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Are you overwhelmed by everything that you’re supposed to do in the area of content marketing? You’re probably getting advice from a bunch of different directions – much of it time-consuming and/or conflicting. What are you supposed to do? The state of content marketing If you aren’t careful, content marketing can become a buzzword within [...]

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Are you overwhelmed by everything that you’re supposed to do in the area of content marketing? You’re probably getting advice from a bunch of different directions – much of it time-consuming and/or conflicting. What are you supposed to do?

The state of content marketing

If you aren’t careful, content marketing can become a buzzword within your company. The term can lose all of its value and turn into something that you simply “have to do” because everyone else is doing it. After all, if you look at some of the latest trends and data points for 2017, here’s what you’ll find:

  • On average, B2B marketers are allocating 28% of their entire marketing budget to content marketing. However, 55% say they’re unclear on what “success” or “effectiveness” looks like.
  • 47% of customers view between 3 and 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
  • More than 9 out of 10 customers want to consume content that has more input from industry thought leaders.
  • B2B companies that blog 11-plus times per month have three-times more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times. B2C companies that blog 11-plus times per month get 4-times as many leads than those that blog just 4-5 times per month.

Clearly, there’s an increased demand for quality content – and most successful brands are accounting for the increased need for additional content in their annual content marketing strategies.

Simplify your approach to content marketing

The problem with the growing need for and dependency on content is that brands have been convinced that they need more, more, more. They’re constantly being told that in order to be competitive, more content is always the answer. Sound familiar?

If you’re overwhelmed by the constant demand for more content and new strategies, you aren’t alone. Across every industry, business owners and marketing directors feel as if their heads are spinning. They don’t know how to maximize their time and money and, as a result, frequently end up doing nothing.

Clearly, content marketing plays a significant role in digital marketing success. But in order to get it right, you must learn how to simplify your approach. It’s the only way to stay sane in an industry that’s getting noisier by the minute.

Instead of listening to the people who scream more, more, more, you need to be telling yourself better, better, better. Here are a few tips for practical application for simplifying your approach and creating better content at the same time:

1. Rely on visuals

If you’ve paid attention to the evolution of web page design, then you’ve probably noticed a steady change over the past three to five years. Gone are the days of text-heavy pages with dense paragraphs and wordy explanations. Today, leading brands subscribe to the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Take the StarNamer homepage as an example. A couple of years ago, this page would have contained a couple thousand words. Today, it contains just a couple hundred. Instead of lots of textual content, the page relies on simple imagery, bullet points, headings, and very precise CTAs that direct visitors to more specific content on landing pages and product pages.

2. Curate content from other sources

There’s no substitute for creating your own content, but there is tremendous value in curating content from other sources as a compliment to your core strategy.

“Using a content curation tool can help you scale up your curation efforts while discovering new resources for your original written posts,” content marketer Jody Pellerin says. “An algorithm can be configured with a set of keywords or phrases. The resulting aggregation can be further narrowed using software filters. This way, you have narrowed the content you or your staff must look at considerably. With these tools you should end up with relevant pieces for human content curation with time to spare for adding in your own ideas, explanations, or other content.”

One of the easiest tools is Google Alerts, though there are a handful of other free and paid tools available. Just remember that you need to add something unique to the conversation when curating. Simply reposting someone else’s blog without an explanation or commentary is useless.

3. Leverage your audience

Is your audience engaged and responsive? If so, you may be able to take a load off your plate by relying on your most loyal customers to create content for you. This can be as blatant as sending out a request for contributors on your blog, or as casual as hosting a contest where you encourage people to upload pictures to their social media feeds. If you’re interested in the latter, Starbucks provides a neat case study.

4. Develop meaty content

If someone asked whether you’d rather write ten 500-word blog posts or one 5,000-word post, which would you choose? Most people say they’d rather write one long post than lots of short ones. This usually ends up being less time consuming and easier to manage.

The good news is that most of your customers would also rather read long-form content than short-form. And Google tends to give lengthier content a little boost. So, instead of overwhelming yourself with dozens of blog posts per month, focus on developing a handful of meaty posts that deliver a higher return.

Take a step back and relax

In a digital marketing ecosystem that’s dominated by social media, it’s pretty easy to fall for the notion that you’re being passed by. Simply refresh your social media feeds every few minutes and you’ll see lots of new content. This rapid progression can make you feel like you have to come up with some new piece of content to stay relevant. But all you’re really doing is stressing yourself out.

Content marketing isn’t about focusing on what others are doing and trying to keep up. It’s really about zeroing in on your brand and creating high-quality content. It’s a pretty tired statement by now, but quality is better than quantity. The secret to being successful is to simplify your content strategy. If you can do that, you’ll be successful.

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Author: Anna Johansson
Posted: July 17, 2017, 2:24 pm

It is every blogger’s dream to churn content that people love reading. In addition, good content gets you followers which in turn gets you more sales. Writing great content is not everyone’s cup of tea. To be a good writer, your content should be crisp and readable. Fortunately, there are easy mathematical formulae to check [...]

