“We buy our blog posts 500 EUR a piece” he told me the other day. “What kind of blog post are that?” I asked. He was buying 10 of these blog post a month, on average 500 words per blog post.
That’s probably the worst approach this marketing manager could take towards content. The output he gets by aiming for 500 words articles is just horrible. It’s usually a “one-pager”, with one single meaningless graphic, pulled from a stock-photo website. Others might tell you that you need 1500 word articles, because these are going to make you end-up higher in search-engines.
I say, that’s crap. Don’t believe them.
Blog Post Summary
In a world filled with content, and decreasing user attention, this kind of simple approach to content is just not going to cut it.
With this post I want to show you, “once and for all”:
- what content quality really is about,
- how Google treats good and bad content quality,
- how consumers and customer in general spot quality content,
- how long quality content should be,
- and finally how you can get organized for content quality.
Now let’s get started, and explore the world of quality content…
(oh, this starts to feel like a rant, but don’t worry, this is not going to be a rant!)
Catching the attention of buyers is done differently today. In the digital world we live in today, classic interruption marketing is less and less effective.
Applying traditional marketing tactics in the online world doesn’t work.
In your case as a marketing professional, you are constantly looking for insight, trends, best practices and how-to-do stuff. You are blind for advertising, you use Google as your best friend, follow RSS feeds of major marketing blogs, and subscribe to newsletters. Right?
What catches your attention? As digital marketers we are constantly flooded with whitepapers, ebooks, ultimate guides and webinars.
Not all of them are of the same quality.
But sometimes you encounter brilliant, well researched, and extensive ebooks.
In this blog post I want to share some of the best ebooks I have found in 2014. Each and every piece is really useful, practical, visual, and something you want to save on your PC.
With the holiday period coming up, you might have some time to read some of them ;-).
* image by Mary(n_n)West, on Flickr.
The debate about outbound marketing being “interruption” marketing, and inbound marketing about “deserving the attention of buyers” is actually a flawed argumentation.
The question is about how you successfully go about in combining inbound and outbound marketing.
It is true that traditional advertising is less effective.
People today like to skip TV commercials when they can. They are blind for online banners (on average 0,2% click on banners). They sign-out for telephone calls (2 out of 3 people in USA are on do-not-call list). And they opt-out of commercial email, with Google Gmail helping them with easy opt-out buttons.
But when you combine the inbound philosophy with the power of outbound, both re-enforce each other. Combining inbound and outbound marketing works when you:
- Using advertising to create awareness, with messages they care about.
- Paid content promotion about content they want to read.
- Send emails that are relevant to them
- Use outbound call center calls that are timed and relevant to them as respond to a pre-qualified need.
Before you go all mellow and zap away, bare with me for a second. Just listen to me for a while, and you’ll begin to see a much bigger trend currently happening in marketing. Using a few brilliant examples I’ll explain the bigger trend behind visual storytelling, and how it should transcend to become part of everything you do in your marketing.
What follows is a true story, but don’t tell me I didn’t warn you: I am not the best storyteller.
So here goes nothing… Read more
I’m looking at it and I just don’t quite get it. Banner ads don’t work, and yet marketers still keep investing in it. According to a recent article in Smart Insight click-through rates remain impressively low with “banner blindness” as a key reason for ignoring ads.
One day, someone needs to explain me why a marketer doesn’t get fired by the CEO for spending thousands of ad euros and reporting a conversion of 0.2%. But let’s keep that discussion for another time.
Native advertising. They are the latest addition to digital advertising land. Named as the “disruptive” technology that will change the advertising business model. It is considered the fresh air that the beleaguered publishers need.
They seem to be more efficient, according to recent research from IPG Media and Sharethrough:
- Consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads.
- Native advertisements registered 9% higher lift for brand affinity and 18% higher lift for purchase intent responses.
- Consumers looked at native ads more than the original editorial content.
Some feel as native advertising is the same as advertorials or article marketing.
OK. So what is native advertising? And do you need to use it your marketing mix? Read more
He was afraid we would be sharing too much details about what we do with customers. He was afraid we would give away to much information to competitors. And I heard the same remark of CEO’s holding back on press releases about customers wins because it could hurt the business.
This is an often heard dilemma: you make great new customers, you create fantastic webinars for customers, you do thought leadership speaking slots, and make customer cases. But by sharing this content publicly you are afraid you are providing valuable information to competitors. And that might hurt your business.
I do understand these reasons, I used to think the same. But companies that keep thinking like this will soon be gone. If you don’t want that, you’ll have to make a cultural shift to being open and authentic.
Let me explain you why… Read more
Whenever I talk to fellow marketing managers about Content Marketing, I feel as if the word “content” in itself just kills the whole conversation.
When the word content is used, people think of text. They think of paper, copywriting, layout, online and print. Some are more informed, and know that content marketing is more than the output of content creators.
Content marketing is all about providing customers with answers to their questions. The format in which these answers are delivered to them is irrelevant. By providing these answers, you lift your brand to become a company that is seen as a go-to-resource for knowledge and insight. By providing these answers you become a trusted party to which they’ll turn to when they have a problem, a question, an opportunity.
And doing that, my friends, is scary stuff for marketers. Read more
This isn’t a blog post about how good content marketing is, and that you should stop advertising. Quite the contrary.
Allow me to explain: advertising had been shifting to online. It’s been shifting online for a while now. The most obvious reason for that is that people spend more time online. However, B2B marketers out there know that click-through rates are terrible. Leaderboard banners, skyscrapers, and what-ever-they-look-like-banners, get click-through rates below 1%.
And still online advertising seems to be growing, according to Google. There must be people who can explain that contradiction. I can’t.
It’s clear that online advertising just doesn’t work. Ask anyone you know which on-line ad they still remember, while we all spend hours per day online. The answer will be zero.
But let me tell you why B2B marketers still need to keep on advertising, on- and off-line… Read more