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Website traffic is a major metric many marketers use to measure the success of their marketing campaigns. I won’t go into a debate about whether it is the right or wrong metric to watch but traffic is the basis of most marketing metrics. Unfortunately, most people still do not know what to do with website [...]

The post 3 ways to convert website traffic into sales appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Website traffic is a major metric many marketers use to measure the success of their marketing campaigns. I won’t go into a debate about whether it is the right or wrong metric to watch but traffic is the basis of most marketing metrics.

Unfortunately, most people still do not know what to do with website traffic even if they have tons of it. In my experience, many marketers focus more on driving traffic than on converting it, then they end up complaining about poor ROI on their marketing efforts. So what are the best ways to ensure you’ll make more sales on your site?

This article discusses three common ways marketers choose to monetize their site and how they can get higher ROI using these methods.

1. Leverage your marketing funnel

A marketing funnel is a fancy way of describing the customer’s journey from when they’re first aware of a business to when they’re ready to buy from a business.

Like you have in a literal funnel, visitors to your site are on the top of the funnel, and they move down the funnel based on their levels of interest in your product or service. So whenever you hear or see “widening the funnel” it simply means using several tactics to drive more traffic to a site.

But if you create and sell courses on your site, you’re probably wondering, “why should I create marketing funnels?”

When you spend money to send traffic to your course, it’s likely that most visitors will not be ready to buy from you yet. A funnel allows you to align marketing and sales to increase the chances that visitors will buy your course. That said, the next logical question is, how do you create a marketing funnel?

There’s a lot of information here on how you can create a marketing funnel so I won’t rehash it. But basically what you need to do is create appropriate content for each stage of the funnel–top of the funnel (ToFu), middle of the funnel (MoFu), and bottom of the funnel (BoFu).

For marketing funnels, you’ll typically need different tools to help you handle each stage of the funnel: email marketing, content, and landing page tools. This is the advantage of all-in-one platforms like HubSpot, with its various modules that are built from the ground up to work together seamlessly.

So, for example, if your product is an online course, you might consider using a platform like Kajabi, which offers built-in blogging tools that come fully integrated with webinar and email marketing tools, including a landing page builder that comes with dozens of templates.

As my colleague written before, webinars (MoFu content) are great for helping your audience decide whether your course will satisfactorily solve their problems or not. If you promote a webinar in a blog post using Kajabi, you can easily make the case for the value of your full courses in the webinar. Ultimately, you’ll see more conversions and sales with this method since webinars are statistically one of the most effective content formats in existence.

2. Always make it obvious what you’re selling

Blogging expert Jon Morrow encourages bloggers to start selling on their blogs from day one. It’s contrary to most of what you’ll read about selling on sites that are not e-commerce stores. Normally you’re encouraged to capture leads or subscribers and nurture them before pitching a product or service.

But like Morrow argues, when you start making money from your site no matter how little, it’s easier to stay motivated and keep at it in the long run.

It doesn’t matter what product or service you’re offering. For example, in the blog post on marketing funnels I linked to earlier, Scoop.it’s founder subtly mentions that Scoop.it is a content marketing automation software.

Whenever you can, subtly make reference to your product or service 

This doesn’t mean making your site and content on your site a giant sales pitch. But creating a page, either a “Shop,” “Services,” “About,” “Work with Us,” or “Hire Me” page to showcase your products or services. It’s not limited to the five above, you can always choose your own title as long as it’s clear to visitors that you’re selling on that page.

E-commerce platform BigCommerce allows you to embed a “buy now” button in your blog posts and other content pages. You can use it if you’ve written the backstory about a product you offer, tutorials explaining best practices for making the most of your products, or those gift recommendation roundup articles that always seem to draw a lot of shares. Below is an example of what I mean, taken from this page.

For digital products like ebooks, a platform like Podia can help you sell them directly on your site. Making your products and services visible on your site will increase your sales.

  1. Use upselling to your advantage

Many companies selling software have users in different stages namely trial, freemium, and paid users. For some of these companies, they have difficulties converting trial or freemium users into paying customers or making paid customers pay more to get better service or product features aka upselling. Though some may argue that making freemium customers pay for a product or service they’re currently using for free is still upselling.

Nevertheless, according to forEntrepreneurs, 70% to 95% of revenue comes from upsells and renewals. And on e-commerce sites, upselling is 20 times more effective than cross-selling. That shows it works, irrespective of your niche.

How do you upsell customers without annoying them or causing them to unsubscribe?

The normal upselling model looks something like this:

Acquire customers. Encourage them to upgrade their plan or subscription every chance you get—the shorter the free trial period, the sooner customers are bombarded with upselling emails.

While it is okay to convert unpaid users to paid users as soon as possible, a more practical approach is what is often encouraged in mobile app development circles: ask for a rating on the app store after a user has reached a certain milestone. In the case of SaaS companies, it means upsell after a user has reached a certain milestone.

For example, if your accounting software allows non-paying users to send a maximum of ten invoices a month, and a customer has already sent their tenth invoice and it’s nowhere near the end of their free trial yet, you can reach out and encourage them to upgrade their plan so they can send their eleventh invoice and so on. I know it’s bare bones, but I’m sure you get the point.

In contrast, marketing expert Neil Patel encourages charging some money from the start, that is letting users try your software for a low price. He makes the point that paying from the onset primes customers for an upsell later on. Here it is in practice from the folks at Ahrefs.

As you see above, Ahrefs offers a 7-day trial for $7, equivalent to paying $1 a day in the seven-day period.

You will need to test this out with your business to see which one is more profitable for you. Whichever route is more successful, always remember it’s still upselling that made the difference.

You can make more money

Your website is dead without traffic. But getting all the traffic in the world without increased revenue is a waste of opportunity. In fact, if you run a business that operates solely online, you’d be out of business in no time if you continue paying hosting fees plus other fees that come with maintaining a highly visited website without any revenue to show for it.

But your website is more than a hobby. And you’re serious about earning from it. These tips will help you do so and ensure your business is successful.

 

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The post 3 ways to convert website traffic into sales appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Jyoti Agrawal
Posted: May 21, 2018, 5:01 pm

There’s a lot that goes into developing an effective content strategy in today’s world, but if you want to be on the forefront of what’s happening in the marketplace, you have to account for the Internet of Things (IoT). Doing so will allow you stay on top of the latest trends and reach your audience [...]

The post 4 tips for developing a content strategy for the IoT appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

There’s a lot that goes into developing an effective content strategy in today’s world, but if you want to be on the forefront of what’s happening in the marketplace, you have to account for the Internet of Things (IoT). Doing so will allow you stay on top of the latest trends and reach your audience where they are.

Understanding the IoT impact 

In the most basic sense of the term, the IoT is built around the notion that any devices with an on/off switch should be able to connect to the internet and interact with any number of other internet-connected devices on the planet. 

The IoT has already fundamentally changed the way our society functions – and we’ve only just scratched the surface. There are currently somewhere around 11.2 billion connected devices around the world. By 2020, that number will have exploded to 20.4 billion.

It used to be that only computers, phones, tablets, and a handful of other devices could speak to each other. Today, you have these devices plus refrigerators, washing machines, cars, watches, medical devices, glasses, bathroom mirrors, doorbells, alarm systems, thermostats, air vents, light bulbs, solar panels, door locks, Bluetooth beacons, speakers, TVs, GPS tracking devices, cameras, robots, sleep trackers, and literally hundreds of other devices across dozens of different niches.

The ability for these devices to connect with each other only enhances their functionality. But from a business point of view, they also open up new opportunities for marketing, branding, and customer engagement.

Over the past few years, marketers have become increasingly aware of the importance of mapping the customer journey from discovery to purchase. In fact, a 2016 Econsultancy survey found that 7 out of 10 marketers believe a clearer picture of the customer journey is a massive priority in today’s highly fragmented marketplace.

“The beauty of IoT is that the deployment of internet-enabled sensors could provide marketers with real-time, contextualized data from online and offline touchpoints over a period of time,” says Sean Donnelly, a Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy. “In this sense, IoT may provide marketers with the final piece of the jigsaw that’s been missing to provide a unified approach to marketing activities, online and offline.”

