male model thinking about marketing insider group's 11 content marketing optimizations you need to try today

Content marketing optimizations are the secret to ranking well, driving traffic and reaching your audience. Highly saturated SERPs bring stiff competition that make it necessary to deliver content tailored to the needs of your audience and search engines.

So how can you guarantee your content is optimized for conversion? There’s several marketing techniques that will help enhance the quality of your content and land your blog post on the first page of search engines.

Key Takeaways

  • More than 90% of businesses use content marketing optimizations to connect with audiences
  • Google receives about 3.5 billion searches per day, all of which generate relevant results via keywords
  • 72% of consumers say that they “prefer videos” over text-based content
  • Including a clear and concise CTA invites readers to take steps towards becoming paying customers
  • Consistent brands are worth 20% more than those with inconsistencies in their messaging

Through optimizing your content, you provide valuable information to both readers and search engines, ultimately heightening your chances of creating top-ranking content.

What Is Optimized Content?

More than 90% of businesses use content marketing optimizations to connect with audiences and about 4.4 million blog posts are published each day. If you want to keep up with the competition, it’s time to optimize your content marketing strategy.

Optimized content is created and shared specifically to improve search results and ranking. This way, it will reach the largest target audience possible, resulting in a higher likelihood of conversion.

Some of the most popular ways to optimize marketing content is by using:

  • Keywords
  • Meta descriptions
  • Title tags
  • Relevant linking

Although, these methods aren’t always enough to get your content to page one of SERPs. There’s several additional marketing and editorial elements to web optimization that you also need to consider.

The Importance of Content Marketing Optimizations

Optimizing your content is critical to improving visibility and reaching your target market. Focusing on simple techniques specifically designed to optimize your webpage will:

  • Improve overall quality of your content
  • Encourage search engines to highly rank your content
  • Boost conversions
  • Enhance reader comprehension
  • Build loyal customer relationships

Simply sharing helpful content doesn’t guarantee reaching your target audience. The best way to achieve top rankings, improve branding, drive traffic and increase revenue is by optimizing your marketing strategy for conversion.

How To Optimize Your Content

If search engines can’t find your high-quality content, then you’re less likely to achieve your marketing goals. Here’s how to develop an optimized content marketing strategy for both search engines and readers.

Research Keywords

Google receives about 3.5 billion searches per day, all of which generate relevant results via keywords. By using data to determine keywords most likely to rank, you can optimize your chances of top ranking content. There’s many components that make up SEO, or search engine optimization, but keyword research is an essential part of reaching your audience.

illustration of many components that make up SEO

Image Source: Hurix

When conducting keyword research, look for long tail keywords or multi-word phrases. These generate more specific information on searches and are easier to rank, making it more likely for your audience to find your content.

It’s also important to only use keywords that represent your brand. Just because a keyword is easy to rank for doesn’t mean it should be featured in your next blog post. Optimizing your content with keywords is only helpful if you’re still answering the questions and concerns of readers.

Watch Your Competition

Outshine the competition by beating them at their own game. Learn competitor tactics by checking out their top ranking articles. Take note of how your brand can improve and align your own marketing strategy with their successful content.

Doing so will heighten your chances of out-ranking your competitors. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) copy exactly what they’re doing – but if they’re beating you, there’s an opportunity to learn from their strategy.

Use a Compelling CTA

Including a CTA, or call-to-action, is key to conversion. This is the strategy used for gently encouraging visitors to become paying customers. A great CTA is relevant to your content and feels natural to visitors. It helps them through their journey and advises them to take advantage of your business’s services.

Consider offering your audience a free trial, email sign ups and links to relevant products or services. Keep your CTAs clear and concise, and use action words to create a sense of urgency, such as:

  • Learn more today
  • Get started
  • Join Free
  • Buy now

The placement of your CTA is key to enticing the reader and guiding them towards making a purchase. Include your CTA at the fold of a landing page or bottom of a blog post to feel like a natural next step. Enjoy the short video below to learn more about creating the perfect CTA.

Video Source: Lemonlight

CTAs are also more effective when they’re personalized, and according to HubSpot they can convert up to 202% better than default CTAs. Use available data to adjust your CTA according to any relevant factors, such location or loyalty status. This makes your audience feel special and more likely to convert.

Perfect Your Layout

Commit to a layout that’s both visually pleasing and easy to digest. Decide on a preferable format for your target audience and create a uniform layout based on what they want to see.

For your blog post template, include the following features in the design:

  • Table of contents
  • Bullet points
  • Headings & subheadings
  • Pleasing visuals
  • Key takeaways
  • CTA

Doing so will help ensure readability and comprehension, ultimately making readers comfortable and increasing your chances of conversion.

Maximize Visual Appeal

A huge wall of text is intimidating, even if it’s full of quality information. Featuring images and short videos will help break up lengthy text and clarify what you’re talking about. In fact, content with relevant images receives 94% more views than content without.

statistics show importance of visuals to success of online content

Image Source: Venngage

Enhance visual appeal and drive more traffic to your content by including:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Charts and graphs
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics
  • Animated Gifs

As technology evolves, people are looking for the easiest way to consume information. In fact, 72% of consumers say that they prefer videos over text-based content. Including informational photos and videos in your content will heighten your rate of viewer engagement.

Deliver High-Quality Information

Content with valuable information is the cornerstone of successful content marketing. Optimize the quality of your content by:

  • Going in depth – 2,000-word articles are most likely to get social shares. Get to 2,000 words by noting what’s missing from high ranking articles and diving deeper.
  • Give a unique perspective – share an interesting point of view and demonstrate expertise. This will create trust between you, your readers and search engines.
  • Outshining Competition – remember, take a look at top-ranking articles and make them more interesting, entertaining and valuable.
  • Prioritizing Readability – high-quality content is free of grammatical errors. People trust content that’s clear and easy to understand.line graph shows that easily understood content is trustworthy

Image Source: Growth Badger

Enhance the quality of your content by being clear and concise. Get to the point, eliminate fluff, use spell-check tools and commit to an engaging tone.

Add Links

Linking to popular content on your site can trigger a significant improvement in search rankings. Not only can this increase your number of readers, but it will also help Google search bots find your page.

Simply place relevant links within the text of your content to encourage readers to click and learn more. Cross-linking to your high traffic pages also makes your content more likely to be found.

Revisit Old Content

Repurpose old content to scale your strategy. Not only will it increase engagement, but it’ll also enhance brand awareness and drive more traffic to your site.

statistics show benefits of repurposing old content

Image Source: Referral Rock

Be sure to regularly return to the content you’ve already shared and give it a refresh. Search engines are constantly changing, and your initial marketing strategy may not be what’s best for optimization anymore.

Update old content with new:

  • Statistics
  • Relevant keywords
  • Videos and images
  • Titles, tags and headers

Giving your old, poorly-performing posts a fresh start will enhance the overall quality of your content and heighten your chances of a high-ranking article.

Use Catchy Headlines

The headline of your content is crucial to the success of an article. With so much saturation on SERPS, you have to stand out in the crowd. Utilize content marketing optimizations by using headlines that readers can’t resist to click.

Make your readers curious, mix in powerful signal words and ask questions to create intrigue in your audience. Great, high-quality content won’t do you any good if no one is interested enough to read it.

Prioritize Consistency

Consistent content creates a sense of awareness, trust and loyalty within your audience.

Prioritize consistency by designing a content calendar and sticking to it. When you aren’t consistent with your content, customers become confused and begin to lose faith in your brand. Keeping up with your schedule enhances the customer experience, credibility and your brand’s reputation.

According to Techipedia, consistent brands are worth 20% more than those with inconsistencies in their messaging. Additionally, 78% of high-ranking content has a consistent tone of voice. Show your audience you care by demonstrating dedication through consistent content.

figure shows that 78% of high-ranking content has a consistent tone of voice

Image Source: Semrush

Start slow with 2-4 content posts per week and work your way up to once per day. Remember, a great way to avoid time-consuming content creation is by giving old content a re-fresh!

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is critical to creating well-received content. Optimize your content by first understanding of your audience and identifying their demographics:

  • Age
  • Salary
  • Educational attainment
  • Hobbies and passions

Clarifying these factors will help shape your buyer persona. Use the data found to create content that will appeal to the needs and wants of your audience. This will help you clarify which questions and concerns to answer in your content.

Connect with your audience to help increase your conversion rate and rake in more revenue for your business.

Optimize Your Content Today

Stop your content from disappearing into the Google vortex and start optimizing content marketing today. Content marketing optimizations are critical to driving traffic, reaching your audience and securing conversions.

Make the most of your content marketing strategy by publishing consistent, high-quality content. Marketing Insider Group’s team of writers and SEO experts can help you deliver optimized, ready-to-publish content every week.

Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service today or schedule a quick consultation now to learn more!

The post 11 Content Marketing Optimizations You Need To Try Today appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

How Often Should You Blog?

In the world of content marketing, the lifeblood of your program is content. Much of that content is in blog form. Blogs help you attract new clients by answering questions and providing insights on their challenges.

We believe strongly that blogging with consistency is necessary for content marketing to work. Frequency really does matter. But, exactly how often should you blog?

Publishing 2 – 4 times per week provides the highest results in terms of both traffic and conversions.

This is the answer according to the data we have seen from multiple studies, as well as much of our own client work across more than a dozen client websites in B2B, B2C, and with companies large and small.

So let’s start by looking at the cold, hard facts – the data on blogging frequency.

Quick Takeaways:

  • The more frequently you blog, the more traffic you tend to get, as a rule of thumb.
  • 2-4 posts per week is a magic number — it results in a noticeable increase in traffic for both B2B and B2C businesses.
  • Publishing more frequently also increases leads for B2B companies and Revenue in B2C
  • Longer content is great but consistency is better so spread out you capacity to meet weekly goals
  • Try blog writing services from professional writers to get timely, relevant content to your audience without having to spend your time creating content

The Rule of Small Changes

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh

One of the things I learned early on in my career is that small things, done consistently can add up to great impact. Think about anything you might want to achieve in your life: becoming rich, losing weight, training for a marathon. All of these things are achievable with small changes applied consistently over time:

  • Want to be a millionaire? start saving $100 / week at age 25
  • Want to lose weight? Cut out 200 calories every day
  • Want to run a marathon? Star running for 10 mins every day and increase by just 1 minute every day for a year

Content marketing is the same. Start by publishing 1-2 great articles every single week for a year and you’ll see massive changes:

(From our most recent case study)

Start with Data

To understand how the frequency of blogging impacts its effectiveness, it’s always a good idea to start with data. HubSpot looked at blogging data from over 13,500 companies to try to answer this question. The results they provided are pretty straight forward in linking frequency and increased traffic and leads. Let’s dig a little deeper.

When you are creating your content marketing plan, a key element is how often you will publish blogs. You may think you can just pick a number randomly and that will be enough. Blogging frequency, however, is a bit more complex than that.

According to the data, companies that published 4 blog posts per week or more received 3.5 times the traffic compared to companies that blogged less than 1 times per week.

So, that’s a sound argument for being very prolific on your blog. However, there are other factors that the research looks at related to the size of the company and the differences between B2B and B2C businesses.

