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30 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing REALLY Work

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Kevin Gibbons shares 30 content marketing tips to make your campaigns really work. Looking at the mix of SEO, content strategy, creativity and promotion.

Published in: Marketing

30 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing REALLY Work

  1. 1. Kevin Gibbons, Co-Founder & CEO, BlueGlass kgibbons@blueglass.com 30 Ways to Make Your Content Marketing REALLY Work
  2. 2. 2www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo What are the biggest challenges in content marketing right now?
  3. 3. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo We Asked 50 Top Marketers - The Commons Answers Included: Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book 1. Lack of time and/or budget 2. Scaling quality content 3. Mixing up content types 4. Proving the value of content 5. Getting your team fully involved 6. Generating high quality engagement & coverage 7. Sign-off and approval 8. etc...
  4. 4. 4www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo But… What if your content marketing just “worked”?
  5. 5. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 1) Figure Out What Content Marketing Success Looks Like to You... You have a strategy aligned with your business goals, with a clear plan on how to achieve them... You produce creative content which your audience loves and attracts more of the ‘right kind’ of prospects (those who buy!) You earn outstanding coverage from publishers, media and social influencers You continually increase online revenue via organic search and other channels, to acquire new customers and retain existing ones
  6. 6. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 2) Break Down the Silos... Make sure you create an action plan based on these 3 key pillars of content marketing: 1. Strategy - SEO & content strategy 2. Creativity - Outstanding content creation 3. Promotion - Digital PR & social media coverage Being aligned in all 3 of these areas is vital in order to hit the sweet spot of content marketing results.
  7. 7. 7www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo Strategy - You Need to Understand Where You Are, Where to Go & How to Get There...
  8. 8. 8 3) Before You Start, Get the Right People on the Bus! Content marketing requires a team approach, you can’t be good at everything, so consider the skillsets that you need: 1. Content Strategist 2. SEO Strategist 3. Content Writer 4. Designer 5. Developer 6. Digital PR Specialist 7. Paid Social Specialist 8. Account/Project Manager Some of these roles may be combined, or freelance, at first - but ultimately if you want to be strong in all areas of strategy, creation and promotion in order to achieve the best results.
  9. 9. 9 4) Understand the Brand - What is Your Purpose & Story You Want to Tell? Base marketing on your core values & how you can change the world! Nail this and the content ideas become easy...
  10. 10. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 5) Understand Who You Are Targeting
  11. 11. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 6) What’s the Goal? How Can You Measure & Prove It? Typical ways to measure content performance could include: ● Based on CPL metrics - working backwards from average order values, conversion rates from visitor to subscriber to customer… ● Equivalent media spend - how much would traffic to content via organic, social, referral be worth? ● Digital PR coverage & social engagement - quality, quantity and relevancy of PR generated ● Reduce customer support / improve conversion rate - does compliant rate come down? Do sales improve? However you should consider how content performs for different purposes - what does it work well for / what is unfair to expect...
  12. 12. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 7) Create Clear Content Guidelines - What Should You Be Publishing? ● Awareness: Interesting, engaging, fun, entertaining, thought leading content ● Consideration: targeted content around research based keywords ● Action: to help people to buy, subscribe or navigate back to what they liked before If your content doesn’t fit into these categories, should you be publishing it? Don’t be afraid to say no - being selective is good to keep focused on what’s really important.
  13. 13. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 8) Think Bigger - Content Marketing Isn’t a One-Off, You Have to Keep Building On It... If you have a clear goal from the start, you can start to think bigger with your content marketing. This is often where things go wrong - don’t get distracted by the shiny new exciting/cool things straight away… The best results are rarely the big spikes, but those that gradually improve month on month on month. To achieve this, you don’t need a campaign - you need a strategy to make you a content authority.