4 tips for an IoT-worthy content strategy

In terms of digital marketing, an important responsibility your brand currently has is to develop and execute a content strategy that works with (not against) the proliferation of IoT devices. Let’s take a deeper dive into what this looks like: 

1. Collect and use actionable data

A strong content strategy in today’s marketplace starts with a robust data collection strategy that allows your business to understand who your customers are, where they’re spending their time, what they’re looking for, how they’re purchasing, etc.

The challenge with collecting data is that you have to do it in a safe and legal way. You also have to develop methods for sifting, organizing, and storing relevant data that can eventually be acted on.

In most cases, businesses will find it helpful to work with outside partners who can supply data. This data can then be plugged into marketing-specific solutions that provide keen insights and guidance that aligns with your content goals.

2. Pay attention to security

One of the biggest concerns with the IoT is network security. As Cato Networks explains, “Each new IoT endpoint introduced into a network brings a potential entry point for cybercriminals that must be addressed.”

When you look at IoT on a grand scale, the billions of devices sharing trillions of data points creates (in a sense) a long line of dominos. When a domino is toppled (or compromised), the results can quickly become catastrophic. 

If they want to stay safe and keep customer data secure, marketers must be aware of the security threats that exist inside and outside of their organizations.

3. Create customized content

One of the beautiful things about the IoT is that it provides so many insights. Specifically, it allows marketers to target customers based on location. The result is a totally novel approach to content creation and dissemination that previously didn’t exist.

“All of a sudden, content marketers can harness the power of app or text messaging to advertise a flash sale or locally based deal that is only available within a certain radius of a store, or better yet, to ‘push’ relevant location-based content depending on where the customer finds themselves,” marketing expert Chris Grundy writes. 

Content customization is key in a society where customers are used to personalized attention and results. For smaller brands to be able to deploy highly customized content on a regular basis will only close the gap that exists between them and larger brands.

4. Prioritize experiences 

Successful content marketing in the IoT age is all about prioritizing experiences. Instead of reading, watching, or listening to content, you want your readers to feel the content.

“A piece of content that is valuable, entertaining, informative and unique is crucial in offering a unique experience,” marketer Irfran Ahmed Khan says. “Storytelling is not new; more and more brands try out the idea of marketing their products through a brand story or a brand experience, instead of using traditional marketing methods. This trick allows people to feel rather than read, which simply increases the chances of getting more customer engagement.”

As you develop content that’s designed to work with customers throughout their journey from brand awareness to conversion, you need to invest in a consistent, compelling user experience that reveals a strong connection between your brand and positive emotions.

The future of content marketing 

The IoT isn’t a trend that will eventually disappear. We are only in the beginning stages of a fundamental shift in which devices are transitioning from isolated pieces of technology to powerful, interconnected solutions that have universal effectiveness and ubiquitous connectivity. Optimizing your content strategy to satisfy this shift will help your brand better understand the customer journey and satisfy pressing pain points with the right product at the right time.

 

how-to-design-a-content-strategy-ebook-cta-final

The post 4 tips for developing a content strategy for the IoT appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Scoop.it Team
Posted: May 17, 2018, 5:56 pm

For many marketers, content production can feel like throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something will stick. In a recent survey, 27% of respondents said that coming up with original ideas and producing creative content was most challenging part of their jobs. Just coming up with an original idea isn’t enough. You have to make [...]

The post How to reverse-engineer successful content marketing campaigns appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

For many marketers, content production can feel like throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something will stick.

In a recent survey, 27% of respondents said that coming up with original ideas and producing creative content was most challenging part of their jobs.

Just coming up with an original idea isn’t enough.

You have to make it compelling for your target audience so it achieves the business objectives of your marketing plan.

However, the fast-changing consumer preferences, media technologies, and market landscape make identifying the “winning” content strategy a moving target.

By the time you’ve done the market research, gone through your past campaigns, and analyzed the data, the insights could already be obsolete.

Not to mention that a top-down approach is extremely speculative – you have no data to tell if the insights generated are reflecting the actual customer preferences and behaviors. They could merely be assumptions.

So, what can you do to find out what really works for your audience to increase the chances of success for your content marketing campaigns?

You can respond faster to market trends and create more targeted content by adopting a data-driven approach to reverse-engineer content marketing campaigns that are already proven successful for your target audience.

Here’s how.

Step 1. Identify your objectives and content types

There are many reasons why marketers use content. Your first step is to clarify the objective of the campaign so you can identify the right campaigns to reverse-engineer from.

Is it something general like brand awareness and thought leadership? Or is it something more action-driven like lead generation and sales?

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You can certainly have more than one objective. But you need to be clear on which is the priority because different content, mediums, and distribution channels will be better for different goals.

For example, if your primary goal is thought leadership, you may want to focus on guest posting on authoritative sites:

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If your goal is brand awareness, you could try making highly-shareable content like infographics. Like this one by Copyblogger that generated over 263,000 shares:

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In both cases, you can certainly still include a call-to-action or content upgrade that collects leads. But that is secondary to your main goal of thought leadership or brand awareness.

It’s critical you have a clear objective because the campaign you’re reverse-engineering should match the objectives you hope to achieve.

In addition to the business objective of your marketing, you should ask yourself:

  • Why? – Identify the desired outcome of the campaign (e.g., mapping business goals and KPIs).
  • Who? – The audience of that campaign should match that of your target market.
  • How? – The distribution medium should be in line with your organization’s strategies and allow you to reach your market effectively.

Step 2. Identify your competitors

The best place to find a campaign to reverse-engineer will be from your competitors.

Now, these don’t necessarily have to be direct business competitors. They might just be content competitors.

That is a brand that might not be competing with you for customers, but still has what you want at this stage: readers, pageviews, and traffic.

It could be any company in an industry related to yours that creates similar content and competes for the attention of your audience and search ranking for your keywords.

Let’s look at GMass and Rare.io. They aren’t really competitors since they solve different problems.

GMass helps you efficiently personalize and send mass mail merge campaigns with automatic follow-ups:

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Rare.io is focused on helping eCommerce sellers create automated email campaigns, such as a welcome series or abandoned cart recovery:

But if you look at their blogs, you’ll see some common topics come up on both:

GMass Blog:

Rare.io Blog:

There are tons of brands writing good content about email optimization and strategies. Even if they’re products are completely different, they could be considered content competitors.

To identify these competitors, start by compiling a list of keywords you’d like to target.

Then search each of those keywords on Google and write down all the domains that appear on the first results page. Skip past the ads since you’re looking for companies with successful content campaigns, not PPC campaigns.

If you use a tool like Ahrefs, you can easily export the top results for each keyword you track:

 

This will make the next step even easier, which is to put all those domains in a document or spreadsheet and start narrowing it down.

Start by removing any duplicates.

Tip: I usually just put all of them in a spreadsheet and use the “Sort” feature to get duplicates side by side. If you have a lot of duplicates, you can use this Google Sheets Plugin to find and remove them.

Next, you should remove companies that aren’t really content competitors. This often includes major sites like Amazon, Wikipedia, and Twitter. These pages simply rank high because of who they are, not because of their content strategy.

After that, take a look at the actual content of each competitor. If it’s not great, pull them off the list too. There’s a lot that goes into ranking well in addition to great content. And there’s no point in mirroring campaigns that you don’t love.

Now that you have a shorter list, you should evaluate if the ones that are left are worth reverse-engineering.

  1. Take a look at their products and services. How closely do they match your offer?
  2. Use tools like SimilarWeb to evaluate how much your audiences overlap.

If the company’s audience closely matches yours, that’s great. Move them to the top of the list. If they have a similar product, that’s great too. But remember: content competition is the most important thing here.

Step 3. Evaluate their backlinks profile

The quality of backlinks is a good indicator of the quality of the content. Evaluating their backlinks will help you narrow down your list to 2-3 competitors that are performing the best.

So head over to a tool like Ahrefs and look up the competitors at the top of your list.

And you’ll be able to compare how many backlinks and referring domains they have. A lot of backlinks and referring domains is a good sign they have a strong content strategy:

As Brian Dean of Backlinko found, the number of referring domains is one of the most influential factors in content ranking:

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But it isn’t just about quantity. It’s also about quality.