The post Seven tools to improve readability of your blog appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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It is every blogger’s dream to churn content that people love reading. In addition, good content gets you followers which in turn gets you more sales. Writing great content is not everyone’s cup of tea. To be a good writer, your content should be crisp and readable. Fortunately, there are easy mathematical formulae to check readability. Some of these are Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease, Coleman-Liau Index and SMOG Index. There are also many tools that will help you improve your readability and correct errors.


To be a good writer, your content should be crisp and readable. @yolanda_sally
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Before you upload your content on your blog, do a quick check using one or more of these tools and improve your content based on their recommendations.

Hemingway Editor

This is a quick use tool that does not require you to sign up with them. You can simply paste the sentences you want to analyze for readability and it will give you the results. This tools analyses readability based on ease of reading, passive voice, use of adverbs and more. It also categorizes sentences as hard or very hard to read. It also highlights complex words that have simple alternatives.

For example, we tested the sentences above using this tools and got the below results.

Readability Test Tool

This tool allows you to test both a web page, and text blocks. If you are a blogger who wants to test what you have written, you need to use their second option – “Test by Direct Input”.

As an example, I tested the above sentences using this tools and results are as below. The results how you readability indices, grade level and even text statistics including the percentage of complex words.

Essay Writing Service

Using tools to give you instant results is a savior, but nothing beats the human mind of a researcher. Automated tools cannot be perfect but professional writers, who do this for a living, can definitely give you high-quality content. They can edit your content, proofread it, improve sentence structure and reformat it. If you are a perfectionist, it is prudent to hire a professional writer to improve the readability of your blog.

You can work with freelance writers or credible agencies. For example, choosing an agency that puts you on to the writer is a recommended choice. This enables you to talk to the writer directly and make sure you both are on the same page as far as the deliverables are concerned. Most writers would be happy to chip in with content as well, in addition to improving readability.

HubSpot Blog Topic Generator

Many times, you would have completed your blog, but would be struggling with the apt topic. The title of a post can be a make or break deal because it determines if viewers will actually click open the post. With a short attention span in online viewers, it is important to have an eye-catching title. This tool gives you a few suggestions on what titles you can use for your blog. This works based on the keywords you input. This does not mean you will get the perfect title every time. But it can certainly give you ideas that you can modify and use.

For example, I tried to get some title suggestions for this post and here is what I got.

Buzzsumo

If you have the broad content in place but need to narrow it down to specific key points, Buzzsumo is the tool for you. This tool gives you insights into what content is popular. It gives you statistical data on how topics perform over different social media platforms, and what kind of user engagement they generated.

For example, we tested “readability tools” and got the following results. These results indicate which similar topic is covered by which website or competitor. It also gives the activity the topic generated on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. They also have a paid version which gives you additional features.

Yoast SEO

If your blog is on WordPress, this is your go-to tool. Yoast needs you to install and set up its plugin before using. If you are even marginally tech savvy, then it is recommended you use Yoast as it gives inputs on how you can optimize your content for good search engine performance.

There are many free tutorials available online that can help you use this tool. This tool gives you information such as word count in sentences, use of passive voice, readability index scores, use of transition words and more.

Piktochart

No blog is complete without good images. Very long text only posts might lead to your reader losing interest and bouncing off the page. Adding eye-catching images, photographs or graphics can add spice to your blog. Infographics are also a great way to present information. It gives your viewer a quick snapshot of what the content is, and at the same time has a good visual appeal.

If you have no designing skills and would not like to hire a designer to make graphics for you, Piktochart is a useful tool. It has over 600 templates you can choose from and customize as per your requirements.

Using these tools can greatly help you improve your writing skills, and over time, you can be a perfect writer, who probably gets a 100% score on all these tools. The key is practice and perseverance.

 

And if you need help choosing the best software to skyrocket your content marketing results for 2017, download our free guide with over 44 tools reviewed!

Image by Monoar Rahman

The post Seven tools to improve readability of your blog appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Sally Yolanda
Posted: July 14, 2017, 3:37 pm

The content marketing industry is as active and lucrative as it’s ever been. But along with steady growth has come an increase in the overall level of competition. As a new content marketing agency, you’ll have to work hard to land your first client. Content marketing by the numbers According to research conducted at the [...]

The post Content marketing agencies: a practical look at landing your first client appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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The content marketing industry is as active and lucrative as it’s ever been. But along with steady growth has come an increase in the overall level of competition. As a new content marketing agency, you’ll have to work hard to land your first client.

Content marketing by the numbers

According to research conducted at the end of last year, nearly 90 percent of companies used content marketing in 2016. Of the companies that have leveraged content marketing for at least two years, 75 percent increased their budget last year. Nearly half of all companies expanded their staffing levels within their content marketing departments.


