Management, Content Writing
Written by Stu Kushner

How You Can Optimize Your Content Marketing in 3 Data-Driven Steps

By Sean Work

3-item-fields

Today’s article is a guest post by David Cheng of ShareBloc.

Maintaining a steady blog publishing routine is hard to do. At ShareBloc, we try to blog at least two times a week, either on our blog or syndicated elsewhere. We’re a small team so an aggressive schedule can be overwhelming.

To get enough content to keep up the pace, we used data to help us figure out which topics would be most interesting to our readers. Here are the three data-driven steps we took that you also may want to consider.

Crowd source Your Blog Topics

Some of the most prolific blogs have two or three posts a day. We realized that, like any great artist, we could “borrow” from these blogs. We scraped 300 blog titles from some of the leading blogs in our space to see which key words or phrases were most popular.

The blogs we chose were KISSmetrics, Marketo, HubSpot, Social Media Today, Content Marketing Institute, and the leading posts from ShareBloc’s sales and marketing bloc. We used popular scraping tool ScrapingHub to get our titles.

To set up your ScrapingHub spider, select the website you’d like the spider to start scraping and input patterns to follow, along with any other special parameters you may have. In this case, we are asking the spider to start with the most recent posts, and include page two, three, etc.

We want the spider to go only one layer deep to get the post title. So, in the spider setting, I’ve set the depth limit to 1, in order to prevent the spider from entering a loop.

 Management, Content Writing

Next, you have to set up the item you want scraped. In this case, we want to scrape only the title.

After you set up your parameters, you can review the pages that have been spidered in …read more    

SEO, Content Writing,
Written by Stu Kushner

A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Conversion with Social Media

By Sean Work

 SEO, Content Writing, management

So, you’ve been publishing on Facebook, Twitter and maybe a few other social media platforms, and you’ve built up a decent following in each channel. Your audience is starting to engage more and more with your content.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Okay, what’s next? How can I take this to the next level? How can I use social media to drive leads for my business?”

Done right, social media can be an extremely powerful tool for lead generation, but getting there takes time, patience, a lot of testing and the dedication to post highly-valuable content for your audience.

This guide focuses on how to generate leads with non-paid content in social media. Social ads are also an excellent for leads, and maybe it’s something I’ll talk about in a future post. For now, we’ll learn how to create content for Facebook and Twitter that inspires clicks and conversions, and how to measure the results of your social lead gen efforts so that you can show your boss just how valuable social media can be for your business.

Here we go.

Optimize How You Link to Your External Content

In order to be effective at generating leads with social media you need to treat it as a key part of your overall content marketing machine. This means that social media becomes a place where you distribute high-value content to your audience––content found on your blog, the resources section of your site or on landing pages.

But it’s not just about the value of the content you’re linking to; what really counts is how you format the posts in each channel.

Before diving into how to optimize your posts for lead generation, let’s take a look at three possible lead generation paths for social:

  1. Social channel > Blog post with link to a relevant landing page (gated content) > lead
  2. Social channel > …read more    
online marketing, content writing,SEO
Written by Stu Kushner

The Real Truth About Google and Guest Blogging

By Sherice Jacob

online marketing, content writing,SEO

Matt Cutts, Google webmaster evangelist, recently stirred up a storm of controversy by announcing that guest blogging was “done.” He later clarified the statement by saying that guest blogging purely for SEO was done.

But you’re a KISSmetrics reader, and you already knew that – right?

So what’s the real truth behind Google’s newest announcement? Are you going to be penalized for blogging on other sites? Are your rankings going to collapse because you have blog contributors? Not likely. But there are a few caveats you’ll want to keep in mind whether you’re considering guest blogging as a promotional outlet or looking to bring guest bloggers on board to freshen up your site content.

If You’re a Blog Publisher

DON’T: send out waves of open invitations to anyone and everyone looking to contribute. You will get substandard writing, perhaps even content that has been “spun” (meaning words have been exchanged and sentences shifted to give the “appearance” of a new article to avoid Google’s duplicate content penalty).

DO: Take the time to research experts in your niche. Who are the prolific, consistently good writers that attract comments and invite discussion? Assemble your guest blogging “dream team” and don’t be afraid to reach out to knowledgeable professionals in your field to invite them to contribute. By the same token, don’t be surprised if they ask about your budget. You get what you pay for, and high quality, well-researched posts take time to write.

Quora is a great place to find knowledgeable professionals who may be open to the possibility of guest blogging for you. Simply type in your topic to find questions asked (and answered) around it.

Blogging is one broad topic on Quora with thousands of followers

You can then click on the avatar of the person answering to …read more    

internet marketing, Management, Wordpress
Written by Stu Kushner

Reach a Wider Audience with Social Promotion of Video Content

internet marketing, Management, WordPressIf you’re relatively new to the online marketing game, generating a video for marketing purposes may seem like a frightening undertaking.  In reality though, a decent video won’t take you much longer to produce than a high quality blog post and could help you to reach and connect with a much larger audience.