Does Company Size Matter?

Next, HubSpot broke down some data points based on company size.

For companies with 10 or fewer employees, they drove more traffic with around 11 blogs per month versus those that published less than 11. Those that published more than 11 blogs a month had almost three times the traffic than those publishing only one blog a month and twice as much as those that wrote two to five posts a month.

For companies that have 11 to 25 employees or over 200 employees, the magic number was again 11. When they published more than 11 posts per month, they received 3.5 times the traffic versus those that only blogged once a month.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees that publish more than 11 blogs a month had about two times the traffic compared to those that only had one blog published.

B2B vs. B2C

The blogging frequency of B2B companies versus B2C companies was also reviewed. The research presented that for B2C companies, there was a consistent correlation between the number of posts and traffic to the site.

The results for B2B companies was more complicated. The data did show a positive association between frequency and traffic. When looking at companies that only blogged six to 10 times a month, they only had a slightly larger traffic pull than those that published one blog post.

The real difference was when the companies published 11 or more blogs, which drove the traffic to the site three times more than those only blogging once.

The Impact of Monthly Blog Posts on Leads

Creating great content is the attraction for leads. While the quantity of content has been shown to be associated with higher traffic, the quality of the content matters as well. Let’s look at the findings and how they affect leads.

Company Size, Frequency, and Lead Generation

Overall, companies that published 16 or more posts a month had 4.5 times more leads generated versus those that published four or less. Then the study breaks down the lead potential by company size:

Companies with one to 10 employees and 11 to 25 employees: The best return for these size companies on leads was publishing 10 or more blogs a month. At 11 or more, they were able to generate twice as many leads as companies publishing only six to 10 blogs.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees: Blogging at least 11 times for these companies produced about 2.5 times the leads than those publishing three or fewer blogs.

Companies with over 200 employees: The ideal number for this size company was six or more blogs monthly. For these companies, they were able to capture 1.75 times more leads than their counterparts that only wrote five or fewer blogs.

B2B vs B2C

Overall, both B2B and B2C companies attracted more leads the more blogs they posted. B2C companies posting 11 or more blogs per month received more than four times than those that distributed four to five blogs.

For B2B brands, the differences were smaller but still relevant. For those blogging 11 or more times, they received 1.75 times the leads versus those blogging six to 10 times a month and around 3.75 times more than those blogging three or fewer times a month.

Total Number of Blog Posts and Traffic: What’s the True Effect?

Next, the HubSpot report looked at the total number of blog posts of the companies and how that influenced traffic to their sites. Overall, more blogs did equal more traffic. The key amount was around 400 blogs. If a blog had more than 400 total posts, it received approximately twice as much traffic as blogs with 301 to 400 posts.

Creating 400 blog posts may seem like a difficult number to reach, but if you are publishing consistently in the 10 to 15 range, then you’d see this isn’t impossible over a few years. Blogs with over 400 posts are likely to be ones that have been around for a while. This data also offers a clear reason not to delete old blogs. Instead, you can always update them as more information becomes available.

Company Size and Total Blog Posts

The study broke down the data for the number of blog posts by company size as well.

Companies with 10 or fewer employees: These brands saw a boost of traffic around the 300 mark. When they had 300 or more posts, they were able to generate 3.5 times more traffic than those with 50  to 0 blogs.

Companies with 11 to 25 employees: This size company also received the best results at 300 or more blogs, bringing in 2.75 times more traffic than those with 150 or fewer blogs.

Companies with 26 to 200 employees: 300 was again the right number. They received 1.5 times more traffic with 300+ blogs versus those that had fewer than 150.

Companies with 200 or more employees: Larger companies also enjoyed more traffic with 300 or more blogs, garnering two times more traffic than those with less than 300 posts.

B2B vs B2C

Again, both types of businesses saw increases in site visits when they had 400+ blog posts. B2C companies had 2.5 times more traffic than those with 300 to 400 posts, while B2B companies also had 2.5 times more traffic than their counterparts that had 200 or fewer posts.

Total Number of Blog Posts Correlation to Leads

The study also looked at the correlation between number of blog posts and actual leads, not just traffic. Companies that published 400 or more posts received over three times the leads versus companies with less than 100 blogs.

There were also differences in the number of leads based on the size of the company. Companies with less than 10 employees publishing 300 or more blog posts had 3.5 times the amount of leads than those with fewer than 50 published posts.

Companies with 11 to 25 employees with 300 or more blog posts got more than two times the leads versus those with 151 to 300 posts.

For companies with 26 or more employees, they also had more leads but not as much as smaller companies. They were likely to capture 1.5 times more leads with 300 or more blog posts compared to those that published 25 or less.

In the difference between B2B and B2C companies, B2C companies had the edge, generating 4.5 times more leads when they had 400 or more posts compared to those with 100 or less total posts. B2B companies with over 400 blog posts delivered three times as many leads than those B2B brands with 200 posts or less.

I’ve summarized this data on this chart to show the correlation between frequency, traffic and conversions:

What Does All this Data Mean?

Consistent, regular publishing does seem to increase site traffic and leads. This doesn’t mean that quantity is always better than quality. While it is good to have a large library of posts, they still need to be well crafted and be meaningful to your audience.

So, what other data or research can corroborate these findings and add more insight? Let’s look at a 2018 Survey of 1,000+ bloggers from Orbit Media with analysis from expert Andy Crestodina, who is an esteemed colleague.

Why Are Some Blogs More Successful than Others?

That is the question that Andy tries to answer in his analysis of data. The survey consisted of asking bloggers specific questions grouped into three sections:

  • Length, Time, and Frequency
  • Process and Measurement
  • Content Formats, Original Research, and Promotion

For the topic of frequency, we’ll look at the first section, which included these questions:

  • How long is your average blog?
  • Home much time do bloggers spend on an article?
  • How often do you publish blogs?

The data points that are of real interest to frequency relay to question three. First, Andy notes that blogging frequency has been in a gradual decline over the last five years. In 2014, the most frequent answer was “several times per week.” Now, the answer changed to “several times a month.” The percentage of bloggers that publish every day has declined by half in this time period.

This decline could be because the survey also found that bloggers spend more time crafting a blog than they did in 2014. Thus, if a blogger spends more time per blog, it would make sense they would publish less.

Here is the full frequency of blogging results:

  • More than daily: 2%
  • Daily: 2%
  • Two to six posts a week: 18%
  • Weekly: 21%
  • Several times a month: 23%
  • Monthly: 15%
  • Less than monthly: 5.7%
  • Irregular intervals: 15%

However, nothing in the data associates fewer blogs with more benefits. The next analysis looks at the percentage of bloggers that reported “strong results” by publishing frequency.

Overall, bloggers who publish weekly were 2.5 times more likely to report “strong results” than bloggers publishing monthly or less.

The full set of data was as follows:

  • More than daily: 68.8%
  • Daily: 62.5%
  • Two to six posts a week: 42.5%
  • Weekly: 32%
  • Several times a month: 23.1%
  • Monthly: 17.5%
  • Less than monthly: 12.9%

The data from this study does make some connection between frequency and benefits. “Strong results” could be interpreted many ways and isn’t as exact as the Hubspot research which successfully linked high volume and frequency to site traffic and leads.

Quality vs. Quantity

This has been an ongoing debate in the marketing community. The data just shared above certainly endorses that quantity is a big indicator of success. Some would argue that with high frequency, there is no way to keep up the quality. That’s a false assumption.

One of the most important things to do is to find a content ROI formula that works for your business as far as quantity is concerned. Then once you have identified what type of quantity you need to be at based on factors like your company size, B2B vs B2C, and industry, you have to put a plan in motion to scale content production.

chart showing the roi of content

You may think that you don’t have enough ideas to increase the volume of blogs post created. Where will you find inspiration? There are specific tactics to take to expand your blog content ideas:

  • Activate your experts by asking them what topics are most on trend or what’s new or forthcoming
  • Tap into your sales team to find out what prospects and customers ask about most
  • Look into existing research in your field
  • See what your competitors are writing about
  • Refresh old content

These are ways to ensure you have both quantity and quality because there’s plenty of blogs out there that have no value. They suffer from SEO stuffing, false narratives, and no supporting arguments.

Yet, we still keep hearing from experts to create less content; but even experts change their mind. In a post for Buzzsumo, Steve Rayson argues that the “future is more content.”

He makes this strong point based on some compelling data. The Washington Post publishes about 1,200 posts a day, which is way beyond what any non-publishing brand would be able to write. While Steve initially thought this type of quantity would dilute their traffic, this was an erroneous assumption. In fact, The Washington Post saw its web traffic grow by 28%.

This new approach to increasing content was actually put in place by the Post’s owner and Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos. This trend of more is universal. The number of Google indexed pages grew by more than 100 trillion in four years to 130 trillion in 2016. The number of indexed pages is no longer noted on the How Search Works Google page, but it’s certain that this number has increased significantly.

So why is more content the way to go? Steve offers some points that are hard to argue with that align with the Post’s strategy.

First, the Post and those with a similar strategy still care very much about quality. Steve notes in his post that science-related publications are also creating more content. There are over 28,000 scholarly peer-reviewed journals publishing over 2.5 million new scientific papers each year.

There is also the emerging trend of automated content, which includes algorithm-driven content. There are better tools available now for publishing and distributing content. Internet access and literacy rates continue to rise meaning more people can consume content. It’s also less costly to create content now than years ago. All these points are a huge catalyst for more content.

But is blogging frequency really indicative of success? Is it all just convenient data to make a point? Who has a contradictory view?

The Ideal Blogging Frequency Doesn’t Exist

That’s the statement from the experts at Moz, who certainly have a lot of expertise and experience in content. So, we should probably hear them out.

The folks at Moz think a lot of the data supporting higher frequency is misleading. They argue that correlation and causation should be totally separate. Basically, they say that frequency doesn’t matter as much as these things:

  • Are the visits you are receiving because of more posts valuable? You could have a lot of traffic to your site, but those visitors may not be your ideal buyers and would never become a customer.
  • The data that’s been presented that aligns quantity with traffic and leads, what industries and sectors are they? If they aren’t in your industry, then it’s hard to say that the quantity would have the same correlation. If you’re a manufacturing company, you probably don’t have much use for data from retail brands.
  • Matching your goals and content schedule. If you are seeking to increase your viewership for a particular series, or drive traffic by writing about specific promos or events, then it makes sense to increase the frequency of blogs. However, if your goals are different and based on other elements like seasonality, then it may behoove you to publish less.
  • Consistency matters more than frequency. If you want a consistent audience, then you must also be consistent in your publishing. People get in the habit of coming to your blog and expecting new content.
  • Creating posts that attract more attention and are amplified is more beneficial than sheer frequency. If you have 11 posts that get an average number of views, that’s fine. But if you have less than 11 blogs, and several of those get lots of backlinks and shares on social media, then your traffic and leads will increase, not solely based on quantity.

So while I agree with these questions and concerns, they don’t present evidence against increasing blog post frequency. Just really good questions to ask about the data. In the end, we recommend you test it out for yourself. And listen to industry experts like The Media Captain:

How Often Should You Post?

