content marketing – Performancing http://performancing.com Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:14:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 What is Cornerstone Content And Why It’s Important http://performancing.com/what-is-cornerstone-content-and-why-its-important/ http://performancing.com/what-is-cornerstone-content-and-why-its-important/#comments Tue, 23 May 2017 11:45:04 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=14055 Making your website accessible and easy to navigate can be the difference between retaining visitors and losing them to other sites. Strong, well-designed cornerstone content is a major factor in keeping traffic on your site and improving your customer experience. This content can also help you improve your SEO, which will boost your place in […]

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Making your website accessible and easy to navigate can be the difference between retaining visitors and losing them to other sites. Strong, well-designed cornerstone content is a major factor in keeping traffic on your site and improving your customer experience. This content can also help you improve your SEO, which will boost your place in search results and bring more viewers to your site. If you don’t already have well-written and designed cornerstone content, start today so you don’t miss out on the benefits it can bring to your business.

What is Cornerstone Content?

Cornerstone content is the foundation of your website. It’s the most important, well-written, and explanatory information that you have to offer in your niche. You’re building your entire website on the basic fundamentals of your niche. It might include things like introductory blog posts, frequently asked questions, or other important information like instructions or warnings. Anything a new visitor might need to understand the content of your website or content area can be a cornerstone.

Cornerstone content should help a person get familiar with both your website and the most important topics that you’re covering.

Another reason it’s called cornerstone content is because it should be the best content on your site. This is the content many people will see when they first navigate to your website. Plan to make a good first impression with strong and relevant pieces. One way to increase the number of returning visitors to your site is actually to have a series of helpful or introductory posts linked on the welcome page.

How Many Cornerstones Should I Have?

There is no hard and fast number for the amount of cornerstone content you need, but look to have a minimum of four or five pieces of content. They should be well-researched, clear, and informative. Depending on your topic area, you may need more cornerstone posts. Don’t be afraid to branch out and create additional pieces. Few undertakings are done overnight. Update your website with cornerstone content as you grow and you’ll eventually have a wider, more solid foundation.

How to Decide Which Posts are Cornerstone Content

To decide what is cornerstone content, load your website and pretend you’re a viewer interested in your niche but unfamiliar with your business. Imagine that you’re not an expert. Try to figure out which articles or pages you’d want to look at first. What information are you seeking? The posts that a new visitor would attempt to find are cornerstone content. It’s the most basic and important information your website has to offer.

If you’re creating cornerstone content for the first time, decide what issues will be most pressing for a person searching for content in your niche. If you’re selling doghouses, for example, an article about how to choose a doghouse or the different types of doghouses would be good choices. They’re helpful articles that will appeal to many people, and bring them to your site. Once a person associates you with knowledge, they may be more likely to trust you and use your products or services.

Why is Cornerstone Content Important?

Cornerstone content is important for several reasons. The first is that it’s the information someone needs to determine whether your website is useful. If you’ve ever been to a site that lacked a clear structure, you understand the need for cornerstones. They guide a new viewer into your site and help them come to trust in the product or service you’re providing.

Cornerstone content also acts as a hub for all the posts, articles, or content you have about one topic. It’s an introduction instead of a deep, nuanced discussion of one particular aspect of an issue. Think of it as an excellent overview of topics that matter most in your niche.

How Does Cornerstone Content Help Me?

To get a better idea of how cornerstone content can improve your website, look at how Brian Clark of Copyblogger expanded his audience.

When his site started in 2006, he only had two pieces of cornerstone content that were of interest to his target audience. They were pieces about fundamental concepts in copywriting and blogging. These drew people into his site and his regular blog updates helped keep visitors around and encouraged return visits. Derek Halpren says, “The cornerstone content gave Brian instant credibility.”

More than a decade later, Brian has more than a dozen cornerstones on his site that draw in new traffic and help a viewer become accustomed to the topic. Those original cornerstone resources are still helping Copyblogger rank for strong keywords and pull in new viewers today. For Brian and others who use cornerstone content successfully, it helps them rank for high-visibility keywords and positions them as topic authorities.

 

 

 

Cornerstone Content and SEO

 

“Sites don’t rank: pages rank. If you want to rank for a keyword, you’ll need to determine which page is going to be the page ranking for that keyword”

Joost de Valk, Yoast.com

 

So what SEO benefits are there and how do you get them from cornerstone content? One of the biggest positives is that writing cornerstones can help you rank for popular keywords. These can be difficult to have a strong position for otherwise. Since cornerstone content topics will come up in other blog posts, it’s important to make sure you’re presenting your pages the right way for Google to understand which pieces are cornerstone content and which are supplementary.