As Neil Patel writes, high-quality backlinks are better for your search ranking.

Plus, you want to make sure that your site isn’t penalized for accidentally building a relationship with a site flagged as spam.

Brian Dean’s research backed this up by showing that the average web page link authority influenced search rankings.

However, he did note that “this correlation wasn’t as strong as the impact of the total amount of referring domains.”

So, while link quality is important, quantity might actually be more important for SEO purposes. As long as you’re not attracting sites that are so low-quality that they get you penalized for linkspam.

Use this data to select the best 2-3 content competitors to reverse-engineer.

Step 4. Identify and analyze their best-performing content

Start by using the data you collected in step 3 to identify the best-performing content from each competitor by seeing which piece has the most links pointing to it.

Since backlinks are one of the biggest SEO ranking signals, it makes sense that you want to imitate content that lots of people are linking to. It’s a proven indicator of success.

Backlinks will drive traffic to your content, which is great regardless of your main objective. They will also boost your keyword ranking for that article.

And over time, they’ll even raise your site’s domain authority, which will improve the ranking of your other content too.

Another place to look for successful content is BuzzSumo. You can type in keywords or competitor domain names here to see which of their content is being shared the most.

Just head over to their Content Research feature and look up Most Shared.

You only get a handful of free searches every day. So unless you’re ready to subscribe, choose your terms carefully or sign up for a free trial.

Tip: You can also get backlink data from BuzzSumo if you create an account.

Narrow it down to a few top pieces of content (those with the most shares and backlinks). Then visit each of them and see what kind of engagement they generated.

Check out how many comments they received and the type of conversations they’re creating.

These pieces will be the cornerstone of your next step.

Step 5. Get an overview of their content marketing strategy

Content marketing is a long game, and success is built on a consistent, long-term strategy.

That’s why you can’t just look at a single piece of content, copy it, and expect the same results.

You need to see the bigger picture.

Getting an overview will help you gauge the amount of time and resources that you need to put in before you can start expecting similar results.

You’re trying to answer these questions:

  • How frequently do they publish new content to replicate the results?
  • How long do you need to consistently create content before you start seeing results and can evaluate if the time frame works for you?
  • How much effort will it take to match the length, quality, and depth of the competitor’s content?
  • Is the amount of effort they put in proportional to the results they generate? In other words, is the ROI satisfactory?

The first two question should be easier to evaluate by looking at their blog, YouTube channel, or wherever they post their content.

The last two can be a bit harder to evaluate unless you’re an experienced content marketer.

Don’t worry – you’re not looking for exact answers. Just estimates.

One good way to get more accurate estimates would be to request quotes from freelancers on sites like ProBlogger or Upwork and see how much they would charge and how long it would take to create similar content.

Even if you plan to do the work yourself, it will give you a good estimate of the effort required and associated costs.

If you’re not sure how to evaluate the ROI, you can use the Site Explorer in Ahrefs:

This will give a lot of information about their page including the organic traffic and the estimated value of that traffic based on PPC costs:

Keep in mind that this only shows you estimates based on organic keyword rankings. This is only one type of ROI, and it’s best for content focused on brand awareness or inbound lead generation.

It might be harder to get estimates on things like page conversions. For that, it’s probably best to go with industry standards for now.

Step 6. Peek into their promotion

Successful content marketing is driven by promotion. So it won’t be enough to simply create content as good as your competition. You have to distribute it as well as they do, too.

That’s why Derek Halpern of Social Triggers says that you should spend 80% of your content marketing effort on promotion.

A great way to get started is by signing up for their email list to see what they send out to their subscribers.

Take Harry’s, for example. You might see content like this without many words and wonder how it could ever rank and get traffic.

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But in reality, it doesn’t have to rank. It simply has to be well-promoted. And Harry’s leverages their email list to do just that:

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If you want to take it a step further, use a tool like Owletter or MailChart to help analyze their email behaviors and segmentation strategy:

(Image Source)

Then look at how they promote content through social media. Check out their profiles and keep track of what they’re posting, when they’re posting, and how they’re spending their ad dollars.

You can search directly on Twitter and Facebook for the link:

There are a few things to look for here.

First, you can see who is sharing and retweeting the post. If they’re in your target audience, that’s a good sign. You can even reach out to these people later on to ask them to share your content.

Second, you want to notice any patterns that could hint toward their distribution tools.

For example, you might see the same tweet repeatedly. This suggests they’re using some type of automated distribution tool like Quuu or Click To Tweet.

And third, you should look to see if they’re working with any influencers to promote their content.

If industry influencers are regularly sharing their content, you should write down their names, Twitter handles, and any other contact information you can find.

Once you start producing content, you’ll want to reach out to these same influencers.

After you’ve checked out their emails and social media, it’s time to see if they’re doing any guest posting.

Search the company and CEOs name, but exclude searches from their own site by adding -example.com to the end of your query. (Of course, you’ll replace “example” with the company domain.)

Repeat this for the company name, CEO/founder’s name, and any other key players that publish on their blog.

Write down the name of the sites they’re published in so that you can reach out and post in the same publications when the time comes.

One last thing you can check is to see if they’re running any ads for their content. This is a little tricky to see, but not impossible.

You’ve probably spent a good amount of time on their site during this process.

You should start getting targeted by any retargeting ads — if they exist. Just keep an eye out. You can also use WhatRunsWhere to get a breakdown of your competitor’s ads across the web:

(Image Source)

It will also notify you when a new ad from your competitor goes live, so this can be a great tool to keep for the future.

Step 7. Decide what to mirror and how to stand out

Not all of the content ideas and types that work for your competitors will work for you.

If you simply copy your competition blindly, you’ll fail to create your own brand and audience.

You may even end up like New Coke – the Coke recipe that attempted to taste just like Pepsi and ended in complete disaster.

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What Coke failed to realize is that people who preferred Pepsi were already satisfied with Pepsi. By offering them essentially the same product, they provided no new value. No incentive to switch.

Compare that to Coke’s strategy today, which is to provide a wide variety of flavor options.

Sure, Pepsi and Coke mirror each other’s new additions. But they try to make each one their own.

Don’t just copy their case study. Produce your own using your tools and expertise to help a client succeed.

In addition to adding your own voice, it pays to think strategically about what content you’re going to tackle.

For example, if the domain has years of history and high authority scores, they will have an easier time ranking for competitive keywords.

Simply imitating their content won’t be enough to bring the same results. So you need to be realistic and strategic about what keywords to go after.

Also, consider the full picture and your business goals from the earlier steps.

They might have some great bottom-funnel content that seems to be converting really well. But don’t jump straight for that and ignore all the content that customers engage with earlier on.

You also need to make sure that you put a unique spin on the content to stand out from competitors. Try approaches like Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique to take your competitor’s content and improve on it.

Come up with a unique angle, provide more comprehensive information, and have some personality.

Conclusion

Content marketing can feel like a lot of guesswork in the beginning. Working hard to produce and hoping it all pays off in a few months.

It can be hard to figure out what your audience wants and how to best deliver that message to them.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Others have done it before. And by reverse-engineering their success, you can make it yours.

Just go through the seven steps outlined here:

  1. Identify your objectives and content types.
  2. Identify your competitors.
  3. Evaluate their backlinks profiles.
  4. Identify and analyze their best-performing content.
  5. Get an overview of their content marketing strategy.
  6. Peek into their promotion.
  7. Decide what to mirror and how to stand out.

And finally, get to work.

Start producing content.

It may still take some time to start seeing the same (or better) results as your competition. But this process of reverse-engineering will take the guesswork out of it so you can move forward with confidence.

The post How to reverse-engineer successful content marketing campaigns appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Brad Smith
Posted: May 15, 2018, 4:00 pm

Everyone is familiar with Yammer, the Enterprise Social Network bought by Microsoft back in 2012. The platform made it to the top 3 best enterprise social networks according to Collaboration Software.

The post How to integrate Scoop.it with Yammer? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Everyone is familiar with Yammer, the Enterprise Social Network bought by Microsoft back in 2012. The platform made it to the top 3 best enterprise social networks according to Collaboration Software.