Well, we’ve examined quite a bit of data and seen arguments from experts on both sides of the issue. So, simply put, how often should you post?

The very easy answer is, it depends! Quantity does have the ability to get your site hopping with visitors. However, you shouldn’t publish content just for the sake of saying you have more posts. You should align your frequency to your content goals, as well as consider what resources you have to create content. The size of your company, and whether it’s B2B or B2C, also matters.

Invest in Content for More Traffic and More Leads

What’s for sure is that you need to invest in content, and you can do that more effectively when you use a blog writing subscription service. A blog writing subscription service is one that delivers relevant content for your audience from professional writers. It’s high-quality content without any time investment from you. It’s on-demand content production.

There are lots of advantages to using such a service. You’ll save time and can be confident that the writers creating your content are qualified. All content will be optimized for SEO to increase your rankings in search. Plus, they come up with the content plan for you, which means it’s something you don’t even have to think about. Further, you can expect a quick turnaround and know that the work is 100% original and error-free.

Build awareness of your brand, attract new customers, and connect more deeply with your readers when you use a blog writing subscription service. Once you have blog content published consistently, you can then look at your own data to identify what the “perfect” frequency of blogging is from your specific company.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s consistently published, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books. Get started today and generate more traffic and leads for your business.

The post How Often Should You Blog? [Blog Post Frequency RESEARCH] appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Did you miss our previous article…

graph showing contractlogix growth in keywords ranking on the top 3 pages of google

How does a relatively small marketing organization scale its content strategy and deliver more valuable content to its customer base? Customers crave useful and informative content, but in a busy company, there are only so many hours in a day—and often not enough to produce the quantities of content it needs. The solution is to outsource content creation to a marketing firm experienced in writing compelling, high-powered articles.

That’s precisely the situation faced by Contract Logix. The company needed more quality content than staff could produce internally, so they turned to the content creation pros at MIG. The result was more useful content on a more regular basis—along with increased visibility and higher keyword rankings.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Contract Logix provides automated contract management software
  • When faced with difficulty keeping up with its content marketing strategy, Contract Logix contacted the experts at Marketing Insider Group
  • MIG provided high-quality articles and blog posts that augmented Contract Logix’s internal writing
  • Thanks to MIG, Contract Logix increased website traffic, visibility, and search visibility

Contract Logix: Automating Contract Management

Contract Logix is a B2B SAS company that provides contract management software to several industries. The company’s contract management solution replaces manual contract creation and management, automating the entire contract lifecycle. Instead of shuffling paper contracts to be reviewed and signed, Contract Logix lets companies manage all their contract digitally, from inception through execution and archiving.

Automating the contract lifecycle has numerous benefits, including increased compliance, lower risk, fewer errors, and lower costs. It also speeds up the contract process, helping contracts get executed in days instead of weeks or months.

The Contract Logix website.

Contract Logix’s challenge was informing potential customers about their contract management software, what it does, and how it can benefit them. The company concluded that the best way to get the story out was via content marketing and embarked on a strategy that heavily relied on informative and persuasive online articles and blog posts.

The only problem was that someone had to write all those online articles and blog posts—and the company’s marketing staff was already tapped to the max.

The Problem: Not Enough Bandwidth to Scale a Content Marketing Campaign

Contract Logix is a big company in the contract management space but with a relatively small marketing staff. Producing a regular stream of detailed online articles and blog posts was beyond what the company could commit to. They could write some articles but couldn’t scale up to the quantity necessary for a robust content marketing plan.

To supercharge their marketing strategy, the team at Contract Logix needed to produce several 1000-word articles each month. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the bandwidth for that. They needed help increasing the publishing cadence, optimizing articles for SEO, and delivering more valuable content to their audience.

The Solution: Engage the Content Experts at MIG

David Parks, the company’s Vice President of Marketing, knew he needed to supplement his internal content with high-quality content from an outside source, but he had concerns. He wasn’t sure outside writers would understand the contract management space enough to write valuable content. He didn’t want to spend long hours editing and rewriting other people’s content.

David also didn’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time working over the content to make sure it fit with the company’s other website content and was fully optimized for SEO. If he had to spend too much time guiding and editing outside writers, it might not save him any time over writing it himself.

The solution was to engage the content marketing experts at Marketing Insider Group. David had previously worked with MIG’s Michael Brenner and knew the kind of quality content he produced. David and Michael believe that brands need to think of themselves as publishers, which made MIG the perfect partner for Contract Logix’s growing content needs.

Before employing MIG, David and his team at Contract Logix wrote everything internally. MIG supplemented the company’s internal content and let staff focus on writing about the things they liked. MIG helped the company fill out its portfolio and increase its publishing schedule. In the 18 months Contract Logix has been working with MIG, they’ve ideated 150 keywords, had 136 headlines approved, and 85 articles delivered.

Content marketing articles on the Contract Logix website.

David was especially pleased with the quality of content from MIG’s stable of professional writers—and how fast they got up to speed.

“What surprised me,” David commented, “was how quickly the writers were able to start producing content that was extremely high quality. The writing is always grammatically spot on. I don’t know if I’ve ever even had to edit anything from a grammatical standpoint.”

The Result: Increased Visibility and Higher Keyword Rankings

The increased quantity and high quality of writing had a marked impact on Contract Logix’s visibility and website traffic.

“We see such a huge amount of traffic coming into these blogs,” said Justin Perkins, a Solutions Engineer who’s written multiple articles for the Contract Logix site. “We have absolutely seen an increase in organic traffic over the last couple of years that we’ve been working with MIG. And it continues to grow. [Organic traffic] probably represents 50% of all site traffic, and that is largely driven by the blog. We have also seen an increase in blogs that convert into marketing qualified leads or, in our case, a demo request.”

Contract Logix has taken the lead against competitors in keyword rankings.

Contract Logix has been working with MIG since March 2021. In that time:

  • Search visibility increased from 11.55% to 12.17%
  • Traffic increased from 13.34% to 13.89%
  • Average position increased from 49.75% to 50.32%

In August 2022, the company had 19 keyword rankings in the top three, 34 in the top ten, 55 in the top twenty, and 93 in the top one hundred. Contract Logix also had four featured snippets on Google—and 9 of the site’s top 10 pages were from the company’s blog. (The tenth was the site’s home page.)

When asked what it’s like to work with MIG on content marketing, David Parks said this:

“I would highly recommend them. They should be part of anyone’s content marketing strategy.”

Can MIG Help Your Company’s Content Marketing?

Marketing Insider Group helped Contract Logix improve the quality and quantity of its content marketing and reap the rewards from that effort. MIG can work with your firm to develop an effective content marketing strategy and provide high-quality blog writing services. Companies that publish articles more frequently get better results—and MIG can help your company increase your publishing frequency.

Contact MIG today to learn how content marketing can help grow your business.

The post How MIG Helped Contract Logix Supercharge Its Content Marketing Strategy appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Did you miss our previous article…

business man motioning you to stop making content marketing mistakes

Careless content marketing mistakes are costing businesses more than their monthly budget.

Blindly navigating your marketing strategy can cause your content to capsize. An ineffective strategy will both pause a business’s growth and decrease their probability of sales by 40%.

If your strategy ship is sinking, it’s not too late to anchor into a new method. Turn your mistakes into mastery and learn how to build an effective content marketing strategy that guarantees smooth sailing.

Quick Takeaways

  • A great content marketing strategy creates brand awareness, drives traffic and generates quality leads
  • Marketing content that includes interesting visuals receive 94% more views than that without
  • Deliver consistent content by building a calendar dedicated to valuable blog topics
  • A genuine connection with your target audience results in boosted visibility for your business
  • Sourcing SEO experts and professional writers provides consistent marketing material for your business

Avoid content marketing mistakes by understanding the importance of building an effective strategy.

The Importance of Content Marketing

The secret to strong personal relationships starts with consistency, transparency and quality time. A content marketing strategy built upon the same principles enhances your customer relationships too.

The purpose of content marketing is to create brand awareness and generate quality leads. To get there, you must first connect with your target audience through regular delivery of valuable content.

Consistent delivery of quality content builds engagement with customers and trust within your community. Establishing presence and credibility leads to new business opportunities and growth in sales.

content marketing mistakes

Image Source: Groove HQ

In a world so saturated with digital marketing, there’s little room for content marketing mistakes. Sweep your readers off their feet with genuine, relevant content to keep them coming back for more.

Top 7 Content Marketing Mistakes

High-quality content is expected and a strong marketing strategy is vital to survive. Make the most of your monthly marketing budget and stop making these 7 content marketing mistakes today.

1. Not Using Data To Build Your Content Marketing Strategy

Relying on intuitive instinct to define your content marketing strategy is a great way to waste time and money.

Knowing your business is a key part of driving traffic to your site. But defining a marketing strategy that’s guaranteed to show success requires leaving any guesswork to data.

Instead of channeling your higher self, evaluate competitor success. Use the highest ranking articles to determine which are driving the most ROI and accurately addressing SEO (more on that later, wink-wink). Then, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long are these posts?
  • Is there value in recreating this content?
  • Is there key information missing from this article?
  • How many external links and backlinks are included?

Your answers will help determine which articles your team can improve. Pencil those babies into your content marketing calendar and voilà! You now have a list of content topics backed by data instead of divination.

2. Not Speaking To Your Target Audience

No matter how consistent your content is, it’s going to flop if your readers can’t relate.

Start each post with identifying your target audience and determine what needs to be included for readers to find value. When you share valuable content that educates and entertains, your audience will trust that you’ve got more where that came from.

When your audience feels seen, they’re also likely to repost your content throughout their personal networks. More than 50% of content in social media news feeds comes directly from peers. It’s likely that you’ll reap the benefits of a visibility boost and even gain more loyal readers.

target audience

Image Source: Sprout Social

3. Failing to Focus on Link Building

Contrary to popular belief, linking to websites other than your own will actually drive traffic to your business as opposed to away.

Link building provides your readers with references and enhances credibility. This gives Google the green flag that your content is trustworthy. It also improves SEO and offers added value to readers, all resulting in boosted visibility and your business ranking higher.

If you’re feeling frisky, start mingling with sites that post similar content and start building a relationship. After getting to know each other, you may find they’re the perfect match for embedding links back to each other’s content. We like to call that “love at first site”.

Enjoy the short video below to learn more about the importance of link building.

Video Source: Yoast

4. Publishing Too Little Content or Too Infrequently

Posting an optimal amount of content can be tricky, especially if it’s your first time dipping your toes in the pool of content marketing.

The key is understanding that more content isn’t helpful if it’s not focused on delivering value. Publishing a little bit of content won’t make a noticeable impact either, even if it’s quality material.

Successful content creation requires coming up with a solid plan and sticking to it. To see increased brand awareness, your businesses should stick to 1 – 2 blog posts per week and between 1,000 – 1,200 words per week.

Image Source: Orbit Media

When it comes to publishing content, consistency is key. Loyal audiences require content calendars dedicated to valuable blog topics. This way, you’ll never fall short on good marketing material.