Cornerstone Content and Linking Structure

Think of your site content as a graph with the homepage at the top. All the less important articles appear near the bottom, filtered down from more important pieces. Your cornerstone content should be near the top of the graph, preferably linked on the homepage.

As you discuss the cornerstone topics in other posts and places, link back to the cornerstone articles. It will make Google’s crawlers interpret them as more important than the other pages, ideally. For example, if you’re writing a post about marketing as a cornerstone piece, link back to it from articles like “Marketing to Students” or “Tips for a Great Marketing Strategy”.

Cornerstone Content and External Links

If you’re able to get high-value links from an external source, consider having it link back to one of your cornerstone articles. Since cornerstone content is ideally competing for the most competitive keywords, it’s important to give it some priority.

High-value links from great sources can boost your SEO. Point them at your cornerstone pieces to help them rank for those more difficult keywords. Keep that in mind when you’re doing content outreach with other sites.

Cornerstone Content and Customer Engagement

Since cornerstone pieces are your strongest and most relevant content, they increase customer engagement. People who enter your page looking for answers should be able to find them easily and not have to search through your site. When a customer finds a site useful, they’re more likely to return and recommend the site to friends.

Presenting the cornerstone content up front also offers the benefit of keeping someone on the page. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, people leave webpages in less than 30 seconds in large numbers, but more slowly after the first 30 seconds. If you can keep a viewer on your page for 30 seconds, you have a better chance to retain them.

Since cornerstone content is interesting and relevant, it can hold customers past that crucial 30-second mark. Keeping someone on the page lets you get a chance to wow them with what you’re offering.

 

“You need to go out and learn something about your industry before you make something for it”

Rand Fishkin, Moz

 

Crafting Cornerstone Content

cornerstone content

An important skill is creating great cornerstones that stand as guides to newcomers. The strength of these cornerstones is what drives traffic to your site and sets you apart as an authority. So it’s important that everything you present is well-researched. Make sure that you’re providing clear information for a reader who isn’t as familiar as you are with the topic.

Doing research in your niche before you start the process is essential. Knowing what’s out there gives you an idea of what ground there is to cover, what’s old news, and what will catch a viewer’s interest. It can also help you find good links to include in your content.

If you already have a lot of content, select the strongest pieces that best represent and elucidate your area of expertise. If you don’t have content yet, write a list of questions that most people searching for the keywords you’re targeting would have. Start writing your first cornerstone piece to answer the one that seems most important or compelling.

 

7 Tips for the Best Cornerstone Content

  • Figure out what keywords to use. To do this, ask yourself what search someone would perform to find your page. Once you know what keywords you’re targeting, focus on making your page respond to a search for that keyword as best you can.
  • Focus your metadata with your keywords. Remember that your title and meta description may appear on your Google result. Make sure it’s eye-catching and references the content of the page.
  • Consider the competition. If your competition doesn’t have strong cornerstone pages, it improves your chance of gaining return visitors through great content. On the other hand, strong content from competitors means you must set yourself apart. Consider setting up a tutorial or cornerstone pages that link together. It could help you stand out.
  • Draw your reader’s eye to your cornerstone content with an explanation of what you’re providing, an intriguing story, or some kind of offer. Getting attention can be difficult, so try to lead with something strong.
  • Use bullet points and subheadings to break up your content and increase visual appeal.
  • Include videos, images and other media to help illustrate your points and expand on them.
  • Read over your content regularly and update it as needed. Google favors pages with content that’s updated over those where it isn’t.

 

Cornerstone Content and Marketing

One way to create effective cornerstones is to think of them as a product. They’re entries to your brand or answers to questions, for example. Everything you do to attract customers to your page is marketing. In that same way, effective cornerstones are marketing too. But don’t write cornerstone pieces the way you would an advertisement. Instead, think of them as teaching tools.

Consumers often block out marketing, but respond positively to educational pieces. Write your cornerstone pieces with the intention to teach the reader something. Since you’re providing positive and free resources, people will be drawn back to your site. If you do an exceptional job, you also improve your chances of social shares. These strategies should help you create stronger content that resonates better with visitors.

Presenting Your Cornerstone Content

A landing page is one of the best ways to present your cornerstones to a new website viewer. It creates a roadmap that showcases your best content and helps people find it immediately. One way to do this is by linking it to your landing page.

Make your cornerstone content visible and easily accessible. It shouldn’t be a struggle for a new visitor to find it and read it. If the cornerstone content links together, be sure to provide a way for a person to navigate from one piece to the next.

