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SearchLove San Diego 2017 | Larry Kim | Content Marketing Moneyball


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The content marketing bandwagon is ridiculously crowded and the vast majority of your efforts go nowhere - 99.9% of content gets fewer than a thousand shares and the average conversion rate from all this stuff is less than 1%. What’s a marketer to do in 2017 and beyond? Spoiler alert: the answer has virtually nothing to with the conventional wisdom of creating “quality content”. In this session on content marketing strategy, Larry will introduce new tactics for creating and cloning unicorns - the rare l content that does remarkably well on all channels, and even converts well, too.

Published in: Marketing
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SearchLove San Diego 2017 | Larry Kim | Content Marketing Moneyball

  1. 1. Data-Backed Content Marketing Strategies for 2017 & Beyond Larry Kim, Feb. 23, 2017 #searchlove @larrykim
  2. 2. Content Marketing in 2017 #searchlove @larrykim
  3. 3. #searchlove @larrykim Enormous Volume of Content Being Produced
  4. 4. 99.9% of Your Content Goes Nowhere 50% OF Content Gets ZERO Social Shares <0.1% Gets +1000 Shares #searchlove @larrykim
  5. 5. Buffer Social’s Kevan Lee: “We’ve Lost Half our Organic Social Traffic in the Last Year” #searchlove @larrykim Organic Social Media Reach Stinks!
  6. 6. #searchlove @larrykim
  7. 7. PPC Ad Costs at All Time High! Source: Approx. 2500 WordStream Customers (Not official Google Data.) Desktop Tablet Mobile #searchlove @larrykim
  8. 8. Typical Conversion Rate from Content Marketing < 1% #searchlove @larrykim
  9. 9. How to make Content Marketing: • Work More Predictably • Create More Leads & • Higher Conversion Rates • Lower Costs Big Changes Needed! 5-10x improvements not just 5-10%! #searchlove @larrykim
  10. 10. #searchlove @larrykim New Marketing Content Marketing Strategy for 2017! Spoiler Alert: It has very little to do about producing “Quality Content”
  11. 11. 3 Random Facts About Larry #searchlove @larrykim
  12. 12. Slightly Obsessed With Unicorns Make PPC Magical Again! #searchlove @larrykim
  13. 13. Have a 2-year old Kid (#ppckid)
  14. 14. Live in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA #searchlove @larrykim
  15. 15. WordStream’s NEW Headquarters! 2008 2017 #searchlove @larrykim
  16. 16. 5-Year Compound Annual Growth Rate 95% Content Marketing Moneyball IRL! $1,100,000 $3,300,000 $6,500,000 $10,000,000 $22,800,000 $32,000,000 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Hoping to Grow to $40- 60 Million This Year (Just a Guess*) #searchlove @larrykim
  17. 17. Part 1: What is “Quality” or “Relevant” Content? #searchlove @larrykim
  18. 18. The Content Donkey Detector #searchlove @larrykim
  19. 19. #searchlove @larrykim Content Quality Should Be Based on Data Not Just Biased Views of Your Own Work Need Objective Way to Discern Unicorns vs. Non-Unicorns
  20. 20. Great CRO Great Social Great PPC Great SEO “Quality Content” = Content Marketing Objectives vs. Actual Outcomes! #searchlove @larrykim Unicorns!
  21. 21. Optimize Content for User Engagement Metrics like Click Through Rates (CTR) & Dwell Time and You’ll Find Unicorns! Larry’s Crazy Content Marketing Theory #searchlove @larrykim
  22. 22. The Key To AdWords Has Always Been About User Engagement (Quality Score) #searchlove @larrykim
  23. 23. +/- 1 Point in QS Results in +/- 9% Ad Impression Share on desktop (or +/- 18% on mobile) #searchlove @larrykim CTR (Quality Score) Determines Ad Visibility in AdWords
  24. 24. Quality Score (Dramatically) affects your AdWords CPC 10 Discounted by 50.0% 9 Discounted by 44.2% 8 Discounted by 37.5% 7 Discounted by 28.6% 6 Discounted by 16.7% 5 Google benchmark 4 Increased by 25.0% 3 Increased by 67.3% 2 Increased by 150.0% 1 Increased by 400.0% You Save You Pay #searchlove @larrykim
  25. 25. Quality Score for Gmail Ads (CPC vs. Open Rate) #searchlove @larrykim
  26. 26. Quality Score on Google Display Ads (CPC vs. CTR) #searchlove @larrykim
  27. 27. Facebook & Twitter Ads: Higher Engagement Rate = (Much) Lower Cost Per Engagement Engagement Rate Cost per engagement $.005 $.02 $.03 $.08 68% 7% 21% 37% $3.00 1% #searchlove @larrykim