5. Not Outsourcing Experts

Are you sitting down? Because we’re about to drop a bomb on ya.

75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines. That means you’ll need sharp SEO skills if you haven’t outsourced an expert to help your business rank on Google.

Luckily, there’s plenty of content marketing agencies like ours that help businesses grow by providing perfected SEO and written content to their clients.

Great SEO is key to ranking, reaching and engaging your audience through including highly searched keywords in marketing content. Valuable content that jives with SEO research will land you on the first page. Misuse of keywords will send you to the back of the line.

Equally as important as SEO experts, quality writers are key to generating valuable content. Online editing and creation tools are great for correcting grammatical errors. Only professional writers can consistently produce engaging, human-powered content that appeals to real people.

Don’t miss out on optimized value by relying on overworked internal personnel to do a job that requires a dedicated expert. Kick-starting your content strategy is as simple as leaving it in the hands of an SEO researcher and creative writer.

6. Not Diversifying Your Content Marketing Avenues

Once upon a time , someone told you that the secret recipe for perfect content marketing calls for boosting your blog posts. Although blogging is an important way to drive traffic, there’s some key ingredients missing from your strategy.

Think about your ROI-driven content topics and determine which formats work best. Consider videos, interviews, social media, case studies and e-books. Add some flavor to your marketing strategy by mixing a variety of avenues into your content.

content marketing media

Image Source: HubSpot

7. Lacking Design, Creative and Graphics

According to LinkedIn, articles that include visuals receive 94% more views than those without. An effective marketing strategy doesn’t overlook the importance of creative content design.

Great visual content is key to creating easy-to-read articles that engage your audience. Each post should have at least one image between every 200-300 words to break up text. Similarly, including a video less than 2 minutes long can both boost visual appeal and improve SEO.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t want to read it, neither does your audience. Enhance the value of your content by adding a few pictures, videos and engaging text.

Master Marketing Today

Content marketing mistakes are easy to avoid when you know where they’re hiding. Master content marketing and enhance customer relationships, create brand awareness and generate quality leads.

Secure a successful strategy today with our content marketing experts. Drive traffic to your site and publish quality content by checking out our weekly blogging service now.

The post The Top 7 Content Marketing Mistakes You Need To Stop Doing Today appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

5 AI tools every content marketing pro should use today written by Editor read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The global market value of artificial intelligence (AI) in the marketing world is projected to reach over half a trillion dollars by 2024.

There is an AI tool out there for almost any marketing need, and the stat above proves that these tools will grow and develop to offer even more value to marketers and small business owners.

Using AI tools is just one way to help optimize your content marketing workflow. As you create your next piece of content, look at the tools shared here, and see what value they can bring to the table.

The more tools you plug into your workflow, the easier it will become to build great content, and deliver it in a timely manner.

What are AI marketing tools?

AI marketing tools are platforms or systems that mimic human intelligence and help marketers improve efficiency, accuracy, and automate parts of their job. There are numerous AI marketing tools on the market right now, and odds are, you probably already use a few of them.

Benefits of using AI tools for Marketing

AI Marketing tools can take a lot of the work out of doing marketing for a small business. They’re often scalable to the size of your business, and quite easy to use. They also reduce the amount of manual work needed, meaning less human error and more efficiency.

Best of all, AI marketing tools can cover every area of your small business marketing. As you’ll see in this article, there are AI tools for copywriting, design, social media, SEO content creation, decks, and much more.

Honestly, the biggest pain in using AI marketing tools for your business can be deciding the best to use.

Here are our 5 AI tools that every marketer can and probably should start using today. Check them out and see what works for your business:

  1. 1


  2. 2


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  4. 4


  5. 5


1. Writesonic

Screenshoot of the instant ai writing features of Writesonic

A market leader, Writesonic offers marketers the opportunity to use AI to create written content of any kind. It has you covered from creating SEO-optimized long-form posts to sales emails, Q&A, essays, product descriptions, reports, and even ebooks.

For blogs and SEO articles, simply enter a keyword or a topic, and it will give you AI-based options for your title, introduction, outline, and finally a well-written post in minutes.

Writesonic has a cloud-native, AI-powered system, that provides complete ownership of the AI-generated copy in your account, and integrates effortlessly with Semrush, WordPress, and other common marketing programs.

We use this tool at Duct Tape Marketing, and it has been a massive help to us with time-consuming tasks like topic research, crafting engaging long-form content, doing FAQs and Q&A pages, optimizing our SEO, and creating ad variations.

If you struggle to create written content but want to brighten up your online presence without spending much effort and time, then Writesonic might be helpful. With their generous 2,500 words free trial, it can help you build tons of relevant content in no time.

Disclose that DTM is a Writesonic affiliate: Disclosure: Duct Tape Marketing is a Writesonic affiliate and may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Duct Tape Marketing would never endorse products or services it has not test or does not use.

2. Lately

screenshoot of Lately  platform for social media ai marketing tool

If you want the content of your social media to be created and tested efficiently, Lately is the perfect solution.

It employs a combination of your social media analytics, millions of data points from its own archives, and crowd testing to create organic social media content that your audience will love.

This allows your social media team to spend more time focusing on strategy, growth, or creating a better end-to-end experience for your clients online.

Try their 7-day free trial to create posts your followers will love and share.

3. Photosonic

ai marketing tools image generator

Need some inspiration for new creative designs, concepts, or projects? PhotoSonic lets you create realistic or artistic graphics from a text description, using a text-to-image AI model. Just type in a few keywords and the software will produce several relevant images for you to choose from.

This AI marketing tool also lets you modify existing images with text and filters, create images of any kind, and customize them with diverse attributes and details within seconds.

Photosonic offers a 15-credit free trial that helps you get an idea of how AI Image generators can boost your marketing.


example of jasper ai tool writing a podcast description

With all of its combined features, Jasper is an effective AI Marketing tool that can help marketing teams break creative blocks to create amazing, authentic content faster.

Jasper has a Chrome extension that lets you create content directly on social media platforms. It also helps marketers write viral YouTube and TikTok video scripts, craft LinkedIn articles, Instagram captions, website copy, and write emails.

Jasper and Writesonic are built on the same AI technology, both have good customer support and can help marketing teams to create content more efficiently. However, Jasper doesn’t offer a free plan and is more focused on writing short-form content like ads and product descriptions.

5. Grammarly

example of how Grammarly ai system works

If you create written content, then you have to check out Grammarly. This AI tool helps writers with grammar, spelling, and tone mistakes. Grammarly also offers a Chrome extension and smoothly integrates with commonly used tools like Slack, Gmail, GoogleDocs, WordPress, CRMs, and others.

Grammarly’s AI system processes reams of natural human language, a component of AI that involves teaching machines to understand human language. This method allows Grammarly to do sentiment analysis, score your writing, make styling decisions, and more.

There is a free versions and which corrects spelling, grammar, and tone mistakes in your writing.

How to start using AI Marketing tools for your business

Choosing the right AI marketing tools can often feel overwhelming. There are often so many services and each with their own unique features.

To get yourself through the process and find the best AI tools for your business, think about these 3 simple tips;

  1. Nobody knows your business more than you do, so really think about where an AI tool might benefit your workflow. Is your content creation process slow? Are you disappointed with your social media efforts? Identifying your needs will help you target the right AI tool for your marketing.
  2. Test all the AI tools you’re considering. Most of the above-mentioned offer free trials, so take advantage of these. Make sure you like using them, and that implementing them will be as easy as possible.
  3. Does the tool save time and drive growth? If you do your research and test the product, you’ll know if it helps you or not. Don’t add too many tools and keep it simple.

Essential Workbooks for Small Business Marketing Strategy

rethinking customer journey workbook

You’ve hopefully come away with some new insights about AI marketing tools, the benefits of AI tools for marketing, and how to choose the right one.

Now, you’re ready to get out there and find the right tools for your business.

pulling money out of pocket to use unspent marketing budget on content marketing

When the pandemic started, our content marketing agency actually gained customers. The reason was mainly due to unspent marketing budget.

Marketers, SaaS founders and startup CEOs were pulling their money from ads and events and doubling down on content marketing.

So if you are looking at some unspent budget for the remainder of the year, and facing a “use it or lose it” marketing budget situation, we got you covered!

Now we ARE a little biased. We’re gonna suggest you use your unspent budget on content marketing. But we’re also going to explain why. So check out all our ways to use your unspent marketing budget on content marketing

Quick Takeaways:

  • Spending your unused marketing budget on content marketing right now gets you a locked-in annual content plan before the year even starts.
  • You’ll start the year with content that attracts relevant buyers and qualified leads and sales right out of the gate
  • You can spend the rest of your budget next year on testing new promotion channels of campaigns focused on your company priorities

Why Use Your Unspent Marketing Budget On Content Marketing?

When I first joined SAP in the summer of 2007, I was asked to identify all the marketing programs that delivered actual leads, sales and ROI. I spoke to all my colleagues, I dove into our CRM, I poured over our reports.

And what I found astounded me: 62% of our marketing budget was spent on activities that drove ZERO leads for sales. Not one lead. From almost two-thirds of our regional marketing budget that was supposed to focus on, you guessed it, driving leads for sales.

These campaigns typically came at the direction of the VP of Sales for those segments: let’s get a full page in an industry trade publication. We need a brochure. How about some boondoggle events?

Which programs actually drove results the sales teams loved: content marketing. One-third of the budget delivered 100% pipeline our sales team was looking for.

And they were all annually-planned content marketing programs.

There were 3 big reasons why these programs worked so well:

  1. They strategically planned customer-focused content to be delivered across the entire year
  2. They allowed time for constant optimization of the program to deliver the right leads at the right time
  3. They created their plans and spent their budget before the year started

You see, sales people are funny. I know. I spent my first 5 years in sales. In the beginning of the year we want LOTS of leads we can nurture into sales opportunities so we can hit our sales targets.

At the end of the year, we want only highly qualified leads so we can focus what time we have left on closing deals.

So content marketing that’s planned out now, before the year is over, allows you to hit the ground running with a strategy in place before the year even gets started. It allows you to deliver value to the company right from the start, and it allows you to change and optimize as you go.

What If We Don’t Know Our Campaign Priorities Yet?

I’m so glad you asked. See, the problem with campaigns: they define what you decide is important. With SEO-based content marketing, we use objective research of the customer questions, keywords and concerns to decide what’s important.

We use trending data on what topics are important in your industry. We define what gaps you have with your competition to figure out what you need to be talking about.

Sure campaigns can be weaved into the content plan. No problem. But at least you have a strategy to build an audience for those big ideas that I’m sure will change the world. Definitely!

How To Use Your Unspent Marketing Budget

How and where should you place the dollars from your unused marketing budget? In this post, we’re sharing the simple 7-step process we use for our clients who spend their unused marketing budget on content marketing for next year. We also lay out the costs you should expect to incur.

1. Align To Your Business Strategy

First step is always to start with the business case for your content marketing. How does it align to your business goals, your overall marketing goals, and how will you measure those results in the terms your executive team understands.

2. Build The Content Marketing Measurement Framework

I always like to use the framework of Reach, Engage, Convert, and Retain to cover all stages of the buyer journey.