Why curation should be part of your enterprise social network

Social networks are the best tools for communication and sharing between individuals – obviously, businesses could not miss out on the opportunity to leverage them. That’s why Yammer has been created: the idea behind the tool was to emulate on social media and to adapt it to the corporate world.

That being said, we share things easily on Facebook, but it’s not that simple when it comes to sharing content with colleagues. Are they interested in what you have to share anyway?

The reality is, many enterprise social networks struggle with animation and engagement. Because no-one really publishes content on there!

And that’s why content curation is your savior. We know how powerful curation is when it’s in the hands of the best curators in the company. The idea is simple: push curated content to enterprise social networks. That’s an efficient way to share knowledge and make employees aware of the biggest trends in the industry.

Content curation tools aren’t social media tools. They complement one another!

Content curation tools like Scoop.it, aren’t “user-centric” by definition but rather “content-centric” with a big focus on monitoring. Enterprise social networks are “people-centric” tools, but that one cannot live without people pushing content on to the platform. So posting relevant content through curation helps in that regard.

How do Scoop.it and Yammer work together?

Scoop.it developed an integration that helps disseminate curated content on Yammer. Here you can share to two different levels: the profile and the group.  Here’s how to do it:

1- Connect your Yammer account to Scoop.it: profile and/or groups

Start by going to the user “Settings” section:

Then go to the “Sharing Options” tab :

Here you can connect a Yammer profile (represented by this icon):

Or, you can connect a Yammer group :

If you choose to connect a group, you can then choose which one to connect to Scoop.it:

Once connected, Yammer profiles and groups are displayed on the page:

Here it is! Everything is set up, now you can move on to the next step: the topic creation

2- Create one or several topics pages on Scoop.it

The topic page on Scoop.it is where you store the findings of your curation activity. This topic page can be managed by one or several experts in the company.

Depending on the subjects you’re interested in, Scoop.it allows you to create one or several topic pages, and “scoop” content from the entire web and benefit from millions of sources offered by 4 millions of curators on the platform. Of course, these sources can be filtered by keyword.

Start by creating a topic page:

3- Publish your piece of content on Yammer

Then, let Scoop.it suggests the best pieces of content:

Of course, the content published on your topic page can be edited – you can modify the title, the featured image and the excerpt displayed by default. It’s als possible to add your own personal insight and tag your content so you can retrieve it easily later.

You can also choose to share the piece of content on Yammer as well as adding your own message.

If you only want to share on Scoop.it first, and share it with Yammer afterwards, that works too!

Once the post published, you’ll be able to see it on Yammer on profile or Group level:

Warning! The Yammer integration is not available for all Scoop.it plans. If you want to know more about it, just let us know!

The post How to integrate Scoop.it with Yammer? appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Benoit Lamy
Posted: May 9, 2018, 3:00 pm

Content marketing is all the rage. The amount of content published online every second is insane. The craze around it is not anywhere near dying down. As the competition for user eyeballs is getting more and more intense, marketers are striving to find new strategies that actually work. Obviously, excellent articles require excellent writers. Just some kind of yeah-whatever-writing level is no longer enough.

The post How to propel your content marketing without actually writing texts appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Content marketing is all the rage. The amount of content published online every second is insane. The craze around it is not anywhere near dying down. As the competition for user eyeballs is getting more and more intense, marketers are striving to find new strategies that actually work. Obviously, excellent articles require excellent writers. Just some kind of yeah-whatever-writing level is no longer enough. It’s not 2010 anymore, when you could hire a $10 per article freelancer to put together some SEO-packed texts and rest assured thinking your content marketing mission is complete.

Unfortunately for marketers and luckily for users, Google is constantly changing its algorithms. Now, the content you are writing should be superb. There’s literally no choice, but creating epic content holding enormous value to the reader. If you still opt for the no-value watery texts, it’s just a question of time when the big G pushes you far down in its search results.

That said, how do you stand out in the ocean of high-quality content? Moreover, how do you find time or resources to create content for your company on a regular basis? Hiring a good copywriter is a pain. Hiring an excellent copywriter in-house is close to impossible these days. I know this first hand. However, the content should be still written. Today, I’ll share some of the hacks we’ve used at Chanty to come up with the excellent articles without even involving a copywriter. While some of them let you completely outsource the writing, others can help to significantly save your time.

1. Let your colleagues become the source of knowledge

Every single one of your colleagues is a bank of knowledge and valuable advice. Don’t ignore that when creating your next piece of content. E.g. we’ve asked our team members a question: “What do you need for effective team collaboration?” The results have been reflected in this article.

The article sourced by our colleagues

Not only this approach helps you save on a copywriter. An article based on an expert opinion of your colleagues provides extra value for the readers. Moreover, by sharing team member insights you have a higher chance to establish a better connection between your company and your potential customers.

This approach works pretty much for every niche. Are you a software engineering company? – You can work on a piece “What makes software engineers happy / drives mad?”

Working in a young team? – Dive into “What do millennials really want from work?”  

Building a productivity app? – Run a productivity challenge (e.g. try Pomodoro Technique or give up coffee for a few weeks) within your team. Share the results with your readers afterward.    

You’ll be surprised to discover the bright ideas your colleagues will share that you haven’t thought of before. While two heads are known to be better than one, several heads of your team could absolutely work wonders.

2. Leverage the good old co-marketing

Co-marketing can drastically save your time and effort. It a nutshell, it’s partnering with another company (or companies) to jointly promote each other products or services. Let me give you two examples of how cooperating with other companies helped us in creating great content.

  1. About a year ago I got to know Adam Hempy, the CEO at Better Proposals. He was fascinated by our content marketing activity. Adam hasn’t had much experience in content marketing in the past. At the same time, he’s a hell of a writer. Later on, we happened to cooperate with OpenView blog editor and agreed to write a guest post. We didn’t have a writer available by that time so we asked Adam if he was free for this co-marketing gig. He wrote an exceptional article including both our tools (Chanty and Better Proposals) to the article. As a result, Chanty has saved time on writing and Adam didn’t have to spend long hours outreaching editors. Yet, we both received an extra exposure for our products along with a backlink. Win-win!
  2. My ex-colleague and I are good friends. We are both heading marketing departments in non-competing companies. Moreover, our offices are five minutes away. Every now and then we try to use every opportunity to market each other. Recently, we’ve joined our efforts while writing articles on (ironically) co-marketing for Contently and Rebrandly blogs. Each of us wrote one article, but received an exposure on two blogs. Another win-win.

3. Post a request at Help A Reporter Out (HARO.com)

If you aren’t familiar with HARO, you should definitely give it a try. It’s a platform that connects experts with journalists (or those looking for an expert opinion). If the Alexa rank of your website is one million or less, you are free to post a request for an expert answer on HARO. Sometimes, though, you’ll get replies that aren’t very relative or a number of comments with a very little value. Obviously, you won’t be including these into your article. However, with time and a bit of luck, you’ll be able to find your gem.

Here’s what head of marketing at Daxx has to say about HARO:

“HARO turned out to be a very efficient way to double the content production for our corporate blog with minimum resources spent. From only one HARO query we’ve managed to get four high-quality interviews. This means +1 blog post every week. And these blog posts are great!  They feature photos, share real-life experience of the company. What’s even more important is HARO lets you build connections that you can use for co-marketing activities in the future.”

This is how submitted HARO query looks like

4. Outreach experts via email or social media

HARO is great, but when it comes to getting a reply from a top-tier expert, your chances are quite low with this platform to say the least. Once you face the need to interview a world-class company, the only way to achieve it is to reach out directly. It’s exactly how we managed to interview companies like Stack Overflow, GoDaddy, GitHub and Buffer. As result, we were able to post the articles on Growth Marketing Conference and Technology Advice.

Our outreach email to Hootsuite

Even the greatest companies don’t mind to get an extra exposure. Therefore, my advice is – don’t be afraid to write a direct email to the person clearly explaining:

  • what kind of post you are working on (include a topic name)
  • where and when it’s going to be published
  • which question or questions do you want this person to answer
  • why this person’s answer is important (does he or she have a particular expertise on a topic you are covering?)

Here’s one pro tip – make sure the blog you are writing for is a well-known one. Clearly, big companies won’t be interested in exposure on a no-name blog. If you mention a platform that rings a bell, your chances for an interview will dramatically improve.  

