Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Top 5 Content Marketing Tactics (And How to Get More out of Them)

Are you wondering if your marketing tactics are effective? You’re not alone.

According to the Content Marketing Institute research both B2C and B2B small business marketers are setting themselves up for success; documented content strategies are increasing along with content marketing usage and tactics, however only 60 percent of B2C marketers and 45 percent B2B of marketers feel their tactics are “effective”.

While there may be slight variances in tactics, approaches or percentages, there are also a lot of similarities between B2B and B2C content marketers.

Take usage, for example. Both B2B and B2C Marketers alike rank their top five content marketing tactics as

1. Social Media
2. Articles on your website
3. eNewsletters
4. Blogs
5. Videos

And although the adaption rates for Social Media continue to grow, both groups of marketers remain unsure of effectiveness.

But some points are crystal clear: when asked to rank their top content marketing metric, web traffic topped the list. And when asked to rank their number one content marketing issue, a lack of time took first place.

So what does this mean? Based on CMI's research and insight, fine-tuning for efficiency and effectiveness might not be as difficult, or daunting, as you think.

Here are three ways you can improve your content marketing efforts, starting today:

1. Focus, focus, focus: 

Marketers across companies of all sizes and industries have ranked the tactics that are working best for them. Use that research to your advantage to focus your efforts on the above tactics, starting with social media.

If you aren't yet seeing results from numbers 1-5, revisit them and see what you can improve before moving down the list to try other tactics.

Put this to work:  Check out  this list of 61 Social Media tools for Small Business from Buffer to see which tools can help support your tactics.

2. Keep visitor needs front and centre: 

Very often when I speak to small business owners about content marketing they aren’t super excited about the state of their own site. Once they get traffic to their site, converting the traffic is difficult: keeping content fresh is a challenge, writing content is time consuming and they feel outside of the services or products they sell, they don't have a lot to offer.

In order to understand what actions need to be taken, you need to first understand what conversion means and how it is determined. Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media is a master at traffic conversion and has authored this post detailing (in plain English) what drives conversion.

There are numerous tools, both free and pay, that can help you assess the motivation and the friction your site provides visitors. Once honed in on what is working and what isn't, you can work on defining a content strategy and tactics that will keep your visitor's onsite and convert them down the marketing funnel.

Put this to work: Join us for our next #BizHeroes Tweet chat April 29th.  Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media co-founder and author of Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing, will be discussing the most effective content marketing practices that drive results. It’s a chat you won’t want to miss!

3. Make mountains out of molehills: Reduce, Reuse and Repurpose.

When I was a kid, my Mom used to tell me I was great at making "mountains out of molehills" or in other words, "something out of nothing". It wasn't a compliment -- it was my Mom's way of saying "stop being a nuisance".

As a marketer, I've spun Mom's words into a personal challenge: to make a content mountain out of whatever I can.

If I have created something so nice that I wish I could use it twice, then I try to do it. In fact, I give content as many lives as I can by reducing, re-using and repurposing it.

Next time you need to create content think about the existing content you have and how you can make more out if it. There's no harm in reusing or repurposing content to give it a second life. In fact, it's a smart move that can make the smallest teams look like content power-houses!

Put these ideas to work:

Start with a simple content audit to see what type of content you have and what you see you’re missing.  Then use one of the three tactics below to "grow more content".

     1. Reduce: have a look at a longer post you may have and break it out into smaller sections. Use those sections as ideas for new post ideas on your blog.

     2. Reuse: take an old interview and list any quotes or statistics.  Find an image on Flickr (cc) or a service like Fotolia that best represents the quote or statistic and create a graphic combing the both. Now you've just created a helpful, snack-sized piece of content to share, with minimal effort.

     3. Repurpose: Magazines love this tactic.  They take an article and convert it to a check list. Or they take a check list, and rewrite it as an article. Take a list from a blog post that you find helpful and and convert the list to a Slideshare presentation. If you have a video, separate the voice and make it an audio file.

The information itself may not be much different that what you created in the past, but the format is new and fresh. Additionally, if you know the information was helpful in one format, chances are it will be just as helpful in its new format.

Which content marketing tactics are working for you and how do you get "more from less" with your content? Share your ideas below, and even better, join us for #BizHeroes and share your experiences and best practices with the community.

Image credit: Beck, 10ch

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Next #BizHeroes! Optimizing your Social Media Presence with Ian Cleary

Today, more than ever, your social media strategy and presence need to be on target to catapult your brand past the competition -- but how? 

Social Media has taken the world by storm. It's completely changed the way we network, communicate and market to an audience. According to Hubspot, US Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs & social networks than on email. Twitter and Facebook alone have more than 1 billion users combined!

This week on #BizHeroesTweet-guest Ian Cleary will share tips, tools and tactics to help you optimize and hit your social media bull’s eye.

Ian is co-founder of the award winning site RazorSocial, speaker and a leading global expert on social media tools and technology -- and has the muscle to prove it! He and his partner, Collete, have grown the RazorSocial newsletter from zero to 100,000 readers per month in just more than one year!

Join us and let's pick Ian's brain together on what's hot and what's not in the world of social media!

Date: Tuesday, April 15th
Time: 8PM Central European Time, 11 am PST, 2PM EST 

Topic Questions:

Q1 How can I target the right people for my business?
Q2 How can I get better results with my content?
Q3 How can I convert site traffic to customers?
Q4 Which tools should I use to analyze my results?

PS: You can find Ian @IanCleary  on Twitter. Give him a follow and then head over to the Razor Social newsletter and subscribe. You won't be sorry!

Monday, April 7, 2014

This week on #BizHeroes: "Getting Started with Social Selling" w/ Barbara Giamanco

Is your sales strategy aligned for success and social centered selling?

According to a study conducted by eMarketer in 2013: “Nearly 1 in 4 people in the world use social networks”. There were a total of 1.73 billion social media users in 2013, a number that is expected to increase to a thriving 2.55 billion within the next five years.

Whether you're an entrepreneur, small business owner or part a larger organization, this is a complete game changer if you are in sales.

Join us and industry Social Selling leader, Barbara Giamanco, Tuesday, April 8th for #BizHeroes. Barbara will be sharing tips, tactics and everything you need to know to shift your sales approach from “using social media to sell” to “social centered selling”.

For pre-chat reading dive into our two-part interview with Barbara “Getting Started with Social Selling” and "Speed up Your Sales with Social Selling” and grab a copy of her book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media.

If you're not following Barbara yet on Twitter, head over to @BarbaraGiamanco and say hi. She's as friendly as she is knowledgable!

BizHero: Barbara Giamanco
Date: Tuesday, April 8th
Time: 8PM Central European Time, 11 am PST, 2PM EST

Topic Questions:
Q1. What is social centered selling?
Q2. What are the common mistakes of using social media to sell?
Q3. How can I reach my prospects?
Q4. People talk a lot about sharing content, why does that matter?
Q5. Is one platform stronger than another for social selling?
Q6. What can I do in 15 minutes each day to improve?