Link back to cornerstone content in future articles or blogs.

 

Cornerstone Content and a Call to Action

Since one of the reasons to have cornerstone content is to increase customer engagement, include an appropriate call to action on your pieces. This will help a person to know where to go to utilize your products or services. In the same way cornerstone content should be easy to find, so should the content you want to point people at.

Cornerstone content provides viewers an entry point to your website and can help retain a first-time visitor. It showcases the knowledge that you have; it helps you gain the trust of a potential customer. Craft strong cornerstone pieces and present them properly for the best result.

You don’t have to start from scratch, since you can fix up old posts or content and make them good enough to be cornerstones. Don’t be intimidated. Cornerstone pieces are an essential part of your website and will help you retain customers and improve your SEO. The time you spend creating great content will pay off in the end as cornerstone content draws new visitors to your site.

Do you have any cornerstone content on your website or blog? Feel free to show us in the comments!

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How To Do Content Outreach (The Right Way) http://performancing.com/how-to-do-content-outreach-right-way/ http://performancing.com/how-to-do-content-outreach-right-way/#comments Wed, 26 Apr 2017 09:30:14 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13858 When you’re trying to build a brand, outreach is one of your most valuable tools. As you link up with other reputable sites, your own reputation online improves and you gain more content authority. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of outreach to build a few solid relationships. Approaching people the right way can improve […]

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When you’re trying to build a brand, outreach is one of your most valuable tools. As you link up with other reputable sites, your own reputation online improves and you gain more content authority. Unfortunately, it can take a lot of outreach to build a few solid relationships. Approaching people the right way can improve your chances of making those connections. Before you begin, make sure to have a strategy that will warrant a positive response.

What is Content Outreach?

Content outreach is how you make contacts and get them to share and promote your content. There are a few kinds of content outreach to be aware of. One is just contacting the owner of a popular blog or site and having them share your website via a link. Another is having your content tweeted, shared on Facebook or posted on another social media site by a reputable blogger or brand. Another is guest blogging, where you create content for a different site; the content you create would promote you as an expert and also point back to your own site.

 
 

How Does Content Outreach Benefit My Brand?

Content outreach has three major benefits for your brand. The first is that it can position you as an expert in your field. When people with brand authority quote you, promote you and share you on their own sites, it shows potential customers that you can be trusted. The more you engage in the community for your brand, the more you’ll be visible and reputable.

The second is that it offers SEO benefits. The more links you have back to your content, the higher you’ll appear in Google search results. When your links appear on the pages of respected, frequently-updated and authoritative sites, you’ll see a boost in your sites authority. That’s one of the reasons why content outreach is so important. The higher you appear in Google search results, the more clicks you get.

The third benefit is organic outreach. People who are reading the pages where your content is shared may click the link and visit your site. If your content is up-to-date, interesting and relevant, they may share to their own communities or return to your site later to get more information or pay for products or services. That’s one reason why it’s so important to try to connect with reputable, respected sites and people.

 
 

Who Should I Contact?

Obviously, the more high-profile and respected the person you contact, the better. However, if you’re reaching out to people like Matt Cutts to get links about SEO, you’re probably not going to get a response. You need to find a good balance between the high-profile, well-respected contact and the contact who will actually reply to you.

There are basically four groups of people to consider.

  1. High-level experts with a large audience. For example Rand Fishkin of Moz.
  2. Less well-known, but still authoritative people with a more moderate audience.
  3. People who are just getting on the radar in your community. They’re also working to actively gain a larger audience by promoting themselves and being active in their niche.
  4. Sites with no major audience that isn’t niche-specific and isn’t self-promoting.

Though it can be difficult to contact a high-level expert, the exception to this is if you have a personal connection to them. If you do, use it to reach out and you may get a lot of return in the form of new traffic. When your site is shared by someone with a lot of influence, it could mean many new visitors. If you don’t have a personal in, however, it’s better to focus your efforts elsewhere.

Focus on the people who are less well-known and those that are actively promoting themselves to have a better chance of connecting and getting some type of content share. One way to think of it is to consider how many unsolicited emails a given person must receive. The more they get, the more likely they are to skip over your outreach.

When deciding where to focus your efforts, consider using a tool like Moz’s Site Explorer to check the page authority and what kind of links your target produces. That way you can be sure you’ll get the most return for your effort.

Of course, using the right strategies will improve your response rate.

 
 

How to Identify Contacts

If you’re new to content outreach, start small by looking for blogs that accept guest posts. A simple Google search can unearth many blogs that take guest posts, submissions and other types of content that you’ll be able to post along with a link to your own website. If you’re interested in contacting these blogs, be prepared to create a new post to publish on their sites.

