Confession: I’m a content marketing manager who hates most content. It’s all so boring! It’s true in the consumer world – as Choire Sicha, co-founder of The Awl, just said in an interview for The Atlantic:I opened up my Digg reader the other day, because I was on blogging duty at work, and everything was so duplicative of each other.
I was like, yeah, okay, there’s that piece of news filtering through all these different websites, all the same things … no wonder I don’t go to them.And the same is true in the business-to-business world. Over 90% of B2B companies do content marketing – but 90% of that content marketing is redundant crap, e.g. “5 Ways to Do Blah Blah the Same Way as Everyone Else.” Publishing blog posts like this is basically cargo-cult marketing; it’s t... > Read more
Prospective customers can be a fickle bunch. They rarely do what we want them to, they behave in all sorts of crazy, unexpected ways, and – worst of all – sometimes they don’t even listen to us.However, it’s not hard to see why consumers have become largely indifferent to most marketing techniques.
After all, the average American consumer spends 11 hours per day using or engaging with digital media and is exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of ads every single day. Is it any wonder why many consumers are hard to reach?Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. In our upcoming webinar, “The ‘Happy Juice’ Principle: Marketing that Captures and Converts,” WordStream and renowned marketing expert Perry Marshall will show you how to leverage the “happy juice” principl... > Read more
Does the internet marketing industry have a gender bias problem? It’s something that’s been talked about before, but too often, those discussions are based almost entirely on speculation, a general sense that women are getting the short end of the stick. And the problem with speculation is that it’s easy to dismiss.
Moz’s recent industry salary survey provided some interesting data; they found that women in online marketing are paid less than their male counterparts, even at the same levels of education and experience. This sparked some really great discussion, but again, some may assume men just get the better jobs because of greater ability, better performance, or more ambition. But is this really the case?I recently ran across some internal data that really surprised me. I believ... > Read more
Whatever you call it – defection, attrition, turnover – customer churn is a painful reality that all businesses have to deal with. Even the largest and most successful companies suffer from customer churn, and understanding what causes formerly loyal customers to abandon ship is crucial to lasting, sustainable business growth.
In today’s post, we’re going to look at what customer churn is, what constitutes a “good” churn rate, and ways you can stop your customers turning their backs on you forever.Art installation by Tim EtchellsWhat is Customer Churn?Client churn is when existing customers stop doing business with you. This can mean different things depending on the nature of your business. Examples include:Cancelation of a subscriptionClosure of an accountNon-renewal of a cont... > Read more
Ask two content marketers about long-form content and you’ll likely get two completely different responses. The first might say that long-form content is a gamble, given audiences’ supposedly miniscule attention spans. The other might say that producing longer articles is an excellent way to engage with readers and offer them genuine value and a rewarding experience.
Which of these content marketers is right? Yep, you guessed it – the long-form content evangelist. Why? Let’s find out.Table of contentsWhat is Long-Form Content?Why Does Long-Form Content Work?5 Long-Form Content ExamplesWhat Is Long-Form Content?It might seem obvious, but there are many different definitions of what long-form content truly is. Some people consider articles longer than 700 words to be long-form, wherea... > Read more
Over at Moz, Simon Penson just wrote an interesting post about a “Panda Patent” which may shed light on how Google will rank sites in the future, “using a ratio of links and mentions, or ‘implied links.’” With penalties flying and the value of the almighty link coming into question, could Google be looking for new signals of authority? We think so, but are brand mentions the answer?The relevant part of the patent is this:The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302).
A link for a group of resources is an incoming link to a resource in the group, i.e., a link having a resource in the group as its target. Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both. An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source r... > Read more
What is the fabulous and extraordinary thing that is UGC? No, it’s not the latest clog variation of UGG boots - it’s none other than user-generated content!Today we’re looking at different kinds of user generated content, examples of user-generated content, where to find it, how to use it, and more!What is User Generated Content?A user generated content definition: UGC is anything on the web that users have a hand in making.
Most of the photos, videos, and posts you see on the web are pieces of user generated content. Basically, UGC is anything not made by a brand, though brands do leverage user-generated content for ranking.Different Kinds of User Generated ContentThe variations of UGC are endless. Some major kinds include:Blog commentsFacebook comments or postsReviewsUser generated... > Read more
Like practically every topic of discussion on the internet, net neutrality is a subject that people either a) haven’t heard of and couldn’t care less about, or b) are rabidly passionate about and will die to defend (or so it seems in most site comment sections). But what is net neutrality anyway, and why should marketers care?What is Net Neutrality?Net neutrality is the concept that internet service providers (ISPs) should allow all types of traffic to travel across their networks without discrimination; that all sites and applications should be treated equally, and not subjected to traffic shaping, bandwidth throttling and other means of control that serve ISPs' commercial interests.