  28. 28. Do Engagement Rates Like CTR & Dwell Time Rate Impact Rankings? What About Organic Search? #searchlove @larrykim
  29. 29. Signs Point to YES: Engagement Rates Matter for Organic Search #searchlove @larrykim
  30. 30. User Query Entered ML Algo Makes a Guess and Re-Writes The Query into Something it Recognizes (Query Interpretation) Did The Result Satisfy The User? Great. Next Time I See Queries Like This, I’ll Put This Page at the Top. Larry’s Greatly Simplified Machine Learning Diagram* *Note: Not Official Google Diagram. Rats. Next Time I See a Query Like This, I’ll Try Some Other Page #searchlove @larrykim
  31. 31. What’s A Good Click Through Rate for Organic Search? (Spoiler Alert: It’s in Flux)OrganicSearchClickThroughRate High CTR Listings Floating To Top Positions Low CTR Listings Sinking To Bottom of Page Organic Search Position #searchlove @larrykim
  32. 32. +/- 3% Increase in Post Engagement +/- 1 Spot in Organic Position CTR-Based Organic Ranking Rewards? #searchlove @larrykim
  33. 33. Dwell Time Becoming an Increasingly Important SEO Ranking Factor #searchlove @larrykim
  34. 34. A year ago: Time on Page Didn’t Appear to Matter Much for SEO #searchlove @larrykim
  35. 35. Today: Low Time on Page Donkey Content is Nearly Extinct! #searchlove @larrykim
  36. 36. What About the Facebook Newsfeed Algo? #searchlove @larrykim
  37. 37. User Browses Feed Newsfeed algorithm displays something it thinks might be interesting to the user. Did User Engage With Content? Great. Next Time I See Updates Like This, I’ll show it on this users newsfeed and for others like him/her. Larry’s Greatly Simplified Facebook Newsfeed Algo* *Note: Not Official Facebook Diagram. Rats. Next Time I’ll try different status update for this person and won’t bother showing it to people like him/her. #searchlove @larrykim
  38. 38. The Same Stuff That Does Great in Search Tends To Also Do Great on Social Media #searchlove @larrykim
  39. 39. Are They Related to Engagement Rates? What About Conversion Rates? #searchlove @larrykim
  40. 40. Higher CTRs = Higher Conversion Rates #searchlove @larrykim
  41. 41. Picnic Pants* (inspired by Wil Reynolds!) Drones Vs. CTR • Picnic Pants Drones • Conversion Rate #searchlove @larrykim
  42. 42. These Unicorns All Have High Engagement in Common! SEO Unicorn Paid/Organic Social Unicorn CRO Unicorn PPC Unicorn #searchlove @larrykim
  43. 43. #searchlove @larrykim PPC, SEO & Social Media Employ ML-Enabled Algos that Reward High Engagement Content with Greater Visibility. Engagement Rates = ‘On-Base Percentage’ of Content Marketing!
  44. 44. Part 2: What’s a Good Engagement Rate? #searchlove @larrykim
  45. 45. High Engagement Unicorns Low Engagement Donkeys What’s the Difference? (Hint: It’s Relative) #searchlove @larrykim
  46. 46. Post Engagement Rates for 129 Facebook Status Updates for a Random Customer #searchlove @larrykim Unicorn Social Updates are +10x More Engaging Than Donkey Posts
  47. 47. Unicorns (top 10%) have 6x Higher CTR than Donkeys (Bottom 10%) Unicorns Donkeys CTR vs. Average Position in Organic Search #searchlove @larrykim
  48. 48. #searchlove @larrykim A Small Number of Stories (10%) Generate Most of the Traffic (+60%) Typical Blog Traffic Distribution
  49. 49. The Top 10% of Offers Convert +5x Better Than Donkeys Search Conversion Rate Distribution Median: 2.35% Top 25%: 5.31% and Above Top 10%: 11.45% and Above SHAREOFALLACCOUNTS SEARCH CONVERSION RATE. (WordStream Customer Data – Not Official Google Data) #searchlove @larrykim
  50. 50. #searchlove @larrykim Unicorn Content Power Law: Most of the Value Comes from a Fraction of the Content (duh)
  51. 51. #searchlove @larrykim The Future of Content Marketing is Increasingly Winner-Take-All. Time to Adjust Content Strategy! Traffic to the Top 10 Posts of the Month at Inc Magazine
  52. 52. #searchlove @larrykim
  53. 53. #searchlove @larrykim
  54. 54. High Engagement = Your Top ~3% Content! They do WAY better in SEO, PPC, Social Media, and CRO than ever before! #searchlove @larrykim
  55. 55. Part 3: Unicorn Content Creation #searchlove @larrykim
  56. 56. #searchlove @larrykim Make More Unicorns, Duh!