  • Reach: attract new prospects or customers to your business. While some marketers like to think of this stage as awareness. I find that a really tough thing to measure and an easy way to blow through budget. With reach, you can actually count the hard number in terms of visitors to your website or landing pages.
  • Engage: Are you building a relationship with these new folks. How many times do they visit? How long do they stay? How deep do they go?
  • Convert: This is the stuff we love count. Did they fill out a form, register for an offer, buy the product? Content marketing leads are 62% cheaper than other types because of the way we attract them with valuable content vs ads or trickery or persuasion.
  • Retain: Content marketing-generated customers are “better” because they stay longer and spend more. 4x more revenue Lifetime Value (LTV) from our research.

Now that you’ve identified the framework, you can move into the defining the actual measures of success. Whether you call the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or OKRs (Objectives and Key Results), simply metrics or reports, you can define which data points will show whether you are successful at building reach, engagement, conversion, and retention

3. Conduct Keyword Research and Topic Modeling

We start all our content planning with deep keyword research. While aligning to your business strategy is important, we find user-based research is more effective at driving marketing plans than internal opinions about which campaign messages are most important. We follow these steps:

  1. Identify important themes or categories of content you want to create
  2. Research your SEO rankings and positions against those “short-tail” keywords. For MIG, examples include might be marketing, content marketing, etc.
  3. Look at search intent such as commercial intent (see below)
  4. Identify competitive gaps and opportunities based on high CPC keywords

Source: Semrush

Bonus: Check out how we use CPC to identify high purchase intent and competitive gap keywords in my latest webinar.

4. Brainstorm 100 Article Ideas

I know this sounds like a lot, but trust me, this exercise is easier than it sounds. Here’s a few tricks:

  • AnswerThePublic: Type any focus keyword into Answer The Public and it spits out this entire content plan based on common questions people ask their search engines related to that topic. This is why I wrote Why Content Marketing Is Important and Why Does Content Marketing Take So Long To Work because real people are asking these questions and Answer The Public told me to answer them.

  • Buzzsumo: Type any search term into Buzzsumo (License required) and it spits out hundreds of ideas based on the content ideas that have been shared the most. Buzzsumo told me to write about content marketing trends, AI-generated content, content marketing tips for startups, and why social media alone isn’t enough for business growth.

So with Semrush, you’re using search intent. With Answer The Public, you’re using search query data. With Buzzsumo, you’re using social sharing data.

5. Plan Your Entire Year’s Worth of Content

Now you have a general sense of your business strategy for next year and how your marketing strategy will support it. you know what keywords your audience uses, what content they like to share, what competitive gaps you have, and what you need to create.

So let’s use some of that unused marketing budget right here at the end of the year to pay for next year’s content! Here’;s the approach we use to plan it out:

Ask your team each to rank from 1 to 4 which article ideas they love (ranked as a 1), which ones they hate (ranked as a 4) and everything in between (2 = like and 3 = meh). Average and weight those rankings across your team. If you have 100 article ideas, plan to publish the article twice a week across the year.

Make sure you balance out the content themes. Here’s an example from our MIG blog last year.

6. Make Sure To Optimize or Update Old Content

Go the search bar on your website and type last year into it. Surely you’ll have some articles about last year’s trends that you’ll want to update. Or maybe you have articles from 5 years ago that still get some decent traffic or conversions. If you delete those pages Google may penalize your website. So instead, use some of your unused marketing budget to update those old pages.

Start by searching for article with year’s on them. Look for articles that have high traffic but are older than 2 years. Look for articles that still get lots of conversions or rankings that are more than 3 years old.

Now create a plan to update those using some of last year’s leftover marketing budget! Updating old posts is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and revenue without having to spend money generating new conte t ideas or new articles.

7. Promote Your Content Through an Employee-Generated Social Media Campaign

Employee-generated content is one of the most effective ways to boost the value of your marketing budget. Why? Because your target audience is more likely to trust content from your employees than from ads. It’s also a great way to boost the personal brand of your employees who are interested. And who knows, maybe some of them will even want to start writing for you.

We call this employee activation: getting your employees to write and share your content. Not because you made them do it (never mandate this) but because they want to. Engaged employees who create and share content are able to generate 2x the click through rate as brand-shared content.

Employees - LinkedIn's secret sauce to content distribution

Source: Edelman LinkedIn study on thought leadership

How Much Does Content Marketing Cost?

The cost of content marketing ranges between $1000 and $10,000 per month depending on the variety of content types and the number of content pieces you need per month.

Our content packages are simple: we help our clients generate traffic and leads with an annual content plan and 1-2 blog articles per week. It’s simple and focused: 50-100 focus keywords, 50-100 creative article headlines, 1-2 blog articles per week, monthly Semrush tracking to prove that it works!

We charge $4,500 / month for 2 weekly articles. That’s just $54,000 for all of next year’s blog content. That is less than the cost of one event sponsorship or a month of PPC advertising. (If you’re interested, check out an ROI-focused case study, the success we see by using this service for ourselves and all our amazing G2 Reviews.)

The trick to setting up a marketing budget is like baking a cake, as Alex from Jotform tells us below. You have to have the right recipe, put the ingredients together, warm and the oven and you’re ready to go:

That’s why we shared our recipe for how to use your unspent marketing budget right now, to get the most delicious cake.

Why Spending Your Unused Budget On Next Year’s Content Marketing Makes Sense

As you can see, using any unspent marketing budget on next year’s content marketing is a great idea.

With MIG, not only do you get an entire year’s worth of content. But you start the year with a keyword strategy mapped to your buyer’s needs. You get 100 article ideas, weekly content to keep your lead machine humming along, and monthly reports you can share with your boss.

All this combined will bring the results you need next year. And it will already be paid for! That’s why now is the perfect time to spend that unused marketing budget on next year’s content marketing. When next year rolls around, you’ll look like a hero.

Do you want to use some of your unused marketing budget on content marketing. Our team of 35+ experienced writers are ready to produce content for YOUR business. Check out our weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation.

The post Use Your Unspent Marketing Budget On Content Marketing For Next Year appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

oberer homes mig case study

Do you want to be known as a leader in your industry?

For Oberer Homes, a full-service real estate company and semi-custom home builder in Dayton, Ohio, it was one of their top goals. As a family-owned and locally-focused business, Oberer also aimed to be considered a local expert by current and potential residents.

The team at Oberer, headed by Marketing Director Traci Bohn, has long known that content marketing was the right approach to establish this reputation. But by mid-2020, with the world turned upside down and the real estate industry facing huge uncertainty, they knew they needed to level up their approach.

Fast forward two years, and Oberer has achieved this goal and more. Today, they consistently publish top-performing articles on Google, have earned significant boosts in organic traffic and site views, and are a go-to source for information on new construction and custom home building in the Dayton area.

In this case study, we’ll explore how Oberer Homes partnered with Marketing Insider Group to achieve these results (and how you can do the same for your business).

Quick Takeaways:

  • Successful content marketing requires consistent, frequent publishing with an SEO strategy behind it.
  • It’s very possible to work with an agency to produce engaging content that accurately represents your brand.
  • Oberer Homes has experienced significant growth in organic search, website traffic, top-ranking keywords, and overall search visibility.
  • Oberer now has an extensive content library and most of their top-performing web pages are blog posts.
  • Oberer now publishes two blog posts every week and spends little to no time having to edit content.

The Problem:

Oberer had recently shifted their marketing focus exclusively to digital channels, which included a content marketing strategy centered around an active blog. They were working with multiple partners to produce content. Still, their efforts fell short as they admittedly lacked focus and the level of research necessary to get noticed by Google.

“Over the years our digital marketing strategy has been really disjointed,” shared Traci. “We’ve worked with multiple partners and nothing was ever consistent. We did have a content marketing strategy, but it was the bare minimum — about two blogs per month — and nothing was optimized for SEO.”

The Oberer team knew they needed a new solution, but understandable reservations lingered about bringing on a new partner. There were already too many cooks in the content kitchen, and budget was also a consideration.

To boot, Oberer Homes is a specialty builder with offerings that don’t fit squarely into a single category, and they focus heavily in their immediate geographic area. Finding an agency and writer that could accurately capture their brand felt like a challenge.

Still, Traci decided to take the leap.

The Strategy:

Oberer’s goal of establishing their reputation as both an industry leader and local expert was top-of-mind for the MIG team as we developed their content plan. After a look at their existing content, extensive keyword research, and ongoing strategy meetings with the Oberer team, it was time to start publishing.

Oberer’s content plan contained a range of titles across categories in areas where they wanted to establish expertise.  These included:

  • Dayton city guides
  • Tips on navigating the new construction and custom home building processes
  • Resources for tackling home improvement projects
  • Inspiration for designing spaces throughout the home.

Even for long-time Dayton residents like Traci, the content felt fresh and new:

“The Dayton city guides that we do? Every time I got one of those blogs, I thought— ‘We have that here? That’s so cool!’ My family has done so many things now that we don’t normally do, because now we know Dayton has the best parks, great festivals, and more. So that has been really fun.”

At the same time, the Oberer team worked seamlessly on their end to maximize ROI on their content plan. They provided quick and constructive feedback on articles, published frequently and on time, and met with the MIG team to track progress.

After a few months, the results started showing in the numbers. Rankings were growing, traffic was increasing, and Oberer now had a well-developed and engaging content library to share with their audience.

“When I look at our top pages, almost all of them are blog posts,” Traci shared,  “which is really cool because they’re not just exiting off of that post. They’re looking at other pages and they’re visiting the site and learning more about us. It’s just a good way to let everyone know we’re an expert in the industry and in our area. It’s been really beneficial.”

The Results:

Oberer has gained significant real estate (pun intended!) on Google’s search results pages. Here’s what the numbers say:

  • Organic search has gone up 26% YOY compared to 2021
  • Number of web visitors have increased by 17% over the same period
  • 6 of Oberer’s current top-10 web pages are blog posts

Rankings reports covering the duration of Oberer’s partnership with MIG include even more impressive achievements, including 110+ keywords ranking in the top 20 slots on Google, and huge jumps in visibility, traffic, and average ranking position (as shown in their all-time performance report pictured below).

Most importantly, the Oberer Team feels confident in their content and happy that it represents their brand well. Thanks to seamless collaboration with the MIG team, Traci has been able to publish articles without getting bogged down with time-consuming edits.

“The first few months, I edited some of the articles,” said Traci. “Not heavily, but just switched some of the lingo around or added something in. But the tone and the voice has been spot on from the beginning. And now it’s rare that I make any edits at all.”

The Takeaway

Content marketing — the kind that yields serious results and boosts performance — takes time, consistency, and expertise in the right areas. It can feel daunting to partner with an agency and get them up to speed on your business, because it’s true — no one can know your brand as well as you do.

That’s why Marketing Insider Group prioritizes building real partnerships with our clients. We get to know your company, your goals, your voice, your audience, and anything else important to your success.

Oberer’s story demonstrates the kind of success companies can experience when they buy in to the process. And the best part? They can then spend more time on what’s most important: serving customers.