Nearly 90% of companies used content marketing in 2016. @LarryAlton3
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But despite a growing investment in content, very few businesses have formalized strategies. One study, conducted by Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group, found that 70 percent of marketers lack an integrated strategy. This is a big problem and shows that specialized marketers need to help struggling businesses gain more control over their content marketing efforts.

4 tips for landing your first client

The content marketing industry has evolved significantly over the past few years. Five or six years ago, we were trying to convince businesses that they needed content. Today, every savvy business owner recognizes the value of content. The biggest challenge now, at least for content marketing agencies, is competing against the many other companies that seemingly offer the same services.

If you’re just starting out, you don’t have a portfolio to fall back on. So, how exactly can you gain traction and pick up your first client? It’s certainly not easy, but the following tips will help:

1. Target local clients

Image credit: Stocksnap.io

Image credit: Stocksnap.io

A lot of new content marketing agencies assume that the best strategy is to cast a wide net and see who they can bring into the boat. And while there is some value in not putting yourself into a box, this generalized approach can be frustrating. A much better strategy, at least in the beginning, is to go after local clients.

There’s something about being local that builds trust. Clients like to know that they can walk into your office if there’s a problem. There’s also a certain amount of familiarity that comes with running a business in the same city. Use this to your advantage and start making a list of possible targets.

2. Meet with prospects in person

Businesses get dozens, if not hundreds of requests every month from people who want to sell them some sort of service. If you’re just another email in someone’s inbox, you’re going to get very few responses. Even phone calls go unreturned most of the time. The key to getting prospects to actually consider what you’re pitching is to meet them in person.

If you’re targeting local clients, meeting up in person isn’t a huge burden. You can offer to come to their office or take them out for coffee or lunch.

The big benefit of sitting with a prospect face to face is that you get the opportunity to build trust and control the conversation. Bring along a colorful, well-designed booklet that outlines the services you offer. Having something tangible like this makes you look professional and prepared. You’ll also want to have some case studies on hand, especially if you can find one that’s closely related to the prospect’s industry or niche.

Try to close a deal or secure a second meeting before leaving. The more persistent you are, the more likely that an agreement will be reached.

3. Lay out a long-term strategy

Remember, most businesses don’t have a formalized content marketing strategy. They may write a blog post here and there, but they really don’t have any grand plan or specific objectives. If you want to give prospective clients a reason to listen to your pitch, lay out a long-term strategy that sets them on the right path.

Another benefit of pitching long-term strategies is that you’re less likely to get one-off projects, which are time-consuming and draining. Ongoing clients that carry over from month to month provide stable revenue and don’t require nearly as much time spent on proposals, drafting contracts, background research, and the like.

4. Connect with competitors

“One of the first things I did upon moving to Hong Kong was to identify competitors and reach out to them,” marketer Joshua Steimle says. “More than half of them told me upon our first meeting that they frequently had projects they were too busy to handle and asked if I’d be interesting in taking their surplus business.”

Believe it or not, competitors don’t always have to be treated like enemies. So long as they don’t view you as a threat to their main business, they may actually be willing to toss you what they see as scraps. It’s up to you to turn these scraps into major clients.

Patience and the Snowball Effect

Patience is what you need to focus on when approaching the challenge of client acquisition. The reason so many content marketers – and entrepreneurs in general – fail is because they don’t have enough patience. They swing and miss on their first attempts at securing a client and then back out. In doing so, they cheat themselves out of future success.

Building any business, whether it’s a content marketing agency or restaurant, is like forming a ball and rolling it down a massive hill that’s coated in thick snow. At the top of the hill, the ball is small and slowly rolls down. But as the snowball covers more ground, it picks up more snow and gets bigger. And as the snowball gets bigger, it’s able to pick up more snow at a faster pace.

If you’re patient enough to wait for your content marketing agency to make it down the hill, you’ll benefit from the snowball effect soon enough. Just make sure you remain patient and have faith in the process. It all starts with one client!

content marketing for agencies

Image by Charles Forerunner

The post Content marketing agencies: a practical look at landing your first client appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Larry Alton
Posted: July 11, 2017, 2:39 pm

Many content marketers are tied to an agency or are simply in-house. But a huge number of us are also freelancers. It’s an exciting lifestyle, with severe peaks and valleys: unsteady but good pay, flexibility, and the respect accorded to a contractor over an employee. Despite all the possibilities, I feel that many freelancers aren’t [...]

The post 5 ways to make the most of the freelance content marketer lifestyle appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

5-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-freelance-content-marketer-lifestyle

Many content marketers are tied to an agency or are simply in-house. But a huge number of us are also freelancers. It’s an exciting lifestyle, with severe peaks and valleys: unsteady but good pay, flexibility, and the respect accorded to a contractor over an employee. Despite all the possibilities, I feel that many freelancers aren’t taking advantage of all the perks their lifestyle has to offer. I want to talk about five ways that freelance content marketers can make the most of their unique lifestyle.