  57. 57. I’ve Written My Share of These Dumb Viral Article How-To’s… #searchlove @larrykim
  58. 58. #searchlove @larrykim They Focus on Content Attributes Rather Than Outcomes
  59. 59. #searchlove @larrykim They Make Arguments in Favor of Content Quality over Quantity or Long Form vs. Short Form
  60. 60. Content Quality vs. Quality Debate #searchlove @larrykim It’s a False Choice: You NEED the QUANTITY to *FIND* the QUALITY
  61. 61. #searchlove @larrykim Larry’s Content Marketing Truth Bomb: Unicorn Creation is More of a Numbers Game Than Most Content Marketers Want to Admit.
  62. 62. WordStream Blog Article Performance for Stories Published in 2016 #searchlove @larrykim I Worked Hard on All My Content Last Year But I Only Found 5 Unicorns Last Year. The Rest Were Donkeys!
  63. 63. #searchlove @larrykim Larry’s Theory: Success is More About Extracting Maximum Leverage From The Unicorns You Have
  64. 64. Larry’s Content Marketing Strategy: The Content Pyramid Scheme 1. Produce and Audition Lots of Content 2. Measure Engagement Rates 3. Kill the Donkeys 4. Find The Unicorns and Sound the Unicorn Alert! #searchlove @larrykim
  65. 65. #searchlove @larrykim 4. The Unicorn Alert
  66. 66. #searchlove @larrykim
  67. 67. #searchlove @larrykim
  68. 68. #searchlove @larrykim Content Treadmill
  69. 69. #searchlove @larrykim Create Unicorn Babies
  70. 70. #searchlove @larrykim
  71. 71. #searchlove @larrykim
  72. 72. #searchlove @larrykim
  73. 73. #searchlove @larrykim Unicorn Baby Generates Nearly 100k Views
  74. 74. Boost Your Unicorns With Social Media Ads & PPC Advertising #searchlove @larrykim
  75. 75. #searchlove @larrykim
  76. 76. #searchlove @larrykim Facebook Ads: High Relevance Score = Low Cost Per Click
  77. 77. #searchlove @larrykim Unicorn Infographicification™ & Videoification™
  78. 78. #searchlove @larrykim
  79. 79. #searchlove @larrykim Webinars & Conference Presentations
  80. 80. #searchlove @larrykim
  81. 81. WordStream Webinar Performance in 2016 Average Donkey: 674 Average Unicorn: 3323 5 Webinars Generated 71% of the Registrations #searchlove @larrykim
  82. 82. #searchlove @larrykim
  83. 83. Evergreen Unicorns #searchlove @larrykim
  84. 84. #searchlove @larrykim
  85. 85. #searchlove @larrykim
  86. 86. #searchlove @larrykim A Million Views for $1000 Content Creation Effort ($0.001 CPM)
  87. 87. 5 4 3 Content Marketing Moneyball: Data Driven Content Strategy Optimize for Engagement ML- Systems Reward High Engagement w/ Great Visibility. Audition Lots of Content Ideas Quantity matters. Improves chances of unicorn detection. Find the Unicorns Identify content with unusually high engagement rates START/GO (Donkey Land) #searchlove @larrykim
  88. 88. 2 1 Kill Your Donkeys. Milk Your Unicorns. Donkey Elimination Stop Wasting time pushing donkeys. Let them die. Unicorn Alert Get off Content Treadmill. Go nuts with your best unicorns across all channels. END/REPEAT (Unicorn Land) – OR is it?? #searchlove @larrykim
  89. 89. What Does it All Mean? Content Marketing? #searchlove @larrykim
  90. 90. How Content Marketing REALLY Works STEP 1: Demand Creation: Create & Promote Inspirational / Memorable Content about Your Brand to your Target Market STEP 2: Bias Formation: People See Your Content, But Don’t Necessarily Take Action Right Away. STEP 3: Harvest Demand: Later when the Need Arises, People either: Do a Branded Search for Your Stuff Do Un-Branded Search but Biased Towards Clicking & Buying From You. #searchlove @larrykim
  91. 91. Comparing New vs. Repeat Visitors How Does Brand Affinity Impact Content Marketing Success? #searchlove @larrykim
  92. 92. Brand Affinity DRAMATICALLY Impacts CTR (+2-3x!) #searchlove @larrykim
  93. 93. Brand Affinity DRAMATICALLY Impacts CONVERSION RATES (+2-3x!) #searchlove @larrykim
  94. 94. #searchlove @larrykim Returning Visitors: 127% Higher Conversion Rate, 218% Higher Time on Site
  95. 95. Virtuous Cycle of Unicorn Land #searchlove @larrykim 1. Unicorn Alert Yields Better Engagement 2. Better Engagement Yields Better Unicorn Alerts!
  96. 96. #searchlove @larrykim