Are You Looking for Results Like These?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to content marketing, but Marketing Insider Group executes best practices that we have tested and proven to work. We align them with the specific needs of your company and audience to create a personalized strategy that drives results.

If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more about how we can help you earn more traffic and leads for your business.

The post How Oberer Homes Earned More Traffic, Rankings, and Leads with Our Content Marketing Service appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Did you miss our previous article…

content marketing challenges

Brands face multiple obstacles when organizing the content function. They must grapple with content proliferation; inconsistent and uncoordinated content creation; the lack of strategic direction in the content insights process; and the difficulty for consumers, customers and prospects to find content that is relevant and timely.

Startups and B2B SaaS Founders often are’t even sure where to begin with marketing, let alone how to address the lack of content on their websites to drive leads and growth.

Add in a tough economic environment and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But we need to focus on growth. That’s why measuring ROI is always the biggest content marketing challenge.

Content marketing is a journey, and it’s not easy. In fact, it’s freaking hard. Too many of the marketing professionals we know are miserable. They try to fight every day to do work they can be proud of. Marketing that works!

So we asked our clients to tell us what are the biggest content marketing challenges we help them overcome. And how we help them solve for those challenges.

The insights below represent what we hear from our clients, the content marketing community, and our unique perspective. our goal is that you too can see a way past these challenges. Whether you work with us or not.

The major themes that emerge include tying content marketing efforts to business value, limited resources and internal tensions that hinder the content production process. Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest challenges that are keeping marketers up at night.

1. Determining Content Marketing ROI

Many marketers are struggling to show the ROI of their content marketing efforts. Marketers from the agency side, for example, shared that some of their clients are wanting to know how many conversions can be attributed to a specific piece of content or channel. Often times these are brands whose digital conversion paths cannot be tracked or analyzed.

To combat this, marketers use a purchase intent model that assigns different weights to customer interactions with a piece of content, but they admit that this model isn’t perfect.

For other marketers, their biggest challenge is tying content to conversions and defining relevant, appropriate metrics to measure and evaluate the impact their content marketing programs make on the business’ bottom line.

Content ROI is subjective and driven by the business mission or objectives of the content marketing program. An integrated approach to measurement yields a value story as opposed to simply tracking activity metrics

Defining your value story requires a methodical approach.

  1. Clearly identify KPIs aligned with business mission.
  2. Identify the metrics that will work as a unit to tell a value story.
  3. Identify the sources of those metrics and pull into a dashboard using connectors.
  4. Create an algorithm that weights each metric in relation to their importance to the “story.”
  5. Analyze performing and non-performing metrics for each KPI on a periodic basis and use to calibrate approach.

Check out this video from a recent marketing keynote speech where I explain this dilemma:

For More Check Out:  10 Examples To Prove Content Marketing ROI To Your CEO

2. Video Content Marketing Virality

As my friend Todd Wheatland once said, the only answer to the question on how to make a viral video is STFU! He’s Australian so please forgive his potty mouth. But you gotta admit it’s somewhat true. You can’t just “create” a viral video. But anyone can create quality videos that reach, engage and convert.

But how do we guarantee that these great videos are seen by our target audience? How do we guarantee that the message of the video was viewed? The cost of guaranteeing that messages are seen is becoming increasingly more expensive, and the industry needs to be prepared for the increased cost.

Other marketers are facing time and resource constraints to produce quality videos. Some marketers also struggle with building out a sustainable video content strategy that can product videos which can live and scale across multiple markets.

Read More: How to Grow Your Audience with Video Content Marketing

3. Figuring Out How to Feed the Content Beast

Many brands spend too much of their time worried about creating the perfect piece of content. Or they worry about creating only the kind of content their boss or sales, or product people want (see point #1). The real goal is to create content consistently mapped to the buyer journey.

Buyers are searching online every day. And their search patterns reflect the need for basic education. Exactly the kind of content you are too afraid of publishing because you think your target audience already knows the basics. Or because you don’t realize how many people your target audience has to convince to buy your stuff.

Your content needs to be published frequently, based on your buyer’s journey, and mapped to keywords that relate to your business. That’s why our clients outsource content creation to us: because we provide foundational content that meets buyer needs, and delivers business results.

There are always obstacles to consistent publishing in content marketing. This can be due to a lack of resources, ideas, organization, and more.

The number one goal of content marketing for organizations is to generate more quality leads. They also said this was their biggest challenge.

It’s easy to create a lot of content. It’s very hard to do this at scale and to maintain high quality. Even if you have a good number of resources, keep in mind that without high throughput, you’re always lagging.

Research on blog frequency tells us 11 per month is the “magic” number—can you produce that amount of content on your own? That’s not the only content you’ll be creating—video, social posts, infographics, eBooks, etc. Do you have a “machine” to accomplish this? And how confident are you in its quality?

These are two big questions that content leaders need to ponder. Even the biggest organizations would have trouble with consistency and frequency. But we have a framework that allows us to deliver.

When you engage with us, we’ve already done the topic and keyword research. The content strategy informs voice and tone and considers audience profiles. Then we execute on it by using our own subject matter expert (SME) writers, SEO optimization best practices, and buyer’s journey funnel goals.

Sure, you could go on platforms and hire a freelancer here or there, but fair warning, you’ll likely be disappointed. In most scenarios, the quality won’t be up to your standards, nor will it be relatable to your audience.

For example, we write for a lot of software as a service (SaaS) companies. To write about SaaS subjects requires experience in the industry, a healthy technical aptitude, and the ability to understand how and why customers use the platform. Sorry, you’re not going to find this for $10/hour.

Here’s an approach for making your content resonate deeply at the point of discovery:

  1. Start with an insights process that provides deep understanding, fresh perspective and a honed vision of what will resonate and fulfill a specific need. In our experience, there is no dearth of available background information to inform story ideation and road map development, but typically information is scattered throughout the organization with no systematic way to capture, analyze and apply it
  2. Model the insights process for a specific need and use the results to create a COE methodology for content insights. This involves overlaying inputs from multiple points such as SEO reports, listening scans, CMS & CRM data, conference reports, sales insights, customer insights and research reports, etc. Overlay inputs and create a topic “Venn diagram” to determine topics best suited for brand differentiation and marketplace resonance.
  3. Use results to create a content roadmap. Audit existing content to identify holes and get new content needs into the content production cycle.

Read More: The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas for Content Marketers

4. Proving Credibility And Authority

For many marketers, they struggle with finding and establishing a credible and authoritative voice for their brands, and cutting through the noise to capture their target audience’s attention. The financial space, for example, is filled with “experts” offering advice and insights to consumers, which makes it extremely difficult for brands to stand out with their content.

Marketers are thus looking to develop an effective content strategy that will allow them to maintain the brand’s identity and boost marketing ROI, while improving their brand’s authority and thought leadership in the space.

This is where effective thought leadership comes in. You use your people and their passions and expertise to share what they know with your target audience. The result? Credibility and trust.

Read More:

How to Increase Your Authority with Evergreen Content

What Is Authority And How Can You Build It?

5. Set Your Content Marketing Budgeting

Budget remains one of the top challenges marketers face when it comes to justifying the cost and investment in their content marketing programs.

Many senior leaders want immediate results. Content marketing takes time to show ROI. Finding the budget for content marketing doesn’t need to be as challenging as it sounds: look at the ROI of your marketing campaigns. Chances are most of them don’t have any.

What are you spending on paid search because you don’t rank organically? Shift that budget in to content marketing.

Yes, investment in content is rising with more organizations realizing the value of it. According to HubSpot, 70% of marketers are doing so.

While they understand the importance of content marketing and want to invest, companies often face challenges here. They may have budget limitations that prohibit them from adding to their team.

These limitations may have become more of an issue during the pandemic. Or, they may have the majority of the budget allocated to paid channels to boost content but not focused on actually producing it.

Even when faced with COVID-19, B2B organizations still shifted dollars to content marketing from their advertising spend.

Looking ahead, companies said they would invest the most in content creation. Figuring out how to allocate this well isn’t an easy endeavor, especially if you’re trying to put resources into lots of buckets—writers, SEO strategists, etc.

The Solution: Spend Less, Get More

We’ve got it down to a number: $8,000 a month is all the budget you need to achieve your content marketing objectives. What do you get for that amount of money? A lot, including:

  • Content marketing strategy
  • One year of content ideas
  • SEO: An audit, keyword strategy, and external link building
  • Conversion funnel development
  • Paid promotion

For that investment, we see a 7x return for every dollar spent, which equates to $56K in revenue each month. These results won’t occur overnight or even after 30 or 60 days. Content marketing is a long game, and you must keep doing it.

Brands that invest in us to guide their content marketing will see returns. The returns are tangible metrics such as increased traffic, conversions, and revenue. Content becomes an important tool to attract, engage, nurture, and retain customers. Its value far exceeds filtering these dollars to paid ads only. Those ads only return when they are running. Content returns for as long as it’s live.

Read More: How Much Budget Do You Need for Content Marketing?

6. Approval Processes

Marketers on the agency side shared the same sentiment when it comes to their client approval process being too long. Some stakeholders are wanting to provide input at every step of the content creation process, which creates bottlenecks and delays in production timeline.

At the same time, different teams and organizations within a company all produce content to support various programs and channels they own, and this creates content quality and consistency issues. Marketers are looking to manage and govern their content creation process more efficiently to ensure all content produced is compelling, consistent and effective for their target audience.

For both agency and non-agency marketers, staying timely and relevant with the long, clunky approval processes they need to go through with content creation is one of the biggest challenges that’s keeping them up at night.

Read More: 5 Ways to Provide Better Feedback and Improve the Review & Approval Process

7. Branding

Marketers face various branding challenges when it comes to content marketing. Some struggle with maintaining their brand voice as brands expand their in-house teams and outsource content creation to external agencies and partners.

Others struggle with maintaining their individual brand identities while working under a bigger umbrella brand. The real goal with content marketing and branding is to think of content marketing as the platform to tell your brand story.

Read More: The Best Example of The Value of Storytelling You Will Ever Find

8. Maintaining Volume, Quality, Speed

One of the biggest challenges many marketers share is figuring out how to deliver engaging, compelling content with speed, without compromising on quality and volume. Trying to stay nimble and agile within a large corporate structure also proves to be a big pain point for many marketers.

For marketing a startup, the challenge is mainly time and resources. Regular content publishing is recognized by many startup founders as important, but they don’t have the time.

We always start by looking at the company blog. How often are you publishing? Sre you getting more traffic? Are your keyword rankings improving over time? How often is the competition publishing? Is their content long enough? Good enough?

Then we follow this process:

  1. Start by looking at keywords your audience is using in the buying process and keywords where you can win vs the competition.
  2. Create a list of the content headlines our amazing writing team thinks will resonate with this audience. We also ask them to create a list of things they are interested in writing about. This aligns writers with clients and audiences.
  3. Finally, we ask our clients for feedback and actual ratings of what they want to see published.

From there, we create a calendar of weekly content planned out for the entire year!

Read More: How Weekly Blog Content Solves the Top Challenges

9. Content Management

An Accenture study of over 1,000 marketing executives from 17 countries and 14 industries found that 73% of respondents are spending more than $50 million on content every year.