Keep in mind though, outreaching a busy top manager from a big company isn’t a cakewalk. You should be ready for a number of follow-ups. If you’ve exhausted all of your patience with email outreach, try social media. If possible, go with LinkedIn and Twitter first as Facebook is for more personal communication. This is where you should establish some trust first – follow, like and leave insightful comment on the posts of the person you want to interview. This will help you break the ice and start a conversation.    

5. Let guest contributors in

As we’ve started seeing some exposure with Chanty blog, a handful of guest writers had knocked onto our doors asking for a publication. This is when our team thought it would be a nice idea to put together a contributor’s guideline page. After all, guest posts are a great source of fresh content on a regular basis.

Once it was live, the deluge of guest blogging requests started attacking our inbox. For some time we’ve accepted guest posts to our blog and even made a dedicated section for them. However, the amount of low-quality articles required a lot of our proofreading time. Eventually, we had to stop accepting guest posts as it took too much of our time. However, it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Here’s an advice based on our experience:

  • Be picky. Don’t just publish every other post you receive hoping it’ll increase your traffic.
  • No fluff. The content should be unique, detailed and contain an actionable advice.
  • Check the record. Has the author written amazing articles in the past?  
  • Excessive backlinks. Get rid of them unless they are super relevant.
  • Spammy anchors. Just remove them.
  • Require links to sources. By sources, I mean recent industry researches and studies from credible websites.     

The one huge issue with guest blogging is keeping up with the overall quality of your blog. Accept only the best content and watch out for irrelevant backlinks to prevent your blog from ruining. As Corey Wainwright has nailed it in this article for Hubspot: “Never sacrifice a great user experience to scratch your contributor’s inbound link itch.”

In the end…

I’ve listed several ideas that we’ve actually tried with our team on how to create content without a copywriter. Sourcing ideas from other people whether they are your colleagues, employees in a world-class company or HARO experts is one way to go. Guest writers could also provide a valuable input to your blog in a form of useful content. Moreover, partnering up with another company is sure to help you on a mission to create content with less effort and more results.

Does it mean you can now run a blog without a copywriter? Hell no. But our advice will surely let you save a whopping amount of time while creating content that’s more insightful, personal and expertise-based.

 

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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The post How to propel your content marketing without actually writing texts appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Olga Mykhoparkina
Posted: May 7, 2018, 5:39 pm

When you think about the most important pages on your website, which ones come to mind? Most people think about the homepage, key product pages, or even sales landing pages. But what you may not realize is that your About Us page probably ranks near the top. The purpose of the About Us page The [...]

The post 6 content writing tips for your website’s About Us page appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

When you think about the most important pages on your website, which ones come to mind? Most people think about the homepage, key product pages, or even sales landing pages. But what you may not realize is that your About Us page probably ranks near the top.

The purpose of the About Us page

The About Us page tends to be an afterthought for most businesses and content marketers, but it represents some of the best value and engagement on your entire website.

The purpose of the About Us page is to educate visitors on your brand, where it’s been, where it’s going, and why it’s worth interaction. This is the page where you let down your hair, show your emotions, and humanize your brand in a brief, concise manner that shines a positive spotlight on your company.

“Depending on the specific company, some information about goals, attitude or other aspects of culture that aren’t strictly tied to business practices are included as well,” BigCommerce explains. “The About Us page is often a reflection of the purpose and personality of the business and its owners or top employees.”

6 tips for writing your About Us content

From a content perspective, the About Us page demands your utmost attention. While the exact strategy you use to reach your audience will depend on a number of unique factors, here are some big-picture tips for success.

1. Stop making it all about you

The term “about us” indicates that this page is all about your brand. However, resist the temptation to be self-serving. If you make everything about your brand, you’re going to unintentionally push your visitors away. You must strike a healthy balance.

Dedicate the first few sentences to the challenges and objectives of your audience. By starting with them and identifying their reasons for interacting with your brand, you can carefully establish trust and build a powerful connection that ultimately results in brand loyalty.

2. Establish trust

You’re certainly aware of how important trust is in your content marketing strategy. It’s one of the foundational building blocks that must be present in order for your content to really pierce your visitors in a profound and effective manner. And having said that, you need to be sure your About Us page is focused on establishing trust from the very start.

The Drug Treatment Finders About Us page provides a good example of what it looks like to establish trust. They focus on reducing friction and promoting transparency in what is a highly emotional field. Study some of the techniques they use and look for opportunities to establish trust on your own page.

3. Have customers craft the content

One strategy that’s effective for many companies is to actually let others do the talking for them.

Instead of carefully crafting every word of text on your About Us page, consider letting your customers do some of the heavy lifting. By incorporating customer testimonials and reviews on this page, you can help visitors see your brand through a more objective filter.

You obviously have to be careful with what content you use. You’ll want to handpick the reviews and testimonials you believe align with your brand story and objectives – but don’t go too crazy. There’s something valuable about raw, unedited feedback that really connects with people.

4. Let visual content shine through

It’s easy to forget that content refers to more than just text. If you want to make your content strategy effective on multiple levels, you’d do well to include visual content as well.

The Twitter About Us page is a nice example of how effective visuals can be. They use a combination of video, high-resolution images, and simple graphics to help visitors understand their brand identity and beliefs.

5. Specific information is best

Providing generic content on your About Us page is safe and easy. But if you really want to connect with customers and provide practical value, specific content is far more effective.

Inc.com contributing editor Jeff Haden explains it best when he says, “If I want to outsource product fulfillment, ‘providers of outstanding customer experiences’ means nothing to me, but ‘99.7% on-time shipping with a .0021% error rate for the past five years’ means a lot – because it means you care about, measure, and deliver a service critical to my business.”

How specific can you get with your audience? If the content you publish on your About Us page doesn’t make you feel a little vulnerable, you probably aren’t being specific or honest enough.

6. Tell visitors how to proceed

One of the worst things you can do is fail to fully leverage your About Us page. If you’ve done a good job of clearly conveying your brand to your visitors and engaging them on a meaningful level, you would be remiss not to lead this into a “next step” (which could be anything from opting into an email list to purchasing a product or service).

As part of your About Us page, you need to provide your visitors with some clear direction on how to proceed. Generally, this happens via a call-to-action. The key is to keep this CTA simple and straightforward. You want to maintain the momentum you’re building, not overwhelm visitors with a list of things they need to do.

Always study the website analytics for your About Us page. You can learn a lot about its effectiveness by keeping an eye on things like bounce rate, click-through rate, average time on page, and traffic referral sources.

Don’t miss this opportunity

It’s easy to look at your About Us page as an afterthought. It’s usually something businesses throw together right before publishing their site to the internet. However, once you realize how much traffic and exposure this page gets, you’ll begin to understand how important it really is.

When it comes to telling your brand story and engaging customers in a personal manner, the About Us page is one of the most effective tools you have. Think strategically about your content and don’t miss out on this opportunity.

how-to-design-a-content-strategy-ebook-cta-final

The post 6 content writing tips for your website’s About Us page appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Larry Alton
Posted: May 3, 2018, 3:00 pm

Content marketing has come a long way. Content marketers have gone from forcing TV viewers to watch ads, to sneaking ads between mobile game episodes to hiding the “X” button on website content ads. The good news is that today it is possible to get people to consume your content without compulsion or tricks. And [...]

The post How artificial intelligence will become a game changer in your content marketing appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Content marketing has come a long way. Content marketers have gone from forcing TV viewers to watch ads, to sneaking ads between mobile game episodes to hiding the “X” button on website content ads. The good news is that today it is possible to get people to consume your content without compulsion or tricks. And tomorrow, that possibility will get even stronger.

Today, content marketers spend hours designing and producing content that appeals to their audience, so they can convey their message with ease. Tomorrow, AI will do the same for these marketers, at a much faster rate, efficiently producing more effective content. As time passes, here are the major changes that AI will bring in your content marketing.