1. Go after the big fish

Freelancers that are starting out basically need to take what they can get, at least to get some momentum going. But there’s no reason not to be smart about the clients you take on. Many freelancers are afraid to target bigger clients because they don’t have enough confidence in their portfolio. But the bar of entry is way lower than these people think. The boring old slogan is work smarter, not harder. Boring, but true. Why not target big kahuna clients so that work hours are more profitable?

2. Work your taxes

Many freelancers I know are great writers and thinkers, but when it comes to their taxes, they’re dumber than a box of hair. They have no idea how to make their taxes work for them, or worse, they fudge them or don’t file at all. Don’t be like this. It will catch up with you, particularly if you live in America. There are so many tax credits and deductibles available to freelancers hip to the system. If you can’t figure it out yourself, hire an accountant who can. The money spent will come back to you, and then some.

3. Charge more

This is something I need to tell a lot of my colleagues: you’re not charging enough. There’s no need to be apologetic about what you’re worth—remember, contractors do not receive benefits, and therefore our work costs more. We’re also specialists, and not everybody can do what we do. Content marketing, if done well, is both scientific and artistic. It requires skill and experience that not just anybody has. When just starting out, it makes sense to charge lower rates. But once you have good experience under your belt, don’t be afraid to walk away from low wages.

4. Stay focused

The freelance lifestyle can be great. There’s nothing better than staying on task, working for four hours and accomplishing as much as a regular stiff in an 8-hour day. But there’s another side to this: you can waste a lot of hours just sitting in a café zoning out on the internet when you know you have a big assignment due. As freelancers, everything rests on us to get the job done: there’s no boss, no set hours, only your own grit and efficiency. Freelancing gets old really fast if you spend enough days procrastinating for ten hours with your headphones on. The freelance lifestyle is only flexible if you don’t mess around with your work. Stay focused.

5. Travel more

Freelancers need to remember that they aren’t tied to a desk. Why the hell aren’t they traveling and setting up shop wherever there’s a good WiFi connection? A lot of freelancers I talk to get cold feet about airfare costs. I’ve never heard such uncreative creatives in my life. There are many ways to pay for travel—pitch a travel piece to a publication or review some travel equipment. Make the lifestyle work for you, and get out there and enjoy the world.

And if you need help choosing the best software to skyrocket your content marketing results for 2017, download our free guide with over 44 tools reviewed!

Image by Simon Abrams

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Author: Kenny Kline
Posted: July 10, 2017, 2:34 pm

You may think that eBooks are done. The marketplace is totally saturated and it’s almost impossible to find a topic that hasn’t been covered. However, this isn’t the case. What you really need to do is understand what a successful eBook looks like and shift the way you create and polish your content. How to [...]

The post How to develop an eBook that stands out and generates leads appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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You may think that eBooks are done. The marketplace is totally saturated and it’s almost impossible to find a topic that hasn’t been covered. However, this isn’t the case. What you really need to do is understand what a successful eBook looks like and shift the way you create and polish your content.

How to give your eBook a boost

Hundreds of thousands of eBooks are published each year. Millions of copies are sold and downloaded. Even if you’re in a very specific niche, someone has probably already published something related to your topic.

While the saturation in the market can be discouraging, it should ultimately force you to get better. You have to make your ebook stand above the rest, or you’re going to waste your time and enjoy a very small return on your investment.

What’s the solution to making your ebook stand out? It involves some combination of the following tips and tricks:

1. Conduct target market research

how to develop an ebook

Image source: Pixabay

Before you even begin brainstorming ideas or coming up with visuals, you have to start by conducting careful target market research. You can hire the best writer and come up with a killer cover design, but it’s all for naught if you’re trying to force a topic on people who aren’t interested.

It all begins with understanding who your target reader personas are. How old are they? What’s their biggest pain point? How do they make decisions? You might have three or four different types of readers, but it’s imperative that you identify them so that you know who you’re crafting content for.

Once you understand who your readers are, you can then spend time polling them, studying their habits, and identifying what it is that makes them tick. Eventually, they’ll lead you to the right topic or angle.

2. Source the right content

Where do you pull your content from? Assuming you don’t have an unlimited budget for creating ebooks, you’ll have to get creative about how you brainstorm, write, and publish. In all likelihood, you don’t need to hire an expensive copywriter. You may already be sitting on a goldmine of good content ideas that can be expanded into a larger ebook format.

“If you have a blog, the majority of the blog posts you have already written can actually serve as potential ebook topics – you will simply expand upon them in your ebook,” Yocale, a leader in online booking and scheduling software, explains in this blog post. “Use your own posts to determine what has been, and is likely to continue to be, popular.”


The blog posts you’ve already written can serve as potential eBook topics @Number1AnnaJo
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3. Create a killer title

The title selection for your eBook will play a big role in how people initially respond. A boring or irrelevant title will send most people away before they even consider downloading the ebook, whereas an intriguing title will immediately engage people.

