical location needs to be considered (based on history and/or IP address).
Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web, pushing the authority of content that is semantic and useful to long tail search queries
So in summary – with the release of Humming Bird….content is king…. Again. Importantly this content needs to be authentic, and useful to the user. Providing content aimed and keyword stuffing and non organic link profiles will both be heavily penalised.
Pure curation start – grown into 20% original ‘thought leadership’ content 125,000/ month page views; 16,000 subscribers
Sometimes, an amateur video makes you look more human and accessible, and helps customers relate to you.
Over time you content will become so useful and valuable that once you have socialized it on your own channels then the inbound effect will come into play and customers will seek it out.
However if a product or market is new to you then you may need to jump start the conversation using outbound/paid media.
DirectionGroup Inbound Marketing - EDGE event slides September 2014
The convergence of content,
search and social
25 September 2014
@Direction_grp #dgedge Check-in
Inbound - a definition
The process of creating text, audio, video and
other online assets and optimising them to
appear when prospective customers are ready
to pull the trigger on a purchase – Halligan &
We live in an self-directed, opt-in world –
we have to earn customers’ attention
Customers will seek you out because of
the quality of the information you offer to
help them make better decisions
CONTENT IS THE WORM ON
THE INBOUND HOOK
“Inbound marketing is not just content
creation: it’s a philosophical approach to
marketing that starts with thinking about
what (information) customers actually want
and need and ends with a comprehensive
approach to optimize that experience from
the first website visit to email nurturing to
sales outreach to social media marketing.”
Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot
The end of Interruptive Marketing as we know it
“Marketing to your customers by repeatedly
interrupting them with advertising or selling
messages is simply not good enough any more
- technology has changed all the rules”
Inbound - content doesn’t sit in a vacuum
Videos, Blogs, Articles,
On & off-page, Link
It needs to be integrated with other inbound activities
Why is this important?
of B2B buying decisions are being investigated,
evaluated and compared BEFORE the selling
brand is even contacted (and this figure is rising)
Source: SiriusDecisions/Harvard Business Review, July 2012
“About 50% of all B2B inquires come from inbound
channels, and that will jump to about 70% by
2015-2016.” SiriusDecisions 2013
Is Content Marketing
a form of
Inbound a form of
• There are no agreed definitions
• Inbound is ‘owned’ by Hubspot
• Content Marketing is an approach - also includes
outbound and offline
• The distinction probably doesn’t matter
You need a strategic structure on which to build
your content driven inbound activity
Building your Content Marketing Engine™
to drive your inbound leads
A structured, efficient marketing engine to plan, create and distribute content which engages
FUEL IGNITE ACCELERATE
Fuel your content
marketing with a thorough,
robust strategic plan
Ignite prospects’ and
customers’ interest with
engaging content which
is relevant, compelling
and timely to their needs
Enable your organisation
to produce more, better
content and accelerate to
greater content success
1.Focus on the
12.Look in the
rear view mirror
What is Content ?
“Any information provided by
a brand in a format which is
relevant, compelling and
timely to the audience’s
needs at the point at which
they engage with it and that
does not overtly seek to sell
the brand or its products”
Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 2014
Why does content even matter?
Google turns content into currency!
• Content builds awareness
• Content facilitates the “inbound” effect
• Content fuels social media marketing
• Customers learn to seek it out
• Content helps customers make better decisions
Images: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/,www.wikihow.com/Draw-a-Panda ,
The power of
info transmitted into
brain is visual
Faster visual processing
more inbound links
for posts with video
say they are using content marketing
B2B Content Marketing 2015 Benchmarks, Budget and Trends, North America
Just “doing content” is no longer
a competitive advantage.
Because 70% of
content created is never used
There are 27,000,000
pieces of content
shared every day
Qualities of truly effective content
Think: unanswered questions
• Ask yourself: What questions do my
customers have which are going
• Does your content help customers
make a better decision?
Is your content so
customers would be
prepared to pay
Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking
Google continuously craws the web to index pages, PDFs and other
Current Estimates - 60 Trillion individual pages indexed and growing
Ranks each page with a multiple factors (on page, off page and social
As you enter search text google:
Spelling Identifies and corrects possible spelling errors and provides
Auto Complete Predicts what you might be searching for
Synonyms Recognizes words with similar meanings
Query Understanding Gets to the deeper meaning of the words you type
Searches Index via stacked algorithms and provides
Google Instant Displays immediate results as you type.
