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Top tips for making a quick but effective content audit

One of the common themes I continually revisit in my work and writing is the proliferation and abundance of content. For brands looking to use content, and content marketing more specifically, to reach and engage prospects and customers, they have to think very carefully about the value and utility of their efforts and how this benefits their audience to generate action. There are many great resources and links to in-depth content audits, including Smart Insights’ 360 content marketing audit Quick Win. These are essential for anyone looking to conduct a detailed evaluation of a brand’s current content situation to make changes and recommendations. However, in this post, I’d like to highlight just five simple steps and techniques that I have personally found useful for making a quick assessment. This can often be useful for digital marketers looking to…

Chart of the Week: 76% of marketers say their companies follow a strategic approach to marketing but not all of these have a documented content strategy.

The majority of marketers say that their organization takes a strategic approach to managing their content. According to new research from the Content Marketing Institute, 76% of marketers state that their company follows a strategic approach when it comes to content marketing. Of those who said that this is the case, 97% said that they were involved in the strategic content management used by their company. This covered a number of areas, with 89% being involved in the creation of content and 84% having a say in the organization’s content marketing strategy, including thought leadership, owned media management and distribution channels. Other areas of involvement in business’ strategy included the content…

You need better content marketing metrics - ones that your executive team really care about

Like the father character Tevye in the classic movie 'Fiddler on the Roof,' some digital marketers seem to blindly follow tradition without much thought. They focus on traditional metrics like click-through rates, cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS). The problem is, their executive leadership often doesn’t see how these metrics translate to the bottom line. [si_guide_block id="34016" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Evaluating content marketing ROI guide" description="This guide is aimed at helping you improve your confidence in the value of content marketing by stepping you through a range of techniques to help marketers evaluate and prove their content effectiveness."/] Keeping in mind the goal of marketing: to grow your business at the lowest possible cost. So, for brands whose growth depends on acquiring and nurturing leads, your content marketing (CM) metrics must…

Chart of the Day: 47% of content is for top of funnel buyers

Research published from the Content Marketing Institute has shown that almost half of the content created by B2B marketers is for early-stage buyers - to generate awareness and interest. This matches the reasons that marketers gave for using content marketing, with 87% of them saying it was to generate leads and potential customers and 82% stating it was to create brand awareness. This isn't a great surprise, as the branded content is (most frequently) available to browsers without the need to purchase or log in beforehand. A brand can promote charity initiatives, relevant survey/report results their customers may be interested in, and personal brand growth stories (new offices, securing investment, landing industry awards etc.) to establish themselves in the minds of customers. However, what is surprising is that only…

Chart of the day: Original research drives traffic but marketers aren't promoting it to its full potential.

Original research produced by b2B marketers drives traffic and social shares - but are marketers making the most of their excellent research? The short answer, according to research by Buzzsumo and Mantis Research is pretty much a "no". The research found the main benefits of producing original research (research reports which involve conducting a survey of real people e.g. marketers) drives traffic and social shares, success! Website traffic, social shares, PR and influencer mentions, as well as leads were reported by half or more respondents. This proves the value of conducting original research and shows why it's so popular as a content marketing methods. When asked how marketers then promoted the research, this is what they found: Most marketers promote…

A new type of content discovery platform which allows professionals to improve their knowledge and keep track of quality content in a single feed via a Google Chrome new-tab extension

It’s Monday. Your inbox shows a gazillion emails and most are from blogs you’re subscribed to. You already know that about 90% of them aren’t that relevant to you and that some 9% of them are lack of added value. You pick up your mobile and scroll through the Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter feeds. While scrolling, you see a post about the latest content marketing technique. This post already has 400+ likes, some are your colleagues, but while you skim through the article you say to yourself “why have all these professionals liked this article? It’s full of basic fluff”. These days we are consuming our content mainly through blog subscription and social media. We…

Chart of the day: social media marketing and content marketing budgets are expected to increase more than any other channel in 2017

Marketers were asked to indicate whether particular types of marketing would either stay the same, increase or decrease in a survey of over 3,000 client-side marketing professionals.  The findings show the importance of social, content and personalisation within marketing strategies and budgets. Personalisation and video marketing are also big priorities for marketers. Display advertising and paid search are expected to have the biggest decreases (13% each) whilst affiliate marketing budgets are the most likely to stay the same. Previously we might have expected content marketing to have been top, but social and content are the power duo. This isn't surprising as social media keeps pushing its way to the top of marketing plans. It's also good to see email marketing is at least maintaining…

Content marketing best practices and examples for financial services

It’s important to review how content can be used effectively in your specific sector. In this article I will review content marketing approaches for financial services, a sector I'm involved with. Each industry sector has its own unique traits and idiosyncrasies and financial services is certainly no different. In fact, due to the complex nature of many financial products, the challenges of creating engaging content and an increased focus on compliance and regulation, one can argue that content marketing for financial services companies is a particularly tricky discipline to master. Nevertheless, despite the challenges that exist within financial services there are also considerable opportunities that content marketing can exploit if planned and executed effectively. I would suggest that the steps for establishing a content marketing process is very much the same as it is for any other…

Less than half of marketing know their ROI from Content marketing

For the past 3 years that we have been asking Smart Insights readers which is the marketing tactic which marketers that will give them the most incremental growth. In each of those 3 years, Content Marketing has been identified as the trend which will have the most impact. Given the popularity of content marketing as an activity and increased investment in this area, using the right measures to assess return on content marketing is essential. We asked this question in our recent report on content marketing in Europe asking marketers based in Europe about the content marketing techniques they have used. In the question on KPIs used for content marketing summarised in the infographic below we asked which measures are used for measuring content marketing effectiveness. You…

7 Steps to Content Marketing Success in 2016

In our previous infographic, 7 Steps to Digital Marketing Nirvana, we showed the success factors with creating a digital strategy to help grow a business. Since the 7 Steps format was popular, we have used the same format in this Content Marketing infographic. In it we highlight a process to help your business grow using Content Marketing, which we believe should be at the heart of your digital marketing strategy in 2016. To help you review or benchmark how well you compete with your content marketing, for each step in the infographic, I have included relevant research from our free managing Content Marketing in 2016 research report we have just published with HubSpot - thank you if you were involved in the research! The research shows the challenge of content marketing with: Over two-thirds (67%) of businesses creating more content in 2016 compared to 2015 Only 11%…