Marketing is a game of inches. It’s very rare to make a single change that doubles or triples results. Most of the time it’s an ongoing journey of tweaks and adjustments, the fine-tuning that keeps us continually improving.
In the last trending post, we shared articles that could help with a major content overhaul. For this week’s roundup, we looked for those small refinements that will help you get more mileage from your content — even if it’s one inch at a time.
What Marketers Were Reading and Sharing Most Last Week:
1. The Paradox of Content Marketing to Beginners Vs. Experts
Most content is written for the folks who need it most: Those who are just starting out with your subject matter and need guidance. They’re the most likely to read your content, since they’re actively searching for answers. The problem is, they’re the least likely to have a massive audience of their own, to help amplify your content.
The opposite is also true. The folks who would be most successful at amplifying your educational content are likely to not have much need for it, since they themselves tend to be respected sources of information.
What’s a marketer to do? Rand Fishkin says you can resolve the paradox with some strategic content planning. “Create personas for both target customers AND the sources of influence who’ll help you reach them,” he says. Then, “Determine the content those personas want, need, and will share.”
Read the full article for detailed advice on content planning that includes more effective third-party amplification.
2. Write Like You Talk: 12 Tips for More Conversational Content
The days of stiff, overly-formal content are over, even for B2B. People want to read content written by a person, not a machine; they want to feel a connection with the author. To achieve that kind of rapport, marketers have to unlearn a few bad habits.
This post from Darek Black casts an analytical eye on what makes content sound genuine and personable. From word choice to rhythm and flow, it’s a great quick primer on making your writing more lively. Even better, it’s an example of well-written, personality-filled writing as well as a how-to. For example: “Each word is a note; combined, they form melodies, fine-tuned by punctuation. Therefore, don’t write content for your readers. Instead, compose music customized for their ears,” says Black.
3. 6 Vital Metrics to Measure Content Marketing Success
If you’re still looking at generic metrics like total traffic or bounce rate, your measurement could definitely use fine-tuning. The right metrics can make it easier to pinpoint why your content is succeeding or failing, as well as whether it’s reaching the right audience. And, of course, the right metrics can help you prove ROI.
Marketer Rakshit Hirpara offers a set of metrics that relate directly to content marketing’s cost versus effectiveness, with an eye firmly toward making a business case for your content’s performance. Even better, he suggests the tools that you can use to measure each one.
4. B2C Content Marketing Techniques that B2B Marketers Should Steal (And Some They Shouldn’t)
There’s a constant drumbeat in the B2B marketing sphere that we should “be more like B2C.” For folks who are tired of writing whitepapers, that’s a seductive slogan. But should we really be borrowing wholesale from our B2C colleagues?
According to Joshua Nite, just because it’s B2C doesn’t mean it’s automatically better. B2B is its own discipline with its own unique challenges. So, we should borrow what works, but feel free to leave alone what doesn’t.
Nite suggests B2B marketers steal five techniques that can lead to greater creativity and more effective content, but also finds five tactics that B2C can keep. One major differentiator: B2C influencer marketing is product-focused. Its goal is to promote a product with an influencer’s endorsement. But B2B influencer content is value-focused. Influencers don’t just add credibility or prestige, they should be contributing content that is valuable for your audience.
5. Why the Best Days of Content Marketing Are Still Ahead of Us
More people are consuming content than ever before, and that content is persuading them to take action. That’s the takeaway that tops Michael Brenner’s latest article. According to an October 2020 report, transactions on the web increased by nearly 27% last year, and conversions by nearly 25%. The challenge for marketers will be to continue building on those gains as the world returns to something resembling normalcy.
Thankfully, Brenner has plenty of practical suggestions for how to make your content more effective. One major priority: Optimizing for natural language and voice search. “Featured snippets and natural-voice search provide content marketers with an unlimited opportunity to answer questions with informative, thought-provoking content,” he says. “For those content teams that take the time to create top-quality content around each topic they tackle, the rewards are massive.”
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