Content production efficiency will spike

The demand for content will increase, as the world heads towards hyper-personalization on a per-person basis. Brands will begin to produce content for smaller, more focused groups of people and content marketers will be pressurized to create even more content on a daily basis. AI will come to their rescue by greatly increasing the speed and efficiency with which content can be produced, with parallel spell checks, grammar checks and headline suggestions. Since AI can also be programmed to run parallel plagiarism checks, content marketers will also be able to use AI tech to generate 100% unique content, every single time.

This increased productivity is an almost certain product of the development of AI in the content marketing space. In fact, this transformation has already begun to manifest with bots writing entire articles on topics such as stock market trends and sports recaps.

Even though this technology hasn’t reached the mass-market, you can see signs of it on widely used web apps such as Google Docs. As I’m writing this article, I’m able to select phrases and avail link/source suggestions based on the words in them.

Audience data analysis will get automated

Analysis of audience behavior and characteristics data has become an essential part of content marketing today. After all, most content marketers rely on such data to direct the content marketing platforms and strategies they use when reaching out to their target audience. In the past, audience data analysis may have been manual but today it isn’t. Several 3rd-party software is enabling content marketers to collect and analyze data representing audience behavior on various communication channels. Social media, email and websites allow content marketers control over not only publishing but also tracking content on them. AI can bring new life to such efforts.

With AI monitoring audience behavior, storing data and drawing conclusions about target groups, brands will be able to track prospective customers across multiple channels and convert them more quickly and effectively. Marketers will also be able to serve targeted content and provide relevant and pre-emptive customer service.

This type of analytics already exists in different software focused on separate platforms on the internet. However, while software like Google Analytics and Similar Web and racing to enable cross-platform deep-analytics, we’re still a long way away from experiencing that reality.

Data based fine-targeting will become effortless

Extracting insights is only part of a content marketer’s problem. A good content marketer can not only pull insights but also apply them to create and distribute the best content. And the products that result from creation and distribution can vary in quality and relevance. The results of content marketing depend on the choices that content marketers make in the content they create and the platforms they use to promote it. With AI, content marketers can ensure that the content created is perfectly tuned to audience insights and that the platforms and times chosen for publishing are exactly right.

Furthermore, AI-powered technology can make this entire process run real-time, so marketers can experience results quicker than anticipated. This real-time execution of strategy will enable marketers to drive referrals and conversions through content like never before.

AI could even assess potential content targets real-time, recording their most recent behavior and choices on the internet to predict if it’s the best time to deliver content. Such focused targeting can even change the way the audience perceives brand content.

Omni-channel client tracking will become real-time

Customers will become harder to track as media options grow more diverse, unless technology can catch-up and provide content marketers with new ways to track customers across different channels. If you’re not sure why omnichannel client tracking is important, consider this. Customers are more demanding than ever before, and they won’t want to repeat their experience on each channel to get to communicate with someone from your company. They’ll want you to understand what’s up and resolve their issue without having to face delays of any kind. AI can not only help you track customers across channels (regular tools can also do this), but also maintain real-time records of their communication and respond to them in the best way possible.

Recently one of my Mr. Laduram from Acquire.io who is working on the AI, stated that “Omni-channel client tracking opens many doors for content marketers among which are opportunities to make an impression on new customers and to turn existing customers into long-term, loyal customers.” All that’s required is a complete picture of a customer’s experience and the best way in which the brand can respond.

Ai technology can even work backwards and analyze customer profiles, and tell you how you can start the conversation with customers on different channels.

Social media mining will drive hyper-personalized content

Studies will tell you that people use social media for anywhere up to two hours on a daily basis. And people use social media for all purposes, from finding their news to keeping in touch with friends and family. This mass-adaptation of social media has made it a rich source for audience insights. Content marketers can leverage such data insights to transform many of the tasks they perform on a daily basis, from creating blog posts to creating email newsletters or even social media posts. Social media mining and analysis (run by AI) can give you top-notch customer-centric insights that you could even apply to your business model to directly boost referrals, conversions and sales.

In marketing, mood is an important factor. In fact, many marketers who are great at creating content sometimes fail because they misjudge audience sentiments. With AI and social media mining, content marketers will be able to predict audience moods and create content to echo them.

Finally, social media mining can also produce real and high-potential leads. Content marketers and sales teams can use these leads to generate business directly or through a content-based lead nurturing system.

Wrap

AI can change the content marketing game with the efficiency, data insights and real-time application ability that it can provide. The time when bots take over content research, creation and distribution is not far from now, and content marketers should prepare themselves for the disruption.

The post How artificial intelligence will become a game changer in your content marketing appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Sawaram Suthar
Posted: May 1, 2018, 4:22 pm

We regularly have questions about the benefits of content curation for SEO. Does content curation help SEO? Isn’t it harmful duplicate content? Isn’t it low-quality content? How can I use it to get my original content to rank? And many more… At Scoop.it, we’ve been observing the impact of content curation on SEO for a while [...]

The post Content curation for SEO: why it works, how to do it right appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

We regularly have questions about the benefits of content curation for SEO. Does content curation help SEO? Isn’t it harmful duplicate content? Isn’t it low-quality content? How can I use it to get my original content to rank? And many more…

At Scoop.it, we’ve been observing the impact of content curation on SEO for a while so we wanted to summarize our findings and the recommendations we can derive.

Does content curation work for SEO? Some data

As mentioned, we have ourselves a lot of data points on this topic. Since 2011, we look at:

  • Data from the Scoop.it platform itself, probably one of the largest traffic audience based exclusively on content curation, and where curated stories published by our users attract millions of visitors every month, 55%+ of which from Google Search.
  • Data from our Scoop.it Content Director clients – a lot of which using a mix of curated and original content either in the form of curated blog posts or as curated content hubs.

We also curate and read a lot on this topic to analyze what other marketers observe and report, including:

  • “Curating content delivers quality traffic, generates lots of backlinks, enhances your online presence and, therefore, boosts your SEO” (Cognitive SEO)
  • “Content curation has the ability to bring content alive and generate traffic making it highly linkable” (Cognitive SEO)
  • Content curation works as long as it’s accompanied by enough original content. (Search Engine Journal)
  • “By running a solid campaign that allows you to publish curated content regularly, you can drive more referral traffic and get noticed by influencers in your industry. Ultimately, these conditions will increase your businesses’ reputation and rankings.” (Rankpay)

Why content curation helps SEO

Of course, we’re not Google and we can not say “Google works like this”. But we’ve made the following observations that lead to a methodology to use content curation for SEO.

  • Content curation helps provide fresh content to a site: providing you have the right content curation tools, it’s much faster and easier to create a post with a few comments on third-party content than writing your own well-researched post (our research suggests 4-8x times faster). So in the same amount of time devoted to content production, you’ll publish more fresh content if you use a mix of curation and creation than if you rely solely on creation. This content freshness is a ranking factor: no site ranks for long these days without daily/weekly updates…
  • The more content you publish, the more ranking opportunities you have. For the same reasons, you’ll have more content and each of these content pieces is a chance to rank – probably not for a highly demanded short-tail keyword but possibly for a long-tail keyword or keyword combination.
  • Perhaps most importantly, curated content provides internal backlink opportunities to your original cornerstone content (the pieces that compete for the short tail keywords). Every time you add a comment to an article or a video you turn into a curated blog post, you can link to your own original piece on a related topic. You can naturally create internal backlinks that will signal your important content on your site and build an SEO cluster around it much faster with a combination of supporting keyword combination.

The last point is important to understand. As many SEO experts have explained, a modern approach to creating content that ranks consists in building clusters where your main content asset (also called a cornerstone piece) will be supported by a collection of satellite content on related topics that link back to it. As this HubSpot shows in the following diagram, topic clusters are the way to rank as Google moved from keywords to topics:

So while you should definitely focus on creating your pillar content, the question is: can you afford to create enough cluster content yourself to support your pillar content assets?

Content curation done right is your opportunity to do that without exponentially increasing your content budget.

Our recommended methodology to use content curation for SEO

So here’s our take on why and how to use content curation for SEO:

1. Content curation does not replace original content:

It’s a great way to support it but we absolutely recommend that you keep doing original content.

2. Evaluate the amount of supporting content you’ll need for each SEO cluster:

Creating a cluster of content can take dozens of related pieces of content. Don’t underestimate the workload. 