The most important part of creating a title – at least when it comes to ebooks that are designed with lead generation in mind – is to highlight a pressing pain point and/or benefit. Instead of titling an ebook Email Marketing 101, try something like The 17 Email Marketing Techniques That Grew Our Sales by 41%. Notice how there’s a specific and tangible benefit tucked away inside the title.

4. Incorporate the right visuals

Not very many people are going to take the time to sit down and read your eBook from front to back. The way in which people read digital content is unique. Even though it’s an “eBook” format, eBook content is consumed much differently.

In order to keep people engaged, you have to understand that digital content is consumed in a vertical fashion with lots of quick scanning. The first couple sentences of a paragraph are read, the reader looks for images and other visual elements, moves on to the next page, and repeats the process. In order to appease this reading style, you have to invest in lots of high-quality visuals and prioritize page layout.

5. Nail the CTA

The end goal is not to get someone to download an ebook. You’re ultimately trying to parlay this engagement into a conversion that drives revenue for your business. So, there has to be some sort of call-to-action within the eBook in order to generate a monetary return on investment.

The key is to create a CTA that’s natural enough to fit into the eBook without interrupting the flow of the content, while blatant enough to get people to act. This all goes back to understanding who your readers are.

“Understanding where your target audience might be in the buyer journey helps you refine the content as well as some of the nuances of your eBook, like calls to action and links to other resources,” content marketing expert Hana Abaza points out. “For example, the closer your readers are to buying, the more aggressive you can be with a call to action and the more specific you should be about how your product or service can address their problem.”

Putting it all together

There’s a difference between creating an eBook for the purposes of selling it and generating a revenue stream and publishing an eBook with the intentions of using it as a lead generation tool to fuel your core products and services. When you study much of the advice found online, it’s geared towards writing and selling ebooks. While there’s some value to be extracted from this advice, make sure you’re specifically focusing on how to improve your ebooks as lead generation tools.

Developing an ebook is a lot like baking a cake. Every cake has basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and eggs, but it’s those extra ingredients that make a cake stand out. You have to find the perfect combination of ingredients in order to give your cake, or ebook, the advantage. As you make some tweaks and practice your hand at new techniques and strategies, you should be able to identify your recipe for success.

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Image by James Tarbotton

The post How to develop an eBook that stands out and generates leads appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Anna Johansson
Posted: July 6, 2017, 3:00 pm

It’s a phenomenon. Over 60% of businesses are now outsourcing their content to freelancers and agencies. This is probably a good move: content creation requires a particular set of skills, and it’s often best to leave to those with expertise. At the same time, knowing how to outsource your content needs effectively remains an inexact science. [...]

The post Outsourcing your content: the Dos and Don’ts appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

outsourcing-your-content-the-dos-and-the-donts-scoop-it-final

It’s a phenomenon. Over 60% of businesses are now outsourcing their content to freelancers and agencies. This is probably a good move: content creation requires a particular set of skills, and it’s often best to leave to those with expertise. At the same time, knowing how to outsource your content needs effectively remains an inexact science. For example, how do you know whether you need an agency or a freelancer? And how much is reasonable to pay? These are questions that need to be addressed, and in this short guide, I want to talk about how a business can intelligently address the question of outsourcing.

DO NOT lowball your creators

Once you’ve decided that you want to pay for a little extra help in the content department, it becomes really important to keep this rule in mind: you get what you pay for.

For a long time, the prevalent content strategy for outsourcers was to simply hire the cheapest writers you could find and churn out a dearth of dreck content. What these people found, however, is that users crave useful, informative stuff. Simply having quantity will not suffice. All this to say: an enterprise can pay whatever it wants for content, but let the buyer beware.

DO play the field

Image Credit: Pexels

Just because a business shouldn’t lowball doesn’t mean it shouldn’t negotiate or try out a stable of writers before settling on its content team. Good content creators should be able to describe what ROI you will be getting from them, and should deliver on that value. It’s also possible to find bargains, particularly with talented content maestros who are just starting out.

Ask for content samples from prospectives and see whether their writing style jives with your vision, and see how well they can respond to critiques.

DO NOT outsource without understanding your brand

Businesses that ignore this tip run the risk of wasting a bunch of money. A business should have its brand defined before outsourcing its content, and will hopefully be able to provide its content creators with a style guide. Without this sort of self-knowledge, the tone of its content will be chaotic—basically whatever enters the head of whatever freelancer or agency it has partnered with. This will give the impression of a weak brand, if it leaves an impression at all. 

Outsourcing doesn’t mean a business should compromise on a unified voice and tone. In fact, it only makes defining the brand even more crucial.

DO understand your needs 

Every business has different content needs, and therefore, different best practices outsourcing its content. Are you a single proprietorship or a larger enterprise? If the former, you should definitely look to hiring one to two freelancers on a semi-regular basis to meet your needs. If the latter, a proven agency may be the way to go. 