While 100% of marketing leaders surveyed all agreed that content is vital to the success of their businesses, content overload has become a top challenge for many organizations.

  • 92% said the volume of the content their organizations are producing is higher than it was two years ago, and 83% expect the volume to continue to increase in the next two years.
  • 50% said they currently have more content than they can effectively manage. Individual teams often create messaging and coordinate distribution of content on their own, which leads to organizational silos and program inefficiencies internally.
  • Less than 50% respondents felt they are fully prepared to manage the content they have today. The top three reasons marketing leaders attribute to their unpreparedness are a lack of skilled talent, technologies and clarity in content management and production processes.

The content calendar is the forcing function of every good marketing plan.

10. Strategic Business Alignment

For many brands, there is a lack of alignment in digital strategy and messaging across different platforms, which can hurt the customer experience and content marketing success. Cross-team collaboration becomes a big challenge for marketers when individuals and teams are working in silos and towards different visions and goals.

78% of leaders surveyed by Accenture felt they need better alignment between Marketing and IT teams to improve content marketing success. Marketing is more about digital now and requires technology more than ever before. New technologies are also available for marketers to experiment and innovate their practices in new ways. Another reason why marketers need better marketing and IT alignment is because technology today plays a central role in helping marketers deliver a seamless, compelling customer experience to reach, convert and retain customers.

Organizations create content in a dispersed structure, often resulting in multiple pieces of content being created by multiple areas of the company with little awareness that other content objects existed or were in production. In addition, often no master editorial calendar drives the content creation or amplification process. The lack of a chief content officer or well defined governance process results in no central authority to lead and direct the content creation process.

Only 19% of marketing leaders in the Accenture survey felt they have clear objectives established when creating new content assets. Nearly half of respondents say they do not feel their organizations have an effective content strategy that meets their current and future needs. 53% said they spend more time on the operational details of managing content than on strategically aligning their daily marketing efforts to a bigger picture. This goes to show that many brands have yet developed effective content marketing strategies or invested in the right resources to fully realize content marketing’s potential.

A Semrush study revealed that while 77 percent of organizations have a content strategy, only 9 percent say it’s excellent. The average rating in the survey was 3.5 out of 5. Just having a strategy isn’t good enough. You have to have an effective content marketing strategy. You must consistently execute on it and adjust it when necessary.

Why is that so hard? Many reasons come to mind—stakeholder interference (and not in a good way), there’s no time to be strategic because you’re always in the logistics, and you don’t have expertise in the area.

The data and the reality of what we see every day in the field are true. It comes down to budget, consistency/frequency, and strategy. We’ve developed a proven recipe that resolves these challenges for our clients.

That’s why the content marketing strategies that we create for clients are full of details. It’s not a document full of fluff; it’s one of action. It defines:

  • What content marketing means for your brand
  • The tactics you’ll employ to develop and promote content
  • Content production frequency and workflows
  • Your audience: demographics, motivations, challenges, objections, and more
  • Content clusters, which are the themes all the topics will roll up to
  • Distribution methods
  • What to measure and why

Without an actionable and well-defined strategy, you simply can’t achieve content marketing ROI. The strategy is the guiding light. Without one, you’re in the dark; with an ineffectual one, your light is very dim. The strategy tells you and delivers the path to success.

Further, here are five things that brands should do before beginning to create their content organization, in order to organize their content creation and distribution process:

  1. Map the current nodes of the content eco-system across the entire enterprise. This requires the authority to create a cross-functional view of how content gets produced.
  2. Analyze the map to determine if there is a logical flow and uncover interdependencies between groups that can impact efficiencies and approvals.
  3. Study the delta between current and future state and create a step strategy for breaking down siloes and working cross functionally.
  4. Create a content governance structure that aligns with future state.
  5. Adopt a center of Excellence approach that is both dynamic and inclusive.

Read More: How to Create and Align Your Content with the Buyer Journey

11. Continuous Learning

The ever-changing marketing landscape means marketers need to dedicate themselves to lifelong learning and innovation to reinvent themselves, or risk extinction. Training their teams on the latest marketing practices is another top challenge for many marketers as they are also trying to navigate the learning curve themselves.

12. Content Marketing Promotion

Identifying influencers to help amplify content is another marketing challenge many marketers face with their content marketing efforts.

Creating great content is not enough anymore, you need an effective content promotion strategy to help customers find and see your content.

Read More: 18 Content Promotion Tools for Every Strategy

13. The Biggest Challenge in Content Marketing: Developing a Customer-Centric Mindset

This may sound surprising to some, but convincing brands to put customers first is still a challenge many marketers face when creating content. They need to help brands change their mindset about the value of content and understand that content marketing isn’t the same as advertising. Content marketing is about being helpful and providing real value to customers, by giving them what they want and need at each stage of the customer journey.

If you go to most company websites or read their marketing content, you’ll notice that they do an excellent job of telling you all about the company and telling you all about their products. But they don’t answer the biggest questions their customers might have. In other words, they make the biggest marketing mistake and make it all about themselves and not about the customer.

Almost a decade ago, C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman) predicted that companies will become better at this when he begged to see “more brands interacting in real time with their customers.”

Barbra Gago (@BarbraGago) also suggests marketers stop trying to “re-invent the wheel with every piece of content” and should instead focus on helping prospective buyers find “the right information–the content that is going to help them move through their purchase process.”

In an article on CMI, Alison Bolen (@alisonbolen) explained that the greatest challenge in content marketing is “understanding your customers well enough to develop content that is useful and relevant for them.”

And Marcus Sheridan (@TheSalesLion) gets to this same point when he asks content marketers to “write and communicate in a way that is completely and utterly on the level of their audience, not the level of the industry professional.”

So how do we help address this challenge?

Ardath Albee (@ardath421) suggests we need to “Take a Customer Field Trip” and try to look at our marketing and our content as a customer might see it.

I also answered one of the biggest marketing challenges for small businesses, How To Create Killer Content: Speak To A Customer where I tell very simply how you can use your customer stories to tell your story. But most importantly, to tell it using their words and by showing how you are solving real customer problems.

25 Signs Your Business Is Not Ready for Content Marketing

One question I get asked a lot is, “How is content marketing right for our business?” Well, the right question business owners should be asking is, “How do we know our business is ready for content marketing?”

I try to answer that question regularly on this blog. We talk about culture and brand publishing and I try to point to examples of great content whenever I can.

But sometimes, it’s better to define the signs that show you are not ready to change your direction.

And that’s what I’m doing here, with these 25 signs your business is not ready for content marketing. I’m sure there are plenty more. But these are the ones that just flew right off the top of my head.

  1. You don’t have a corporate blog.
  2. You have a corporate blog but only publish company news on it.
  3. Social listening and share of (search) voice does not drive your marketing strategy.
  4. Your social channels are only used to promote and push your webinars, white papers and events.
  5. Your content talks more about your products.
  6. You ask “How can we create a viral video?”
  7. You haven’t mapped your existing or future content to buyer stages.
  8. You don’t have any early-stage or thought leadership content.
  9. You haven’t defined an appropriate next step or “call to action” for your content.
  10. You think content marketing is expensive.
  11. You think hiring a bunch of journalists can help you.
  12. You constantly try to re-create your own viral Tiktok moments.
  13. You don’t track how much of your content gets used and which does best.
  14. You don’t monitor the content your competitors are creating.
  15. You don’t know what keywords your customers are using.
  16. You think content marketing is a campaign.
  17. You don’t have resources to publish on a regular basis.
  18. You don’t have dedicated testing resources for your content development and landing pages.
  19. You haven’t defined any kind of editorial workflow.
  20. Your business doesn’t train your employees on effective storytelling.
  21. You’re resistant to “giving away” content for free (without registration).
  22. You don’t think about the”shareability” of your content. Your website gets less than 5% of traffic from social networks.
  23. You don’t create visual content (videos, slide decks, infographics).
  24. You create content without thinking about how to distribute and amplify it.
  25. You do content marketing because someone told you to.

Over to You

Is your organization or agency currently facing any of these content marketing challenges? If so, how are you solving them? I’d love to hear your ideas, please share them below!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers via content? Contact me and let’s talk about how we can help.

Check out the photo of the full challenge board below:

We’re content marketing challenge solvers. Let’s talk about how we can get you out of reactive mode and into a proactive approach to content. If you’re ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service.

The post 13 Biggest Content Marketing Challenges appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

2 Data Center worker discussing IT services content marketing

Technology and the services that connect them all have seen massive growth in the past few years. And we are just getting started. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we are now seeing software that teaches software how to write better software.

Content marketing emerged early on as a driver of technology and IT Service company marketing strategies. It was resisted at first because many product folks and engineers thought of marketing as a bad word and akin to lying. IT people don’t want to be marketed to (aka sold to or lied to), they would say. I was called a “marketeer” by many of these product engineers early on in my career. It was not a complement.

But content marketing helped to change the conversation. Technology and IT Service buyers need to be educated on the context of new technology. Content marketing helped engineers to see that marketing could be helpful. Creating and publishing content that answers the questions on the minds of your prospects and customers is how you start to build trust, get measurable traffic to your website, and leads for your IT services.

The Big Picture of Content Marketing

I define content marketing as a marketing strategy that consistently publishing customer-focused content on your website that allows you to reach and convert new customers for your business.

So ads, product promotions, lies of any kind, and brochures do not fall under the realm of content marketing.

Content marketing is more important in industries where the educational needs of the buyer are high. That’s why Technology, healthcare, finance and IT Services see the highest penetration of content marketing. Because your buyers demand it.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Content marketing is an affordable way to reach and convert new clients  to your IT Service business
  • Publishing helpful content that educates your audience is more effective than more traditional forms of paid advertisement
  • Keeping a consistent and quality content marketing schedule is critical to achieving Compounding Marketing ROI

So we’ve assembled a list of what you need to know and how to implement content marketing for your brand to maximize the value of your content marketing efforts for your IT Service business:

What You Need to Know For Content Marketing Your IT Services

Know Your Audience [WHO?]

The first step in deciding what content to write is understanding who you’re writing it for – your buyer persona.

For a B2B IT services, your target audience is usually business owners and technology leaders. But as I love to say, Personas are great except when they suck. What they call themselves, how old they are, your fake names for them – aren’t going to help you create great content.

WHAT Are They Interested In?

You need to focus on topics of interest. What are their top challenges, concerns, questions. What kinds of things are they interested in? What are the hottest topics in your industry.

Source: Forbes

WHY do they care?

You need to answer the WHY for your persona and how it related to your business, like we did here. (and many other ways!) Why is privacy, security, cloud, digital transformation important?

WHEN to publish

Our research shows that businesses that publish more than once a week, see 4-5x more traffic and leads than those who publish infrequently or not at all.

It’s also important to remember that your buyers are searching for answers to their top business challenges every single day!

And of course I love to say that Google is looking for your website to have a heart beat, a cadence, a rhythm that it can see from regular blog posting.

WHO Writes

If your IT business is a start-up or a longstanding pillar of industry, you got to where you are by excellent technicians, service people, and sales reps. Experts in their fields of study and champions of excellence.