  14. 14. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 9) Do a Content Audit Before You Create Anything New… ● What content do you have already? ● Can you improve it? ● What worked best / what didn’t? ● What has generated the most traffic in the past? ● Where is the social engagement or links coming from? ● Your internal site search could be a gold mine! ● Give feedback to editors on content performance; social, traffic, links, pageviews etc… ● Have you got an offline magazine? Newsletters?
  15. 15. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 10) Produce a Seaonalised Editorial Calendar, You Don’t Need to Reinvent the Wheel The same topics/events come back around year on year: ● Run content audits to look back at what worked/didn't work ● Research in Buzzsumo what worked best in your industry for competitors and beat them to it for the new year!
  16. 16. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 11) Get Digital PR Involved In Content Strategy, No-One Wants to Play a Numbers Game... ● Who are the top publishers in your industry? ● What content do they really want to see? ● Do you have a plan on how to increase domain authority? ● How can you get writers/editors involved early? ● Can you get feedback from publishers on your idea before you create the content?
  17. 17. 17www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo Creativity - to stand out from the crowd
  18. 18. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 12) Think Bigger & Differentiate Amongst the Noise - You Want to Be the Source You need to fight for attention against: ● 347,222 tweets ● 4,166,667 FB likes ● 300 hours of YouTube video Every single minute! Don’t create content for content’s sake… Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book
  19. 19. 19 13) Create Data-Driven Content to Make It Newsworthy
  20. 20. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 14) Be Evergreen - If It Works, Build Upon Your Success
  21. 21. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 15) Attract Top of Funnel Traffic With Content That Answers Questions Research your audience and find out what their pain points are. Trying answering questions on Quora, or community blogs/forums, and turn your most popular answers into more in-depth article content.
  22. 22. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 16) Understand What Triggers Google Answers & Leverage It ● The interesting part about Answer boxes is they aren’t always the top organic result. ● Answer boxes are great also because they can have a huge impact on clicks from the search results to your website. ● Answer boxes are also great for branding and visibility within Google search results. ● Use bullet points in how to style articles and this helps to get Google to consider them as the top answer.
  23. 23. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 17) If you think content is about YOU, you’re missing the point. When people share content, they share it about themselves not you… The number one way to get a reaction out of your readers is to make them feel something. Remember, 90% of decisions are made by emotional feeling, not rational. Make your customer the hero, so they can do the talking for you...
  24. 24. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 18) Remember, If You’re Scared to Fail, You’re Playing Too Safe & That’s the Biggest Risk of All ● I don’t want to look stupid... ● Why would I share all of this information if people can then copy it… ● What if everyone knows this already... ● My competitors will know everything if I share this… What people don’t get, is the biggest risk is not doing it!
  25. 25. 25www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo Promotion - Become an Authority Within Your Industry
  26. 26. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 19) Aim to Become THE Authority Within Your Industry ● Build digital PR relationships to get your content featured on some of the most popular publishers within your vertical ● Build an audience to turn your visitors into regular readers ● Target social influencers to maximise the impact and engagement of content campaigns. ● Leverage paid social advertising & content distribution to amplify content visits and engagement. Creating great content isn’t enough - sometimes it needs a little push… With a targeted promotion strategy for content campaigns, you can ensure that you maximise coverage, traffic and readership.
  27. 27. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 20) Give Exclusives for Your Content - But Make Sure You’re the Source! Agreeing an exclusive with a publisher in advance can help to get their buy-in. Plus it helps with additional outreach afterwards… e.g. “did you see this article on the dailymail.co.uk? I saw you did something similar last year, perhaps you’d like to cover this?” But make it 100% clear who the original source is!
  28. 28. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 21) Remember You’re Creating Content Assets to Build An Audience, Not Just Traffic or Links 1. Identify – who is your target audience and where can you find them? 2. Acquire – acquiring traffic to your content, across marketing channels. 3. Nurture – provide content your readers love, in a content hub environment you control. 4. Engage – by providing consistently great content, the goal should be to continually create outstanding & engaging content. 5. Capture – provide useful content upgrades such as free tools, insights, ebooks, reports etc to build your audience. 6. Grow – build real loyalty and advocacy with your readers, which can have a huge benefit in sales further down the customer journey and in scaling word of mouth referrals.