Here are five facts that marketers need to know about net neutrality and why it’s so important:1. Net... > Read more
It seems there’s always a digital marketing conference going on somewhere, but few were as eagerly anticipated as SearchLove Boston 2014 was. The thoroughly charming folks at Distilled assembled a truly diverse lineup of speakers for the event – a roster of search and digital marketing talent that certainly didn’t disappoint.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since we gathered at Harvard Medical School’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center for the event, and perhaps even harder to believe that I failed to get this write-up finished sooner. C’est la vie.Although I’ve no doubt many of you were hanging on my every word on Twitter during the conference, here’s a round-up of some of my favorite sessions.Day OneAlthough Distilled’s Founder and Chief Marketing Office... > Read more
Why You Need Amazon Customer ReviewsOnline reviews are the modern media world-of-mouth; they’re immensely powerful and can have a huge affect on how your business is perceived. A study last year found that:79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business moreWhen you wish upon five stars, it makes no difference who you are – your business dreams come true! OK, in truth you’ll need a lot more than wishing to obtain a great Amazon star count.
In this post we’ll talk about why Amazon customer reviews are important and the various ways you can earn them (both legitimately and not-so-legitimately).What Amazon Custo... > Read more
Unless you’re fortunate enough to be the only player in your industry (say, the only dedicated supplier of lion-taming equipment in North America), you’ll need to differentiate yourself from your competition through your unique selling proposition, or USP.A strong, instantly recognizable USP can make or break businesses operating in competitive markets, so it’s essential that you leverage your USP and make it the cornerstone of your overall marketing strategy.
Until you know what your USP is, and how to capitalize on it, your business will be just another voice clamoring to be heard.In this post, you'll learn:Unique selling proposition definitionUnique selling proposition examplesUnique selling proposition best practicesHow to use a unique selling proposition in your advertisementsHo... > Read more
Google has been using some pretty effective scare tactics to warn marketers off link building lately. Scalable link building – even tactics that used to be seen as white-hat, like guest blogging – are steadily coming to be seen as black-hat. Instead of focusing on links, Google says, just build your brand by creating great content!The problem is, everyone and their best friend has already jumped on the content marketing bandwagon.
This noisy space is getting even noisier! Over 90% of B2B marketers use content marketing – for obvious reasons:Two-thirds of consumers say they feel better about and are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content.Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media.So when everyone is doing it, how do you stand out... > Read more
Today we'll be covering everything there is to know about explainer videos. They're fun to make, will jumpstart conversion rates, and are overall great to have for any startup business. Let's get started!What is an Explainer Video? Types of Explainer Videos5 Best Explainer Video ExamplesHow to Make an Explainer VideoScriptVoice OversVideo ProductionMusic & Sound EffectsMeasuring PerformanceEnjoying the Advantages of an Explainer VideoWhat is an Explainer Video?Explainer videos are short online videos used to explain your company’s product or service.
Explainer videos, often placed on a landing page, your website’s home page, or a prominent product page, have become extremely popular – some sites boast of conversion rates increasing by as much as 144% after including an expla... > Read more
What is the YouTube Keyword Tool?The YouTube keyword research tool, also known as the YouTube keyword suggestion tool, is a barebones tool used to generate and discover new keywords for YouTube videos. It looks like this:How to Use the YouTube Keyword ToolThe YouTube keyword tool is pretty straightforward – simply choose your language and tailored countries, insert a keyword or phrase, and click “Get keyword ideas.
”Some of those keyword suggestions (heck, maybe a lot of them) will make no sense whatsoever. But, buried in that strange, bizarre rubble of YouTube culture, you may find some gold nuggets than can really help you out when it comes to content strategy.While these keyword results aren’t very long-tail in the literal since of having lots of words, they can certainly be cons... > Read more
Content marketing continues to dominate as a core component of a successful B2B marketing strategy – and we’ve got the facts to prove it. Get your flabbergasted face on, it’s time for some seriously surprising stats and facts about B2B content marketing!Note: Most of this data is taken from the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B 2014 Report.