3. Focus your content creation efforts on what matters (= pillar content):

Creating content is hard. Creating a lot of supporting original content is impossible. Our recommendation is to focus your original content creation work on cornerstone content that has a chance to rank for your strategic keywords.

4. Leverage curated content for your cluster content:

It’s to reach volume targets, maintain a strong update frequency and provide support to these cornerstone pieces through internal backlinks that we recommend using curated blog posts.

5. Format your curated blog posts according to best practices:

At the minimum, make sure your curated blog posts:

  • include only a short quote from the original source (never the full article as it would be duplicate content while a short quote won’t),
  • include a do-follow backlink to the original source (which, if the source is reputable, is a positive SEO signal),
  • include your 150-300 word commentary (that our clients typically produce in 10-20’ so 4-8x faster than an original blog post)
  • include an internal backlink to a piece of original cornerstone content.

6. Each of these curated blog posts will provide you with:

  • an opportunity to rank on long-tail keywords / keyword combinations (it won’t beat original content but it still provides non-negligible traffic),
  • more importantly, a wide range of natural internal backlinks to your original cornerstone content (therefore a way to build your SEO topic clusters more rapidly / build more topic clusters),
  • a cost-effective way to maintain the freshness of your site, also a key ranking factor (no site ranks for long these days without daily/weekly updates…)
  • an opportunity to reach out to curated sources and ask them for a backlink (it’s much easier to get a backlink when you’ve done the first step).

Note that we’re not saying this is the only way to use content curation for SEO.

  • Another way to do it is to create a curated content hub, where you can display highly-valuable, engaging pieces of content.
  • You could also curate by writing round-up posts, like this one for instance). However, keep in mind that although this type of post is an easy way to curate content, the process of gathering enough insights from contributors can be time-consuming!

Conclusion

If you want to boost SEO rankings, content curation is your best bet. Content curation helps you publish faster, and the more content you publish, the more ranking opportunities you have. However, you can’t expect proper results if you don’t make sure to follow content curation best practices and methodologies. We gathered them in a short eBook, don’t hesitate to check it out!

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The post Content curation for SEO: why it works, how to do it right appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Guillaume Decugis
Posted: April 27, 2018, 4:25 pm

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the tech world’s golden goose. Machine learning’s incredible potential for task automation and productivity has a home in almost every industry, and companies all over the world are tapping into the technology. The integration of AI-powered chatbots and data-driven analytics can improve user experiences and reduce the workload on human service [...]

The post How companies are using data-driven AI to improve customer experiences appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the tech world’s golden goose. Machine learning’s incredible potential for task automation and productivity has a home in almost every industry, and companies all over the world are tapping into the technology. The integration of AI-powered chatbots and data-driven analytics can improve user experiences and reduce the workload on human service agents, benefiting customers and companies alike.

The future of AI technology is already here; here’s how companies are leveraging the power of AI.

The age of artificial intelligence

“Artificial intelligence” is broadly defined by the development of a computer program that can “learn” on its own, without input from a human programmer. Despite decades of research dating back to as early as WWII, no computer program currently exists that can match human intelligence. Many complex cognitive tasks are simply out of reach.

Despite its limitations, breakthroughs in machine learning now allow computers to mimic the neural networks we use to solve problems. This means that a certain degree of learning is possible, which is opening up new applications of AI technology that were unavailable just a few years ago. These systems aren’t truly “intelligent,” but they do allow the productive use of massive amounts of data, beyond what human analysts can manage.

For businesses, artificial intelligence promises the automation of many time-consuming tasks that currently require intensive human input. Artificial intelligence doesn’t necessarily mean that workforces will be completely replaced; AI-driven systems can help eliminate mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing human workers to focus on more creative and fulfilling work.

Artificial intelligence in the workplace

AI is already being implemented in business, and machine learning systems are being integrated broadly across multiple industries. Some applications show particular promise, and as AI technologies continue to develop, greater opportunities for integration will follow.

  • Information Security: 44% of companies worldwide are already using machine learning algorithms to detect data security breaches. Companies can also use machine learning to address IT issues and develop new production management tools.
  • Marketing: AI can be used to predict purchasing behavior, allowing for faster and more effective advertising. AI can also monitor social media and make use of the data for tailored marketing campaigns.
  • Finance: AI is in use in the financial sector in transaction processing, audits, and regulation compliance. Many routine operations like trades may one day be completely automated.
  • Customer Service: Customer interactions are being increasingly automated. IBM predicts that AI will address 85% of all customer service issues by 2020.

AI and the customer experience

Customer service has always been a major factor in a person’s experience with an opinion of a brand. According to Deloitte, 62% of companies consider customer experience to be a major differentiator in the competitive market. Keeping an existing user is much more valuable than trying to bring new customers to a brand, and attentive, effective CX is a great way to build a relationship over the long term.

A bad customer service experience can be a major business-killer; 52% to 66% of customers stop buying from a company after a negative interaction, and 95% of people share their negative experiences with friends and family. AI technology could help address these negative experiences by streamlining the customer support process.

Two major developments have propelled the migration to automated, AI-driven customer service tools. First, people’s comfort levels with messaging services has increased dramatically. People are using messages to interact with brands more often, and this interface is perfectly suited to AI algorithms. Second, breakthroughs in AI technology over the past five years have made automated representatives more useful. They’re able to handle a variety of requests and can do so without frustrating the customer in the process.

Benefits of AI in customer service

If you’re looking to increase your customer retention, improving your customer service should be a top priority. AI can improve customer experiences in myriad ways; these are just a few benefits driving the rapid uptake of machine learning.

Instant response

AI-driven interfaces can handle almost all routine requests, allowing your customer service team to focus on only the highest priority calls and messages. This improves the efficiency of your entire customer service process, cutting wait times and giving customers an instant response. In a recent survey by Zendesk, 69% of people attributed the speed of their request resolution to a positive customer service experience. AI algorithms are also being used in automating call distribution, further reducing hold times.

Better user interface

When utilizing an automated customer service tool, it’s best to be honest with your customers about it. Increasingly, customers prefer to engage with AI than with a human representative. In fact, 72% of millennials prefer self-service options to a phone call, and they are happy to use FAQs and bot services to solve their own issues. Catering to this new generation of customers is essential for cultivating a positive customer experience and, ultimately, a longer-term relationship.

Cost savings

For many businesses, outsourcing to a call center or hiring dedicated customer service reps can be a huge cost. When resources are limited, your customer service representatives can be overloaded and strained, leading to lost profits. An automated customer service AI can serve as a first line of defense, handling simpler questions and reducing the load on your human agents. IBM estimates a cost savings of 60% to 80% by switching to AI-powered services, compared with a traditional call center. AI services also cut training costs and are easily adapted over time to suit your business’s needs.

Businesses pushing AI in their customer experience

For businesses large and small, the future of AI is already taking shape. There’s a sea change coming for customer service, and these companies are tapping into the incredible opportunities AI offers for efficiency and growth.

Facebook

As one of the largest messaging platforms on the web, Facebook has opened its doors broadly to AI chatbots for business. Many online stores are harnessing the familiar interface of Facebook’s Messenger app for their own customer service chats. Messenger’s chat features integrate with Facebook business pages, and plugins allow the chat to work directly from a company’s website.  

LEGO

LEGO is one of the first toy companies to integrate an AI-powered chatbot into its customer experience, and it exemplifies the creative ways this technology can be used. LEGO introduced Ralph, the holiday gift bot, last year. Ralph uses AI and a series of simple questions to help guide customers to the perfect gift. It’s simple and effective, and it creates a unique and positive user experience.

Activision

Activision’s popular video game franchise Call of Duty recently used an AI chatbot as part of its promotion for a new sequel, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The bot was an absolute success, generating over six million chat conversations in the first 24 hours after going live. The interactive nature of the AI-powered chatbot helped immerse fans in the game’s character plot before the game was even released.

The future of AI in business

One of the most important facets of AI technology is its potential for growth. The machine learning techniques available to businesses today may represent only a fraction of AI’s conceivable utility. Development in AI technology has been rapid, and the market for machine learning and deep learning programs is expected to grow dramatically in the coming years. In fact, according to a MemSQL survey, 61% of organizations chose machine learning and artificial intelligence as their main focus for 2019.