To reach out to influential bloggers and people on your niche, look for their contact information on their websites. Avoid using the contact form embedded on the website, since it can be less targeted. Instead, find their contact information and send them a personalized email that includes your content, what you can offer and what you’re hoping to get.

If there’s no contact information on a website, look for a profile page. You can also look up site owners on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. It’s best to try to find a professional page or one associated with their site, rather than contacting them on a personal account.

Finally, each site has its information published online. You can often find a contact email if you search for the domain information.

 

 

 

“It’s easier to be real than to fake being real”

Matt Cutts, Google

How to Approach Your Contact

The first step in approaching someone is to make sure you have their information correct. Double check their name, email address and the spelling and capitalization of their website. First impressions matter; it’s important to look professional and competent. Before you send the email, too, you should go back over all the pertinent details and make sure that you’ve covered all your bases.

Address the person and introduce yourself if you haven’t met them before. If you have, refresh them on who you are and where you met. Explain where you’ve seen them or found out about them if applicable. For example, if you’ve read their articles, used their apps or watched videos they’ve produced, mention it.

Explain what you want to share with them. Whether it’s your best blog post, the results of a customer survey, or analysis of your website traffic, send them a link to the information you’re hoping they’ll share.

Ask for what you want, whether it’s feedback or a boost to a larger audience. Keep in mind that you’re more likely to get feedback than an immediate content share—and the person will share it in any case if they find it interesting. Sometimes it’s better to not ask for the boost and instead appeal to the person’s expertise by asking for feedback instead. This is the case when you’re writing to someone who’s significantly more influential than you currently are. Asking for a critique may be met with a better response, but it will still get your link in front of that person. In the same token, someone on the same level as you who’s actively working on building their brand may be more open to a content exchange.

Thank them for their time, and sign the email. Keep it short and sweet—it’s better to get to the point quickly than to ramble on and lose the person’s attention. An executive research firm tracked their emails for five years and found that short emails get quicker responses.

 

 

Offer Something Unique

The best way to get a return on your time is to offer something unique to the person you contact. For example, if you have some kind of information that they haven’t seen before, offer to share it with them. This could lead to a click from the person you’re trying to make an impression on because they’ll want to read the study you’ve conducted or the data you’ve gathered.

If you’ve built an interesting tool, share it with them. Don’t wait to share the most interesting things about your brand and what you can offer until you’ve made contact. Offer that information right away so that you increase your chances of getting noticed and being able to share your content.

Keep in mind that a popular person could get multiple emails every day and won’t be able to respond to or feature everyone. If you figure out what makes responding to you worth that person’s time, you’re halfway toward developing a relationship with them that will help you market your brand.

It may seem like it takes more time to offer something unique in a targeted, personalized way–but it will pay off when you’re seeing more positive responses than negative ones.

 

 

 

Five Ways to Get Noticed

  • Personalize the email – Address the person by name and the entire contact will seem more personable and approachable. You’ll stand out in a sea of emails that aren’t geared directly to the person receiving it. For example, personalized emails in marketing get six times higher responses than those that don’t personalize, but most marketers still don’t personalize. Doing so will help you stand out.
  • Give a little bit about you in the email – Since you may not be known to the person you’re contacting, it will help give you a little authority and show why the person will want to work with you. James Smith is just a person. James Smith with a degree in marketing who runs operations for a web startup is someone with a background and knowledge on a topic that may interest the person to whom you’re writing.
  • Target your content to the person you’re contacting – If you can work in a quote or a mention of something they’re trying to market, they may be more interested in clicking the link you send. People want to get something out of the interaction. If you offer relevant content, you’ll stand out from the people who send out less targeted links.
  • Find out who influences your ultimate targets and then create relationships with those people – You can use a tool like Followerwonk to see who the person you want to work with follows to get an idea of what interests that person. Once you have an idea of who to they follow, determine whether those people would be receptive to your outreach. If they’re too high in your niche to respond to you, consider looking at who they quote and what they share. Those sites may have people who would be receptive to working with you. It’s all about learning who’s influential in your niche, what sites are on the rise and who the most dominant figures in the industry are keeping an eye on.
  • If you want to complement their content or site, do it in a measurable, active way –  Say that you’ve tweeted it, shared it or that it gave you a different perspective on a topic, for example. Simply saying it’s “interesting” or “good” won’t be as compelling. Many people will give generic compliments. Make yours active and specific.