Exceptions to this are marked. Fact #1: 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing. Yep – almost all of them.Fact #2: 42% of B2B marketers say they are effective at content marketing. (Only 36% felt this way last year. Way to go, that’s a big improvement!)Fact #3: 44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy (the question is – do you?).Fact #4: B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy are much more likely... > Read more
Today we’re talking about multi-channel marketing – what it is, why it matters, and how to use it in order to better your business.Image from Get More Engagement.Multi-Channel Marketing DefinitionMulti-channel marketing is the practice of using multiple channels to reach customers. In addition to allowing businesses to reach customers through different mediums, multi-channel marketing also makes it easy for customers to complete desired conversions on whatever medium they are most comfortable with.
Multi-channel marketing lets the user decide, giving them a choice.In today’s modern marketing era, there are many channels a business can take advantage of in order to reach potential customers. These channels include:Retail storePPCWebsiteDirect mailEmailMail order catalogMobileWhy is Mu... > Read more
It’s every advertiser’s dream to create a viral video that gets plastered over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (ha, yeah, because people care about G+). As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the chances of getting an ad to go viral are pretty low – you’re much better off creating educational or how-to videos that will gain a steady stream of visitors over time.
What about the 1% though? Those ads that practically promote themselves? One thing seems clear – most of them are utterly hilarious. Not just funny, but odd, quirky, and even downright bizarre. Today we’re looking at some of the weirdest, wackiest ads online, and examining why they are successful.PooPourri: Before-You-Go Toilet SprayThis video was what inspired this post – I was dying to share this ridiculously oddball... > Read more
Recently, I shared some great examples of e-commerce content marketing – three companies that are using content to promote their online product sales. It was a hit, so let’s do it again – but this time, let’s look at some service professionals that are doing great content marketing work.As ever, the goal of content marketing is primarily to build authority, trust, and interest in your brand.
By positioning yourself as an authority on a topic related to your business, you’re greatly increasing the chances that people will turn to you when they need your services. In other words, content marketing is a great method of lead gen for service professionals.Here are three service professionals putting out awesome blogs and other content to inspire your marketing ideas.Brand New: Addicti... > Read more
This is Part 3 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 and Part 2.The most important 80/20 of all is the 20% of your skills that produce 80% of your results. Yes, 80/20 applies to your time, and your customers, and your product lines.
But the greatest source of satisfaction of all is working in your gifted zones. When you apply 80/20 to your own giftedness, you force multiply everything else in your career. It’s the fastest path to an income spike. It also reduces your stress, big-time.Looking back on the two grueling years I spent as a manufacturer’s rep, pounding the phone and trying to go see people who didn’t want to see me, I now realize one o... > Read more
As a content marketer here at WordStream, I see great examples of content marketing almost every week – but most of them are coming from lead gen and B2B companies. It makes sense – if you offer a service or some kind of software that helps people do something, content marketing helps you position yourself in the customer’s eyes as an expert in that area.
When people step up and show interest in your educational content, they’re letting you know that they might need other stuff you offer.But what about e-commerce marketing?The same principle works for e-commerce companies, but the tactics need to be a little different. I think attention is even scarcer in the B2C e-commerce space, so content marketing in those verticals needs to be truly awesome – beautiful, exceptional, and all ... > Read more
This is Part 2 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.The 80/20 rule is powerful because it’s a law of nature – much like the Golden Ratio, the Butterfly Effect and chaos theory are laws of nature.
In fact it’s driven by the same underlying causes.Last time we talked about how 80/20 applies to almost everything you can measure, and how you can also apply 80/202: 4% of your effort produces 64% of your results, and 80/203: 1% of your effort produces 50% of your results.But it doesn’t stop there!Psychology of War150 years ago, the military genius from Prussia, Carl Von Clausewitz, attained legendary status for his command ... > Read more
We’re on a bit of a mobile kick lately – my last post was about mobile marketing basics, and today we’re diving head first into mobile websites.Image borrowed from MashableWe will be covering different approaches to mobile website design, mobile site best practices, and what you can do to easily make your site mobile-optimized! Get ready to touch, tap, and swipe your way into the world of mobile web design!We'll be delving into:Mobile Website StatisticsMobile Website Design's Biggest Rule: Keep it SimpleApproach #1 to Mobile Site Design: Creating a .