It’s also important for a business to know what its expectations are and communicate that clearly to whomever you outsource your content. One advantage of in-house work is that generally these people will inherently understand the vision that a company has for its content. This is not a given with freelancers or agencies. 

Do you want to focus on video content that you hope to go viral to draw attention to your business? Or do you want to focus on blog content that engages a wide audience to draw leads in? The answers to this question (or even not knowing the answer) will help dictate your budget, who you should work with, and all other kinds of questions

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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Image by StartupStockPhotos

The post Outsourcing your content: the Dos and Don’ts appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Kenny Kline
Posted: July 5, 2017, 3:40 pm

Time flies! It’s already the end of the quarter. Let’s have a look at our top 5 content marketing articles written in the past 3 months. Let us know what you think in the comments section! Content curation for agencies – how to get started by Gina Tucker If you strive to save precious time and [...]

The post Our best content marketing articles, Q2 2017 appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

our-best-content-marketing-articles-q2-2017-scoop-it-final

Time flies! It’s already the end of the quarter. Let’s have a look at our top 5 content marketing articles written in the past 3 months. Let us know what you think in the comments section!

Content curation for agencies – how to get started by Gina Tucker

If you strive to save precious time and resources, this post is for you. Here are some easy ways to master content curation for agencies. Read more

Teasing content: how leading readers can produce big results by Anna Johansson

Nobody likes a tease in real life, but it can be quite powerful in the world of digital marketing. By teasing content, you can ignite curiosity and draw people in who otherwise wouldn’t give your content a second look. Read more

Here’s why you should consider a career in content marketing by Felicia Akligo-Etsey

Is content marketing worth it, career-wise? In this post, we give you data-backed insights on why you should consider a career in content marketing. Read more

4 options for managing your subscriptions better right now by Drew Hendricks

Subscriptions are the bread and butter of many sales teams – even though they’re often taken for granted. Here are 4 tips for managing your subscriptions better. Read more

Rethinking content marketing in the age of big data by Larry Alton

Data can certainly be valuable, but it is worthless if you don’t know what to do with it. Here’s how to rethink content marketing in the age of big data. Read more

If you want to understand what will make you succeed or fail at content marketing, and get 8 steps to beat the content marketing paradox, download our free eBook!
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Image by Alesia Kazantceva

The post Our best content marketing articles, Q2 2017 appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Felicia Akligo-Etsey
Posted: July 3, 2017, 12:12 pm

Agencies, your clients trust you to deliver great content over and over. Can you grow your revenue while ensuring consistent success to your clients?

The post Agencies: what can you expect from content marketing software? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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Content marketing is hard:

  • 60% fail to produce the right type of content consistently
  • 57% fail to measure content consistently
  • 30% only are effective with content marketing

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What does that mean for agencies? Well, content marketing is definitely bringing new opportunities but the challenges are real:

  • Scaling is hard: There are lots of moving parts to coordinate (strategy, planning, production, approval, distribution campaigns…), there’s a need renewable inspiration, and content success is not predictable
  • Proving the value is complicated: content performance measurement is difficult. Also, it’s hard to justify recommendations to invest 20%, 50% or 100% more budget based on pure ROI

Your clients trust you to deliver great content over and over. Can you grow your revenue while ensuring consistent success to your clients?

Agencies, we hear you!

There is an obvious desire to do content marketing, but agencies’ needs are very specific. At Scoop.it, we’ve been working with dozens of agencies so far and we realized how tricky embracing content marketing could be. To address this point, we worked hard at designing our content marketing automation software, Scoop.it Content Director, in a way it could help them meet their needs.

Scale and measure results with Scoop.it Content Director

We provide a solution that helps you scale and measure content marketing results through:

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Manage content for multiple clients from the same place

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Connect multiple websites, social channels or email platforms. Organize clients’ channels easily per workspace.

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Get inspiration by discovering trending content automatically, and supplement original content with curated content. If you want to know more about content curation for agencies, read this article!

Get more done thanks to smart content marketing automation

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Automate content distribution to social and email, and leverage automated workflows to re-share successful content over time.

Collaborate with external contributors, team members and clients

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Manage content drafts and approval workflows and get validation from clients on new content or social media posts.

Justify the ROI of the content services you provide

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Measure content impact on traffic and lead generation, but also visualize performance history and campaign impact for each content asset.

Agencies, it’s now time to embrace content marketing automation to grow revenue per client, and take on new clients. Sounds like a good fit? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below, or simply get in touch with us!

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The post Agencies: what can you expect from content marketing software? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Felicia Akligo-Etsey
Posted: June 29, 2017, 6:02 pm

Just like ‘timing is important’ in comedy so is it in email marketing.
The email send time is one of the most important things to consider if you wish to get your emails opened. And the perfect combination of sending at the right time to the right consumer in the right frame of mind is what lies behind the success of any email marketing strategy.