Data analysis

Every customer service interaction generates critical data about a company’s customer base. Some companies have already begun using this data in their marketing campaigns and strategic planning, but data analysis could be a major area for growth and widespread adoption in the near future as well. Machine learning’s ability to parse out patterns and trends from massive stores of customer data could one day make it a more effective personal marketing tool than any human.

Research and development

Better data analysis is also a key component for the development of new products. In a survey conducted by Google and MIT, 35% of companies stated that AI was already assisting with the development of next-generation products. The potential for products that incorporate AI directly is another big market driver, especially in smart home technology.

Personalized customer experience

Ultimately, better AI interfaces will help businesses create the holy grail of customer experiences: one-on-one, personalized consultation. As AI bots continue to develop natural language processing, the line between a chatbot and a personal assistant will blur even further.

Conclusion

AI-driven customer experience tools are readily available in 2018, and many businesses are finding new, innovative, and potentially game-changing ways of implementing them into their customer experience strategies. The trend into the future is clear: companies that take advantage of AI’s incredible potential are likely to thrive, and those that fail to adapt to these changes may be left behind. Investing in AI technology now can help your business capture the emerging market for data-driven user experiences and prepare for the future of AI integration.

 

The post How companies are using data-driven AI to improve customer experiences appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Darina Murashev
Posted: April 23, 2018, 3:00 pm

If you want to make relevant decisions, you need to listen. That’s what market intelligence is all about. Information and data (industry-related trends, competition, online reputation…) are very important assets for any company. If you check out the graph below, you’ll see that the amount of data created worldwide hasn’t stopped growing, and this growth will [...]

The post Market intelligence: how to leverage information to beat competition appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

If you want to make relevant decisions, you need to listen. That’s what market intelligence is all about. Information and data (industry-related trends, competition, online reputation…) are very important assets for any company. If you check out the graph below, you’ll see that the amount of data created worldwide hasn’t stopped growing, and this growth will keep accelerating for the next few years.

Source : Kleiner Perkins – Internet Trends 2017

Source : Domo – Data never sleeps 5.0

Let’s take another approach to the topic. Setting a market intelligence practice is also a good way for companies to collect information and knowledge. If they leverage information properly, they’ll be able to know exactly their audience and its needs. The challenge is real and companies need to overcome it if they want to be successful.

Why market intelligence is essential to your company

> Understand your industry: the deeper knowledge of your industry you have, the better it is. This gives you a competitive advantage. It’s important to know who are the actors in your space (influencers, competitors, mainstream media, niche media…), especially now that we live in an all-digital world.

> Implement new trends: nowadays, it’s essential to keep up with new trends. You have to think beyond the usual topics within your industry if you want to innovate and not get beaten by the competition. Watching what’s happening in your industry only is no longer enough – you have to also monitor industries that are close to yours, understand where new disrupting ideas are found, etc.

> Know the needs of your clients and prospects: the key to a successful business is to know your customers and to be the best answer to their questions. Monitor the web, social media, understand what are the most popular pieces of content is a way to better understand your target and detect any changes in their behavior.

> Keep an eye on your competitors: to avoid being overtaken by your competitors, you have to keep up with the news, their new offers, the new competitors… it’s not just about taking a look at their website but, their online presence as a whole: blog, landing pages, online reviews, youtube accounts… what we call their owned media. But to have an overview of the situation, you need to be aware of what is being said about competitors on other types of media, such as specialized media, influencer blogs, etc. – this is earned media: this allows to understand the activity and the share of voice of competition on the internet, globally or more precisely by looking at data on a specific theme.

> Track your business’ online reputation: monitoring things is also a way to identify when your brand, products, or even key people in your company are mentioned so you can understand your company popularity and reputation. Compare this with competitors so you’ll understand how the brand is perceived in the industry by media, consumers, and the public.

> Be credible: The objective here is to be more credible when it comes to your brand. People now constantly research things on the internet on topics that are relevant to them – that means they are now better informed than ever. If a business communicates through its founders, PR and salespeople, it better leverage data and information to be credible.

> Anticipate risks and threats within your ecosystem: define a monitoring system in your company will allow people to analyze available information, to prevent risks, be able to anticipate, prevent and control the situation. For this to happen, you have to define these potential risks upfront.

To sum up, the point is not about knowing what are the perks of starting a strategic monitoring activity for your company. Let’s put it this way: can you NOT do market intelligence? Choosing an ostrich-like policy nowadays is just very dangerous for any business.

“Getting information off the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant” Mitch Kapor

The key success factors of an effective market intelligence activity

Business intelligence and knowledge sharing activities are decentralized now, since the access to relevant information is not controlled by an authority anymore. So how not to miss any key messages and leverage the data that each and every employee is exposed to? The answer is: by organizing and qualifying the most relevant information.

This being said, many companies are not doing it in a strategic way, which results in a waste of time. And at the end of the day, the information is lost.

Here are a few tips that will help you be successful:

1. Define a framework and goals

As for any activity for the company, clear goals have to be defined upfront. That way, you can turn them into measurable KPIs (number of employees included, number of views generated, content count…) It’s also very important to define a proper framework, who it should be aimed at, the type of information to take into account, etc.

2. Select

Selecting the right info is a true challenge for businesses. You need to be able to identify reliable sources of information and put aside any fake news, but you also have to keep your eyes open for new sources that could impact your industry or competitors.

3. Analyze

Selecting the right piece of information is not enough. You have to analyze it, take into account any internal data and contextualize with the company’s challenges. By adding some value to the piece, people in charge of monitoring would be more willing to read it and push it internally.

4. Organize

Organize the activity by topic and stakeholders is a good way to improve its relevance and efficiency.

Moreover, you have to make it as visual as possible and easy to consume. This will be more impactful to your colleagues.

5. Disseminate

If you don’t disseminate intelligence, there’s literally no point. It’s important to distribute the information in an easy-to-consume format (a newsletter, for example). You could also integrate it with the existing tools in the company.

6. Incorporate into the company culture

It is necessary to make corporate culture and habits evolve, so the monitoring activity can be done at each level of the organization. It should be common to the C-suite as well as operational teams.

If you do content monitoring, content curation is your best friend

Content curation is a must in companies because it is the fuel of any content strategy, but it also helps disseminate, store, and optimize this critical asset that is knowledge.

It’s a good way to nurture internal discussions and to share information about major current trends.

A proper curation platform designed for content monitoring such as Scoop.it Knowledge Sharing, will help you manage all these moving parts:

  • Filter the web in minutes
  • Gather relevant information in a private content hub
  • Editorialize the contact by adding relevant insights
  • Disseminate intelligence in a more impactful way (via email or through SSO integration to your company tools)

Content intelligence: use data science to make content monitoring even more impactful

If you want to make your content monitoring practice even more powerful, technology will help. Today, AI can help you discover and analyze content even faster. When you’re responsible for strategic monitoring inside your organization, it’s relevant to include proper data and facts about your industry or competitors. That is content intelligence.

Analyze your content

Add data to your monitoring activity to understand what is your audience interested about is a true asset for C-suite (marketing, product and so on): what are the most popular pieces of content on your main topic? What are the most efficient formats? Which tone to use in front of your audience? Which topics create engagement?…

Competitive analysis:

Another crucial thing if you want to do monitoring right: keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. It’s always interesting to understand how your brand reputation evolves against your competitors’, what is your share of voice both globally and on specific topics. This is the best way to know how to focus all your efforts to be more competitive.

By adding data to the content you selected, you’ll help both your managers and colleagues have a better look at the bigger picture. That will be helpful for them when they have to take important decisions, and these will be based on actual data and facts, rather than their instinct.

Conclusion

Information needs to be filtered, selected, stored, and disseminated – otherwise it becomes useless. That’s how to get a competitive advantage. Indeed, this has to be completely integrated by top management to the company’s culture to avoid an ostrich-like approach. Technology today gives us an infinite amount of possibilities, so let’s make the best out of it to leverage information properly.

The post Market intelligence: how to leverage information to beat competition appeared first on Scoop.it Blog.

Author: Helene Brevet
Posted: April 19, 2018, 1:00 pm