Mobi DomainApproach #2 to Mobile Site Design: Responsive DesignChoosing Between .Mobi vs. Responsive DesignMobile Websites vs. AppsMobile Website Examples: Learn From the Top Mobile SitesMobile Website AdsMobile Website Tips & Best Pr... > Read more
This is Part 1 in a three-part series on the Pareto Principle by Perry Marshall, author of 80/20 Sales & Marketing and The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Read Part 2 and Part 3.Many people have at least a passing familiarity with Vilfredo Pareto’s famous 80/20 discovery: Regardless of city or country, 20% of the people earned 80% of the income.
All sales people should know 20% of their customers write 80% of the purchase orders; software people know the final 20% of the software features consume 80% of the programming time.The Pareto Principle is true of almost everything in business that you can count: Which products sell and how well, which customers are buying, which employees steal pens and pencils, how many customers open support tickets. Number of emails, ... > Read more
What is Mobile Marketing? I would tell you that mobile is the future of marketing, but really the era of mobile has already arrived. If you're not implementing some kind of mobile marketing strategy, you're already trailing behind! As you can see from the graph below, more users are spending larger amounts of time engaged with mobile devices than ever before.
We can expect this trend to continue even further in the future, so get ready!How Does Mobile Marketing Work?Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Mobile marketing ad formats, customization, and styles can vary, as many social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps offer their own unique and tailored mobile ad options.Why You Need a Mobile Marketing StrategyYour busin... > Read more
I know y’all are sick of hearing that “content is king.”“Content is king” is one of the major web marketing clichés of our time, right up there with “SEO is dead.”Following close behind, I think, is the recommendation to “create great content.” Want tons of Google traffic, hot leads, record sales? Don’t worry about SEO, conversion rate optimization, any of that, just create great content!But what does that really mean? What makes content great, and what exactly is “content” anyway?Here’s my definition: “Content” is really just information – really, simple as that! When you create content, you’re putting information on your site.
Some of it is intended to teach, some of it is intended to persuade, some of it is intended to entertain. And great content is i... > Read more
Recently, we did our best to put the lie to the myth that PPC is outbound marketing. There’s a persistent idea that cost is the determining factor that separates inbound and outbound marketing. But we believe that all marketing has costs – since no channel is free, what matters is ROI. So inbound marketing isn't free marketing, but rather is defined by context and intention.
Like organic content marketing, PPC ads are driven by context and user intent – in other words, the ads are only triggered when they’re relevant to what people are already searching for. And with increasingly more effective and blinged out ad types, PPC is more and more likely to meet a searcher’s needs just as well, if not better, than an organic result. (We believe that for commercial searches, PPC is better... > Read more
No search marketing campaign can guarantee a 100% purchase rate. Simply put, many visitors just aren't ready to buy... yet. Marketing automation technology and best practices close that gap, turning every website visitor into a lead to be loved and nurtured. As marketing best practices have evolved over the years, so has modern marketing automation.
Today, consumers make decisions on their own terms and expect marketing messages to be relevant both to their interests and where they are in the buying process. Delivering the wrong message at the wrong time is both annoying and a waste of $$.The marketing climate has been moving in this direction for many years. From the dawn of radio and television, consumer choice has increased and marketers have been forced to continually refine their... > Read more
Dear companies that market to women: Stop trying to sell me stuff that has nothing to do with fashion by fashion-washing your ads. I hate this marketing trend! Much in the way that toy companies think little girls will only be interested if it’s pink, brands that sell everything from house paint to yogurt have decided that the only way to market products to women is via association with makeup and clothes.
It’s sexist, it’s cynical, and it just doesn’t make sense.Here are a few of the more egregious examples of this marketing trend I’ve seen in the past year.The Fage Lipstick AdMmm, creamy luxury! What a great ad for lipstick!Wait, what? This is an ad for yogurt?We don’t even need to get into the irrationality of yogurt being marketed solely to women – my husband eats 10 time... > Read more
There aren’t too many benefits to being an English major type – extra zeroes on your paycheck sure ain’t one of them – but we take our kicks where we can get them, and being self-congratulating and superior when someone misinterprets something literary is one of them. So in this post, I’m going to shame some companies that totally missed the point when it came to using a book, poem or song in their advertising campaigns.
And as long as we’re clearing up misconceptions? “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” doesn’t mean “Where are you, Romeo,” it means “Why are you named Romeo?” Now you know.Brooks Brothers & The Great Gatsby: So MoneyWith Baz Luhrmann’s 3-D adaptation of The Great Gatsby opening this weekend, various Gatsby-themed advertising tie-ins are all over the p... > Read more