The post Weekdays or weekends? What’s the best time to send your emails appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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Just like ‘timing is important’ in comedy so is it in email marketing.

The email send time is one of the most important things to consider if you wish to get your emails opened. And the perfect combination of sending at the right time to the right consumer in the right frame of mind is what lies behind the success of any email marketing strategy.

Why it’s so important? Well, if you send an email at the wrong time (when subscriber is busy or does not prefer to see emails from you at a particular time), it may get lost in the cluttered inbox, thus diminishing the probability of getting opened (the risk of getting unsubscribed too cannot be ruled out).  

So, let’s come to the point. What should be the ideal time to send your emails? Is there any particular day be it a weekday or weekend that will guarantee opens and clicks?

Well, the fact is that there cannot be a fixed day or time and A/B testing is certainly the best way to get around this dilemma because the email list of every business comprises of people with different behaviors. Hence, the send time that is close to ideal for a particular marketer may not be as good for another; this may also vary from industry to industry. Moreover, for an industry that is affected by seasonal changes, like the travel industry, the send time may even change as per the time of the year. 

You thus need to keep experimenting in order to find that soft spot in the week.  

But you ought to have some starting point. This blog could be yours.

Delving into the day dilemma

Hubspot conducted a study to analyze the number of emails opened on each day of the week. Look what they found:

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The results reveal that Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday get the maximum volume of email opens. Tuesday, with 20% more opens than average, ranks number one followed by Monday and Wednesday with 18% more opens than average.

Thus, if you are seeking the best day to send your emails so that they are opened, you can opt for Tuesday at around 11 AM. Although the open rate on other days may differ, Coschedule agrees on Tuesday getting the highest opens.

Your informative/educational emails will be well received on weekdays. Then what about weekends?

Wading through the weekends

As you can see in the graph above, email open rates fall substantially during the weekend, the lowest being on Saturday. And that’s quite obvious as people, after working all week, prefer to spend more time with family and less time online.  

But you will be surprised to know that highest click-through rate occurs over the weekend! With lesser emails cluttering their inbox, subscribers may actually open your emails and even click-through. Moreover, if you are providing valuable content, the day of the week might not really matter as much; so don’t ignore the weekend.  

A study by Harland Clarke states that out of the 26.9% of emails sent on Wednesdays, only 15.6% were viewed by subscribers. On the other hand, on Saturday, when only 5.5% of emails were sent, 32.5% of them were viewed!

Sometimes, going against the flow can actually work in your favor.  

Hold on, it doesn’t work for one and all. It depends on your industry and what kind of content you are planning to send.

Check out this data found by Mailchimp. It will give you a good idea about who should try the weekend window and who should not.

While business content may have lesser chances of getting read on weekends, recreational content certainly gets a better response. However, although this might be a bird’s eye view of what happens to your emails on weekends, don’t forget that it does not beat the weekday record.

A peek into factors that dominate your send time

There are two things you need to consider before you set a time for sending your emails. Let’s check out these factors:

1. Who you are

It all begins with who you are. The kind of industry you belong to plays an important role in deciding whether you should email on weekdays or the weekend. It is advisable that B2B companies should stick to weekdays, to begin with. E-commerce companies and brands can email on weekends when subscribers are in a mood to shop.  

2. When are your subscribers active

Figuring out when your subscribers are active during the week is essential. Do they check your emails on weekdays (which day?) or weekend? Start sending emails on days when the engagement level is highest. Another way is to ask your subscribers when they prefer to receive emails from you. This is a great way to make sure your subscribers open and read your emails as they themselves have opted for a particular time.  Your welcome email or welcome series can ask for their choice.  


Ask your subscribers when they prefer to receive emails from you. @imkevin_monk
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Parting thoughts…

The only way to know the ideal days to send emails is to hold A/B tests and find out what works best for your list because even on your list, there may be subscribers who love the weekday emails and others who love to read them on weekends. Segmentation will help you here.

The ‘mid-week and mid-day’ rule is perfect, to begin with but from there on, after analyzing the results, you should be in a better position to come up with what you are looking for- the ideal email send time for you.  

P.S: Timing is important but not the ultimate truth. So, don’t you forget to create beautifully designed and perfectly coded emails.

And if you need help choosing the best software to skyrocket your content marketing results for 2017, download our free guide with over 44 tools reviewed!

Image by John-Mark Smith

The post Weekdays or weekends? What’s the best time to send your emails appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Kevin George
Posted: June 27, 2017, 3:00 pm

Every company today is collecting massive amounts of business data, but is this benefiting your content marketing strategy? Oftentimes, companies will spend hours pouring over the data they’ve collected only to come up with a few tidbits of information to enhance your content. That’s hardly worth the time and resources spent. If this sounds like [...]