  29. 29. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 22) Build Useful Content Upgrades to Capture Your Audience Once you’ve done the hard work in generating traffic from new visitors, don’t make it difficult for yourself. Leave them wanting more and give them a reason to get it!
  30. 30. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 23) Recycle Content to Make the Most Out Of It People like to consume content in different ways, think about how you recycle content into multiple formats. e.g. you could turn an in-depth research study into ● Series of short-form articles ● Data-visualisation image for social sharing ● Infographic ● Interactive in-depth content ● Email newsletter ● Video ● Slideshow presentation ● Downloadable PDF / Amazon book ● etc...
  31. 31. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 24) Build a List of Top Influencers & Publishers in Your Space Identify who the top publishers and influencers are within your niche - then you can learn from: ● What they’re doing ● What type of content they like ● What they don’t like ● Who their original sources are (who influences the influencers) ● etc...
  32. 32. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 25) Don’t Just Outreach to Them, Get Them Involved & Make Them Feel Special Face-to-face is so much better for building real relationships + it’s more fun! For a street food campaign, we invited top London food bloggers to our Leather Lane office and gave them a lunch to remember. Rather than outreaching to bloggers, find a way to make them part of your content - then the distribution becomes the easy part!
  33. 33. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 26) Tap Into Egos - People Like to Talk About Themselves & Where They’re From Find out about the people you’re outreaching to. What are they interested in? Where do they live? Also play on rivalries - New York vs LA, London vs Manchester, Sydney vs Melbourne etc...
  34. 34. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 27) Linking Out to Relevant Sources Makes You More Credible You want to show that you’re an authority within your niche. This means you should have links both to and from other sites in your industry. Also for digital PR if try to be referenced as a credible source alongside other trusted sites, it looks more credible and you don’t want to create an SEO footprint that just links to you and no-one else...
  35. 35. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 28) Explore Finding Relevant Syndication Partners To Help Promote ● Create your own profiles on LinkedIn, Medium.com and re-publish a few days afterwards, ● Understand the big publishers in your niche that syndicate content; e.g. Yahoo Finance ● Submit to Google News and Google Blog Search
  36. 36. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 29) Social Sharing & Paid Amplification Can Boost Awareness & Credibility, But It Doesn’t Get You Extra Links ● Paid social can be great foramplifying content and specifically targeting your audience, just don’t get your hopes up on the SEO value. ● Consider micro-conversions as the main goal, capture email addresses from content upgrades, build your social audience etc ● Make sure you know how much an email or a visit it worth, for example. Then you can scale based on lifetime values, instead of engagement metrics. It’s no surprise we see stats like this - paid social advertising is still largely direct advertising, where you need to prove the return in the short-term.
  37. 37. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 30) Setup Writer Profiles to Build Credibility & Attract Extra Publisher Coverage ● We built a content strategy focused around key topics, hiring nutritionists & building up their writing profiles to provide authority content. ● We secured coverage from 93+ authority health and fitness publishers, with regular writing slots on HuffPost, Men’s Fitness and Cosmo (also featured in magazine). ● This generated a 144% YoY increase in organic search traffic!
  38. 38. 38www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo Summary - Start With the End in Mind... Make sure you know what success looks like and create an action plan based on these 3 key pillars of content marketing: 1. Strategy - Build a solid platform and action plan 2. Creativity - Create outstanding content 3. Promotion - Generate authority coverage This way you can maximise results, by combining data-driven analytical strategy, creative content and authoritative promotion.
  39. 39. www.blueglass.co.uk - @kevgibbo 31) Bonus Slide: Leverage Tools to Improve Efficiency & Results
  40. 40. kgibbons@blueglass.com www.blueglass.co.uk @kevgibbo If you have any questions or would like me to send you a copy of the deck please email me...

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