You don’t need any special education or overly complex tools in order to create a video that will attract new contacts or generate interest in your business.  If you’ve got a smartphone or a basic video camera and a deep understanding of your own product you’ve got more than enough to take your online marketing to a more visual level.

Start this phase of your online marketing plan by shooting a short video that shows prospects how to use your product or a video that highlights the features that set it apart from the competition.  Upload your video to YouTube, share it via your social networking accounts and blog and ask your connections for shares and feedback.

Not all of your connections will have the time or patience to read a thousand word blog post a few days a week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t benefit from the information.  By sharing both well written blog posts and informative short videos you will be able to reach and help a much broader audience than you would through blog posts alone.  These additional connections can help to spread the word of your brand even further and will ultimately result in more chances for you to engage qualified leads.

Written by Stu Kushner

Short and Sweet Every Step of the Way

proofreadingIf you are attempting to make the biggest possible impact with your online marketing efforts you should make every effort to provide the most useful information in the least possible space.  This goes for just about every method of online marketing that you plan to use from blogging to e-mail and even social networking.

Now this isn’t to say that you should cut out valuable information for the sake of brevity, but you should limit the length of your posts by eliminating words or phrases that are unnecessary. If you get too wordy, 

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blogging,online marketing
Written by Stu Kushner

Stimulate Ongoing Conversations by Blogging your Opinion

online marketing,bloggingYou are an authority in your niche and you’ve worked and studied hard to become so.  There is no reason for you to simply report industry news when you can open a platform for dialogue by sharing your personal expert opinion on things that are occurring within your industry.

Some people are afraid of controversy and it is completely understandable to not want to rock the boat too much or to risk offending loyal customers.  There is a difference between attempting to be controversial just for the sake of ruffling feathers and openly sharing your personal view on an industry topic that don’t necessarily agree with though. 

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writing content, online marketing
Written by Stu Kushner

Make a Bigger Impact with Each Blog Post

High Impact Images for Blog

There is no doubt that you business blog can be a powerful tool for attracting new prospects and creating more conversions.  The more attention you put into the finer details of your blog post though, the greater your chances for online marketing success.

A lot of online marketing experts will tell you that it is important to provide a photo with each blog .  While having some form of visual stimulation for your readers can be a benefit, just having a photo in a won’t do nearly as much as having the perfect picture in each post.

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writing content, blog, marketing online
Written by Stu Kushner

Focus Blog Content on Quality Over Quantity

 writing content, blog, marketing onlineIt is an absolute truth that to build the biggest possible following from your online marketing efforts that you’ve got to deliver content on a regular basis.  What seems to confuse those new to the inbound marketing game though is the broad sense of the term “regular basis.”

While it would be fantastic if you could deliver high quality, useful and completely original updates every single day, most small business owners simply don’t have the time or

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Written by Stu Kushner

Standing Out from the Crowd

 online marketing,blogThere is a very good chance that your small business has a few direct competitors that provide a very similar service or product.  Depending upon the industry you’re in you might have dozens or even hundreds of competitors who are fighting to provide the very same solutions to your current or prospective customers.

You might be taking every necessary step to advertise your wears via your business blog and multiple social media accounts but simply participating in those online marketing efforts may not be enough.  Plenty of businesses in your niche are probably active on social media and generating regular SEO friendly blog posts as well, you’ve got to do something that makes you stand out if you want to succeed.

If there is stiff competition in your niche and a multitude of various sized businesses vying for the same customers with similar content, you’ve got to stand out by delivering only the highest quality material.  Take the time to understand exactly what your target customers are looking for and do everything that you can to provide it to them with the content that you produce.

If you can deliver well written, grammatically correct and easy to read posts that solve problems and provide vital answers to questions you should have little problem standing out from the crowd.  Use your social media profiles to share the content you’ve worked hard to develop and those that find it useful or intriguing will be likely to share it with their connections.  This approach to online marketing will broaden your reach, further establish you as an expert in your niche and ultimately lead to more traffic and more sales.

content writing, SEO, blog ideas
Written by Stu Kushner

Useful Reader Blog Posting Ideas for Online Marketing

 content writing, SEO, blog ideasUsing a blog for online marketing can create a bit of demand on your schedule.  It isn’t always easy to generate one high quality idea after another in order to be able to continually generate new posts.  Having a successful blog, and in turn, a successful online marketing strategy requires consistent updates and that will mean that you may have to get resourceful when it comes to gathering ideas for posts.

A great idea for always having fresh and useful content for your readers is to exhaust every approach to every topic.  Your first inclination for approaching a specific topic may reach the widest audience of readers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that alternate approaches to the same idea can’t be successful.

Go back over posts that you’ve already generated and examine the possibility of constructing a new post from a different angle.  If you’ve constructed a post that thoroughly explained to the readers the best measures for solving a specific problem, consider a new post on the best preventative measures for avoiding the problem.

By delivering content that looks at a common problem from a different perspective you’ll be providing a very useful piece of content for a completely different cross section of your readers.  Answering questions and solving problems from every possible angle will help to ensure that you reach the widest possible audience and give you plenty of fresh content to keep your blog updated.

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