The post Rethinking content marketing in the age of big data appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

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Every company today is collecting massive amounts of business data, but is this benefiting your content marketing strategy?

Oftentimes, companies will spend hours pouring over the data they’ve collected only to come up with a few tidbits of information to enhance your content. That’s hardly worth the time and resources spent.

If this sounds like your organization, you’re probably wondering if the benefits of data are just a myth. Data can certainly be valuable, but it shouldn’t be your sole focus. Data is worthless if you don’t know what to do with it.


Data is worthless if you don’t know what to do with it. @LarryAlton3
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Rather, content marketers should approach marketing based on the distinction between four info-gathering categories: data, information, knowledge, and narrative.

Definitions first

Before looking at the influence of these four categories on your marketing, it’s important to first define them.

  • Data: This is the term used to describe the raw numbers and words that a computer collects from online interactions. It’s totally disorganized and very difficult to interpret. The computer reads it just fine, but a computer can’t do your marketing for you.
  • Information: Information is what comes when the data collected has been translated into human language. It’s the processed version of data that gives meaning, context, and shape to an idea. It can be used to help businesses make decisions and can, therefore, denote progress.
  • Knowledge: This step comes after the information has been internalized and practiced. Humans gain knowledge when they don’t have to look at the information anymore to know how to act. Knowledge is incredibly valuable for businesses because it means identifying patterns and applying them in a creative way to do the most good.
  • Narrative: Once the data has been collected, processed into information, and internalized as knowledge on the marketing end, it can be developed for consumer use. This comes in the form of narrative, or a story told to the consumer. Narratives have different purposes, from giving information to entertaining, but all of them are designed with the target audience in mind.

You need all four to effectively “use data”

For the last few years, you’ve probably heard nothing but great things about data. However, out of the four essentials listed above, data is by far the least useful for content marketing. It’s an essential component, but when it stands alone, organizations can’t do much with it.

Content marketers have to understand that it’s not just about data. The numbers collected by computers are entirely useless if you don’t have information, knowledge, and narrative to carry them home. Marketers must use these building blocks to fill in the gaps and create the connections with their customers.

Putting it into practice

The ability to turn data into something useful is not out of reach for any company. Content goes from data to narrative in their content marketing all the time. Oftentimes, the creators don’t even realize they’re doing it because they don’t follow patterns developed from information. Essentially, they’ve skipped the knowledge step.

When developing content, it’s important to recognize the successful patterns of creating content and produce something that will convert or perform some other valuable function. Once you know how to structure and write compelling content, you can apply that pattern to all of your content.

Here’s an example of an auto parts company that achieved such with their blog post. They collected a bunch of data about how certain products work, but they didn’t publish it in its raw form on their blog. Instead, they turned it into a narrative that customers could understand and apply in their lives.

It started by recognizing a need. This is the first step in any content pattern. In this case, the authors recognized that many customers know very little about cars and the right tools for getting a specific job done – this blog post addresses exactly that.

Then, they wrote the article in terms that are simple to understand. Their customers aren’t unintelligent by any means, but they may not know all the jargon that an experienced auto mechanic would know. Their narrative simplifies the process for them.

Replicating the knowledge base

Any company, no matter their resources, can achieve the same. By using these building blocks, marketers can easily take worthless data and turn it into valuable content for their customers. Skipping steps, however, can slow down or even reverse your progress.

When you get so caught up in “data,” it becomes a drag on your company instead of a benefit.  Your goal as a content marketer is to develop a system that will bring that narrative to fruition. Using the building blocks and replicating the habits and solutions of those who have come before will create a stronger database for individual companies in the future.

Improving data quality

A quintessential component of improving data use in content marketing is improving the data we have. Overall, there’s a lack of trust and understanding regarding data, and it largely has to do with the poor quality of the data collected. About 95 percent of businesses in the United States use data to meet their business goals, but not even 44 percent trust the data they collect.

Capturing errors, errors in translation, or poor stewardship of data can all decrease the value of what’s collected. The process of keeping data pure is complex and difficult, so it’s no surprise that errors frequently emerge.

In all, greater data quality means a focus on data cleansing, which focuses on correcting inconsistencies and other minor errors. There’s also data integration, which generally involves merging disparate databases or different data systems feeding into an integrated database. Right now, these processes typically occur following migration; however, completing these two tasks before migration is essential to increasing quality and decreasing wasted time in collection.

Achieving a stronger database and implementing greater content marketing as a result will not happen overnight. Data management is an ongoing process. Many organizations have spent years trying to perfect it, but because the industry is constantly evolving, it’s difficult to find the right solution.

The most important step in improving data quality is sticking to the building blocks that make it a success. As organizations interpret, internalize, and apply the data collected, they’ll get more use out of their data for content marketing purposes. It will be a slow and steady chore, but the result will be well worth the effort.

If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!

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Image by Tirza van Dijk

The post Rethinking content marketing in the age of big data appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Larry Alton
Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:00 pm