But they probably aren’t writers. If you haven’t already, you’re going to have to track down quality writers with proven blog-writing (or even journalism) experience. Ideally, you’re looking for people plugged into the tech or cybersecurity spaces to fill out your website and enhance your content marketing efforts.

But hiring blog writers directly is expensive and time-consuming. You can always try and hire freelancers or work with a writing agency.

There’s pros and cons to both, but you have options when considering content creation for your digital marketing efforts. We believe outsourcing content gives you an advantage because you can get the best of all worlds: experienced writers, less cost than full-time hires, less hassle than finding the write ones.

However, blog writing isn’t the only type of content you want to consider in your content marketing. These days videos, animations, demos, customer testimonials are also important.

Take this example from SaberVox Cloud Software:

By using good expert analysis and real-world application, they explain why you need their services. Leading your prospect to this natural conclusion is the whole point of content marketing! Make sure to hire experienced videographers or content creators to advise you and execute similar content.

HOW to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy for IT Services

Using the framework we provided here should be a good start. Or just call us and we’ll handle it all for you. But whatever you decide, you should consider:

  1. Who you are writing for? What questions do they have?
  2. Where you are publishing? Your website is the best way to attract new leads.
  3. Who does the work. Finding someone to build your content strategy and expert writers is key
  4. How often will you publish
  5. Where will you distribute the content? Can you automate some aspects of promotion?
  6. How will you measure results

HOW MUCH Value Does It Deliver

Half the battle of content marketing is measuring the results and being able to read your analytics for insights into your audience. There’s a couple key metrics you need to keep track of how well you are reaching and converting new customers.

  • Reach
  • Engagement
  • Conversion

Traffic on your content includes the number of eyes and users getting to your website. Important questions to consider during analysis include where are my viewers coming from, how many are there, and what are the demographics I’m the most popular with. These answers will tell you about the raw viewership of your content marketing, giving you a solid base to work from.

Engagements refers to the sharing, commenting, and interacting done with your content across social media. This includes things like comments, likes, and conversations surrounding what your page has published. Higher engagement makes social media platforms more likely to put your content in front of fresh eyes.

Conversions on your content include how many viewers are actually becoming customers via your content. After all, the whole point of this is to convert your prospects into returning, loyal customers and clients. This metric will help you decide which of your content is best for overall viewership, and which gives you the best shot at increasing your bottom dollar.

These metrics should drive your content marketing strategy. You have to be able to look at the trends in the content you produce online and read between the lines. Some of the things you do will work better than others. Figure out what does – and do more of it.

Know Your Website(s)

If you’re in IT, you know that good UI (user interface) is crucial to the overall experience of a viewer. After all, who would want to call you to implement IT Services if your web experience is terrible?

Furthermore, knowing what your social media following and presentation looks like is important to keeping up your brand image for clients and prospects.

We’ve worked with dozens of companies working on a relaunch of their website and put together this checklist of things you want to consider.

But your main website isn’t your only website. Your social media channels are powerful distribution tools meant to share your services with the world. IT services lend themselves best to more professional avenues like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Check out what industry leader Tata Consultancy Services is doing on LinkedIn. With over 10 million followers, they are amplifying their brand voice and in turn distributing their content to prospects and customers all over the world. By effectively utilizing a professional platform, they are able to boast their authenticity and credibility for all to see.

As an IT Service company, you probably don’t have to be on Snapchat, but identifying your communities across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can put you in a place where the conversation already is.

Wrap Up

IT services is a tough field to set yourself apart from the competition. In a research-oriented business, you need to be able to put the information your prospects need to convert right in front of their faces. By knowing your audience, creators, analytics, and websites, you can boost awareness of your services today! Go get to it!

Looking to work with a marketing consultancy for your IT service provider? Look no further! You can check out MIG’s weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation.

The post The Power of Content Marketing for IT Services appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Did you miss our previous article…

woman doing keyword research tool

One of the most fundamental parts of effective content marketing is solid keyword research. Keyword research allows you to bring the voice of your customer into your content marketing strategy. It also provides a measurable way to show the value of your content in a relatively short period of time.  All digital marketing starts and ends with keyword research.

Keywords drive your content, because the higher you rank with keywords, the higher you are on Google’s search results. Seeing how your organic search rankings are performing is crucial to a healthy content marketing strategy.

Getting views on the content you publish for your website isn’t exactly the easiest thing to accomplish. It’s easy to throw money at paid advertising to up your impressions on your content marketing efforts, even if it does hurt to see a chunk of your marketing budget disappear.

But believe it or not, organic search rankings can help out your website traffic even more than paid advertising! Not to mention, it’s a cheaper way of going about marketing your site. Fueling the SEO machine is an important part of getting your content in front of your prospects’ eyes.

The distinction between promoted and organic is important, as they both accomplish different goals, but both are driven by good keyword research.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Search engine optimization for your content and overall website is crucial to building your organic search rankings
  • Keyword research is how you determine what’s being searched for in relation to your product or service
  • Creating your content with SEO practices in mind will boost your overall engagements online

Here’s the only 5 keyword research tools you’ll ever need to nail your SEO strategy and how to use them long-term:

  1. Semrush

This is the main keyword research tool we use for ourselves and all of our clients (not a paid endorsement). Semrush allows us to research our client, their competition, run competitive gaps, dive deep into keyword research. It also allows for research into paid keywords, site audits, and more.

Once we identify our client’s focus keywords, we send them off to our editorial team to brainstorm content ideas and actual article headlines. We also upload them into Semrush to create a client Visibility Tracking Report. These reports are sent monthly to all of our clients showing them:

  • Average visibility in search for all the keywords we are tracking
  • An estimate of their organic search traffic (take this with some measure of caution)
  • Average rank position
  • How many keywords they have in the top 3, top 10, top 20 and top 100 and how many have improved or declined

My favorite part of the report is the competitive review that shows client visibility vs the competition which is a direct reflection of the keyword research powering our content strategy:

Whether you’re interested in keyword and website research for you, your competition or your industry, Semrush is a powerful keyword research tool.

  1. Ahrefs

Ahrefs has provided excellent service for marketers and SEO specialists all over the world for over a decade. They offer a good trial plan and fantastic keyword research analysis on the top performing articles and websites.

Additionally, they offer a free service for website owners called Webmaster Tools, and my favorite is their free Keyword Generator which provides 150 keyword ideas from any main keyword.

  1. boasts a 99.9% success rate for its free keyword research service. So free in fact, that you don’t even need an account to use its comprehensive database. As per their site:

Keyword Tool helps you employ Google Suggest for keyword research. It extracts Google keyword suggestions and presents it to you in an easy-to-understand interface.

  1. Google Keyword Finder

Surely you might’ve guessed we’d get right to one of the biggest sources of keyword research in Google’s keyword finder. Google is the dominant force in the keyword research industry, as sooner or later your content will be on their browser search results.

While it isn’t as intuitive as some of the other tools, it is free and has all of the data you need to see to make good decisions in your SEO practices.

  1. Moz

Kwe new screenshot

Moz is the first keyword research tool I ever used. It’s great for analyzing your website and specific keywords as well. Moz can help you understand how people are finding your website and how to make the most of keyword opportunities.

Some other Keyword Research Tools to Consider

  • Google Trends provides not just the relative volume of multiple keywords but also the trend data so you can see what is hot and what is not
  • QuestionDB uses related queries and reddit for identifying question-based keywords
  • Jaaxy provides keywords, topic and idea suggestions for any keyword or website
  • Keyword Sheeter uses Google autofill to populate thousands of ideas from any focus keyword you enter
  • Answer the Public also uses Google autofill and “People Also Ask” to populate search phrases with all the who, what, why, when, and how version of any search query
  • Keyworddit pulls data from reddit and offers an interesting take on topics to explore for any keyword
  • Bulk Keyword Generator is a good research tool for local SEO
  • Soovle uses search data from google, youtube and Amazon
  • SECockpit is the tool SEO experts swear by because it provides lots of depth
  • Keyword Snatcher provides up to 2,000 keyword suggestions for any “seed” keyword (as the SEOs call them)
  • KWFinder allows you to search by keyword difficulty
  • Serpstat is another tool that allows you to go deep and is beloved by many SEO experts

New to keyword research?

We start by asking our clients for a few simple things:

  1. 5-10 keywords they wished they ranked for
  2. The categories, themes or topics they think are important in their industry
  3. Their top 4-5 competitors
  4. 2-4 industry or trade publication their audience reads

From there, we are able to expand the keyword list. We group those keywords into structured categories or themes. Then we identify the most important or “focus” keywords by looking at whether they are long-tail, or short-tail, have clear buyer intent, and if they represent an opportunity based on a competitive gap.

My favorite trick is use CPC data to identify those keywords other people are spending money against. The assumption here is that people wouldn’t pay more to advertise against a keyword unless it had lots of value.

BONUS: Check out this and more of my keyword research tips and tools in my latest webinar 10 tips for optimizing your content marketing.

If you’re looking for more of a basic training on keyword research check out this video:

Conversion rates from your keyword research

Views are great, but what happens after the initial click? Is the reader just leafing through your website? Are they sharing it? Are they actually purchasing your product or scheduling your services?

Conversion rate shows how many prospects are becoming customers. This metric is the real shining gem of your content marketing efforts! Converting prospects should be your number one goal with content marketing.

Oftentimes the places where you are producing and publishing media give you excellent analytics tools to help assess what ads or content is producing the best conversion rate.

By figuring out what content does the best across what platforms, you can make better, more informed decisions on what media to spend the most time on.

Retaining your conversions as long-term customers

Source: Marketing Charts

Customer Retention is the measure of the percentage of customers who continue to use your product over time (you know, the ones you just pulled with good keyword research!). Some companies measure the opposite of retention: churn rate. Or the percentage of customers who leave in a given time period.

Ultimately, the only way a company can be successful is if the cost to acquire and retain a customer is largely outweighed by the monetization that customer will return to your business (about 3-5x that cost).

So how do you know if you’re retaining customers acquired through your digital media efforts? There’s a few ways!

Analytics – Often websites will show you on the backend how many customers you have are repeat customers. Diving deep into the extra layer to see how many came from your digital media efforts is a good step in hitting your KPIs.

You can ask – Using surveys through your email marketing efforts can help you figure out just who has been using your product or service over a longer period of time. This also builds brand trust because people want to feel like your business cares about them.

Look at the voices on your social media channels – Seeing individual voices in your business’ community discuss your business, service, or content can give you a good read on how many newer customers you are attracting and if there are any older clients steering the overall conversation online.

Wrap Up

Whichever site you use, keyword research is a necessity for creating reliable search traffic for your business. Without keeping good SEO practices in mind in your writing and meta description, you’re throwing away easy traffic that makes you money.

You have the knowhow, it’s time to hop on board with one of these keyword research tools and see which is right for you!

Do you want to use some of the marketing strategies seen here on MIG’s site but need some help or advice? Marketing Insider Group has a team of 35+ experienced writers ready to produce content for YOUR business. Check out our weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation.

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