“Each year, Google
changes its search
Brief History of Google Algorithm Factors
2000 – 2004 PageRank - Content Keywords
2004 – 2006 More Content for Keywords (Everyone's Keyword Stuffing)
2006 – 2009 Fresh Content Promoted
2009 – 2010 Caffeine Update Everyone Needs a Blog (Fresh Updates with lots of Content)
2010 – 2012 Panda (Major Update) Content Needs to be Unique (Duplication, Spinning
2012 – 2013 Penguin (Major Update) Can’t Buy Links, Penalises Suspected Auto Link Building
and Link Farms
2014 – Humming Bird (Major Update – Complete Overhaul) - Content needs to be Useful and
Authentic, On Site Engagement Factors are more important than links – Dwell Time,
Bounce Rate are now factors
Three Major Elements Working in Tandem
Panda Penguin Humming Bird
Hummingbird was built to support semantic and conversational search,
both of which are heavily focused on “long-tail searches”
Hummingbird is designed to apply meaning technology to content,
elevating content that is authentic, unique and most of all useful to long
tail search queries (users)
Why social media for business?
Why do you want to be on social media?
That’s where your prospects are!
Internet users spend 4 x more time on
Facebook than on Google.
(Social Media Examiner)
Social media is effective for acquisition
Social media is all about
publishing and reach
Traffic on your website is
Social media gives you more
control of what you’re posting –
and most importantly to whom.
So how does this work.. the lead gen bit?
Social works across the inbound journey
Use great content
to attract new
Drive visitors to
Nurture leads with
Three types of social media marketing
Where the brand owns the
channel and uses it organically
(e.g. your twitter profile)
Connections become the channel
– social sharing spreads the word
Where we’re paying to leverage
the channel (e.g. Promoted
Tweets with Twitter
Source: (modified from) Forrester Research Inc.
Which platforms are my target personas on?
Knowing your personas is important, so you can get them the
right content, at the right time.
Once you’ve found them, listen to what they’re saying,
what they’re interacting with.
How big is the potential reach?
How many followers do your followers have?
Engage with thought leaders, spokespeople industry commentators
– they have huge reach and your messages easily get megaplied*
The Rules of Engagement
1. ASK QUESTIONS, allow these influencers to talk about
themselves. Don’t just talk about yourself.
2. 80 / 20 RULE: The majority of content should be helpful
– 20% can be more promotional.
3. MIX THINGS UP. Don’t just share links. Try pictures, videos.
Ask questions. Hold competitions.
4. SELL YOUR CONTENT – don’t just chuck it out there
5. SHARE CONTENT from other people too. Curate other,
relevant content to help build a point of view...
* Struto coined the phrase to represent the networks of networks of networks...etc
just talk about
Share other people’s
Add your own spin.
Don’t just share content
The power of curation – CMO.com
“Curation was a great way for us
to build audience and critical
mass – but it was the addition of
original content that enabled us
to develop the distinctive Adobe
point of view.
That helps us position our
employees as thought leaders in
the space – and ultimately helps
us influence it.”
Timothy Moran , Editor in Chief
Social media profile
They are mini versions of your website.
Make the most of the real estate with personalised
cover image, profile pictures, background images
etc. Google+ has loads of useable image space!
1. Use keywords in your profiles to make them
2. Link to your website on your social platforms
3. Always include a CTA link so you can track the
The primary inbound social platforms
There are many social media networks – but
we’re going to look at those which can help
inbound marketers generate traffic and leads
Short, engaging and easily shareable.
1. Keep them under 140 characters, to allow people
to add a comment and re-tweet.
2. Use hashtags to connect with trends and aid
3. Don’t start with a @ - that means its only seen by
4. Make it visual – 50% better click through than
5. Post at the right time – use Followerwonk to
analyse when your followers are online.
Pics, stats and quotes
There is a
in retweets when
you include a
There is a
in retweets when
you include a
THE business social network
One in every 3
Over 50% of
1. Make sure you’re using your company page
- its like a mini version of your website.
2. Be authentic and try to add value rather than being self-serving
3. Less posts, but make them more deep and thoughtful
4. Encourage employees to share content from your company page
More than 1.5 million LinkedIn Groups
– Great for active engagement.
LinkedIn groups send notifications about new posts, meaning you’re not only
sharing with people who immediately see it;
you’re effectively using the group’s email list to share it with its full audience.
1. Identify groups that might be relevant to your content marketing strategy
2. Then for each new piece of content, decide on the groups it could be
3. Always try to ask a question or share a valid opinion on the content you
post or comment on
4. Save the marketing pitches for offline or private discussions
5. Be on the lookout for influencers you can engage with for collaboration
Rate, comment on, and share content
Web and mobile apps mean this content is very accessible
Content on SlideShare feature in search results
– the more views, the higher the ranking:
1. It’s all about TITLES and COVER THUMBNAILS
2. Connect your LinkedIn and SlideShare Profiles
3. Don’t’ just post any slides...they need to present themselves
4. Use widescreen formats for best use of real-estate
Fun and personal – not the place
for serious content
Keep posts under 150 words –
short posts get better engagement.
Post less regularly, but with value.
Use images – more engagement
Videos auto play in the newsfeed,
this can mean people scroll past
rather than watch.
Organic Reach Per Fan on Facebook
Is it really a “non-entity”?
Google+ is an extension – or the social layer – of other Google products and
services we already know... like “places”
Great for Search Engine Optimisation
1. Diversify content that you post – photos and videos. Google+ layout
is perfect for showing visual content
2. Link your account to your website - stuff you publish will show up in
search engine results with your photograph and ‘circle’ information.
3. Get involved in communities – whether that means joining an
existing one, or creating your own niche community.
4. Posts from G+ will help organic search, even if you don’t get traction
on the platform
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine
Video testimonials from clients
Interviews with members of staff
Product demo videos
Product user guides
Live video conferencing
Animated explainer videos
YouTube is the
third most visited
Embed links that can drive traffic to other video content or your
website or even calls to action that incentivise purchase
Vimeo has become a popular alternative
– quality, control, less advertising
There is a lot of data we can use that will help us
publish content that is more likely to get shared.
identifies your competitors
best performing content
AND social platforms.
Buzzsumo – identifies
most popular content for
chosen keywords and
Making your content shareable
Have industry experts provide quotes
and commentary for your content.
Include some unique data in your content.
Co-create content. There needs to be
value for all parties.
Make sure you’re facilitating your
content getting shared…
LinkedIn Sponsored activity
Any update on your company page can be turned into a
Sponsored Update, extending its reach beyond those already
following your company
Direct Sponsored Content is published direct to the LinkedIn
Feed, without the requirement to publish it on your company page:
TAILOR content to audience segments or prospect types
TEST different content variations and formats
DEFINE what your target audience should do next
You only pay for the response
Members are alerted with a notification
You’re guaranteed 100% share of voice
Use Join Group Adverts to drive
people to engage with your
Use highly targeted Follow
Ads to quickly attract a precise
Keep targeting really tight on LinkedIn, your cost per click
tends to be higher.
Twitter: promoted tweets and accounts
Promoted tweets – get your tweets in front of new audiences
and increase engagement
Promoted accounts – get your account in front of new
audiences and increase followers
Twitter cards – attach rich photos, videos and media experience
to Tweets that drive traffic to your website.
1. Remember – Pics, Stats and Quotes
2. Experiment with your targeting – niche targeting can increase
engagement by 55% (hubSpot)
3. Find niche topic experts in your space, and then target their
Facebook has a lot of targeting options.
That means a lot of time & effort!
Test different ad placements & formats
Test different audiences to target
1. Right-hand column ads have a low price, but low performance
2. New feed ads have higher engagement – good for generating
additional organic results.
3. Use custom audiences to match your customers / prospects on
There are a growing list of options
for paid content amplification.
Instagram Sponsored Photos and Videos
StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
Reddit’s Self Serve Platform
Outbrain & Taboola Content Discovery Platform
Consider the best platforms – not only for your
target personas, but also for the content type.
A word on blogs...
Are they content, or OWNED social?
Technically speaking its content, but it can also act as
social in terms of distribution.
Great way for brands to get their views across
Great way to showcase Subject Matter Experts
(SMEs) as thought leaders
A case from Inbound 2014 - River Pools
• 2008 a tiny, regional pool installer
• $50,000 average sale
• “What questions do my customers
have unanswered?” blogposts
• “My goal is to give more valuable,
helpful and remarkable content to
consumers than anyone else in the
field, which will in turn lead to more
sales” Marcus Sheridan CEO
• Blogposts, videos and an ebook
‘How to buy a pool – without getting
• Despite recession now has 5%
market share (USA) http://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/
A case from Inbound 2014
• Business built on key word rich
• “Our goal is education - we’re
obsessed with helping customers
choose the right bike for them”
• Consistent behaviour and a
genuine personality that is
• “You sell more when you stop
A case from Inbound 2014 – CFO on Call
• Outbound cold calling had
dried up, poorly performing
• Created a persona of ideal
• Answered their unanswered
question in blogs
• Optimized for key search
• Socialized content and
created conversations that
drove inbound leads x9.6 increase in
leads (in 6
in traffic (in 6
153% increase in
leads (in 6
An increasingly confusing landscape
Content Lumascape www.lumapartners.com
Three Common Scenarios Drive Tool
Source: Rebecca Lieb, Altimeter
What technologies do you need to help you?
Source: Rebecca Lieb, Altimeter
Will outbound marketing ever die?
“I told you I was ill”
• Outbound will never die
• Some times you need to jump start the
• Some still customers prefer to have
content pushed to them
Inbound - convergence of content, search and
Videos, Blogs, Articles,
On & off-page, Link
Next Marketing Best Practice forums
• Better Briefs, Better Results 16th October
• Enabling Sales Enablement 13th November
• B2B Marketing in 2015 11th December
• Content Marketing 25th January 2015
• Marketing ROI & Accountability 26th February 2015
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