 

Content Outreach Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t be too arrogant or demanding – Be confident in your site, abilities, and links, but beware. If you come off as too arrogant, the person may not be interested in working with you. Being humble and quietly confident means asking for feedback. This is better than demanding that the person looks at your link and shares it right then. Keep in mind that you’re asking for a favor.
  • Don’t let your email look like spam – Writing the same outreach email over and over may cause it to look like spam. It’s another case where personalization can be the difference between the person clicking “delete” or “reply”.
  • Don’t use every article on your blog for outreach – Pick the best articles with the freshest ideas and most original content. That way, you have the best chance of being picked up and shared.

 

Content outreach can help you increase your authority and visibility in your niche. By networking with other professionals and exchanging content or links, you’re making your website more influential. Content outreach is a long term strategy, so don’t get bogged down worrying about the people who decline. Eventually, the effort will pay off with better search ranks and more hits on your blog. As your reputation increases, you may one day find yourself fielding outreach offers more than you send them out.

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What Is The Inbound Methodology? http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/ http://performancing.com/what-is-the-inbound-methodology/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:00:52 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13373 If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on […]

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If you are looking to sell any kind of product or service online then the old methods of buying display ads and selling to who you think your audience is fast becoming irrelevant. To capture the attention of an audience and turn them from strangers into leads and then customers you need to focus on creating quality content and make them come to you

How can this be done though? There are 4 main segments to the inbound methodology, attract, convert, close and delight. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

Attract

The first step is that you need to capture the attention of your chosen audience. But who is the audience? Right now they are strangers but we want to make them into visitors. To find out who your target audience is you need to create buyer personas.

A buyer persona is a representation of who your customer might be, what is their age and sex, what are their problems and how are they looking to overcome them? What motivates them, what are their goals and also what activities do they partake in? To get an in-depth understanding of your buyer personas you should make them as detailed as possible and also try to understand what their buyer’s journey is too.

professional-info

Once you have created your buyer personas you should have an idea of the type of content they consume and where they get this content and you can begin to plan your content creation around this. For example if your target audience are people in the over 50’s or ‘boomers’ demographic are then chances are they aren’t going to be on Snapchat much but they could be on other social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest and there will be an even higher chance that they read blogs and other web based content.

Now you can create your content and publish it to the places that your buyer persona is most likely to see and consume it. Although there are many different ways to create content to attract your target audience the main 3 are SEO & organic search, blogging and social media.

SEO & organic search – Here you can create content to place on your website that you want to rank for specific search terms that your audience are searching for, this content might be a pdf file or ebook, an infographic, an article or a cheat sheet. The page that the content is placed on needs to be optimized for the target search terms and you may want to also link to it internally using the sam anchor text and if possible build external links too.

Blogging – Blogging is by far one of the best and cost effective ways to produce content to attract your audience and potential new customers. Every blog post page on your website can be optimized for specific search terms so that it rings in organic search traffic and you can share your posts across all your social channels. Finally, you don’t have to only post on your own blog, guest blogging is a great way for not only exposing your brand and message to new readers elsewhere but it can also build quality, related backlinks that will further boost your rankings in the search engines.

Social media – Lastly, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others are another viable source of attract your desired audience. Remember though, you need to first find out which platform your buyer personas are mainly on, you also need to put the right content across and at the right times. Blasting out endless Tweets on Twitter about your latest sales promotion is just going to annoy people and they may ignore or even unfollow you. Publishing your content at the correct times is also crucial, generally speaking, first thing in the morning, noon and early evening are the peak activity times for social media users.

 

Should We Give In To Clickbait When Creating Content?

 

Convert

Once you have attracted people to visit your website you need to convert them into leads, this has to be done by getting them to give up their personal details, something that often isn’t easy to do! Many companies fail at this point and never really manage to get those all important contact details. This is often because they don’t have the right content to capture that lead or they give away too much information in their content and thus the visitor has no need to seek further help from the company and the leave the website.

So what are some of the most effective ways to turn a visitor into a lead? Let’s look at two:

Call to action – A call to action (or CTA) is where you request the user to perform some action such as download a file or click a link. For the latter this will most likely lead the visitor to a landing page.

Landing pages with forms – A landing page should not be like the other pages on your website, it needs to be totally free of clutter so no ads or links or anything else that might distract the visitor. The page should have a clear & concise action-oriented headline as well as clearly stating what it is offering as well as giving a sample or glimpse of what else the viewer can get from the company. The goal of any landing page is to get the visitor to fill out that form so that their contact details, making forms that are simple to understand and concise is important and you need to get the right balance of the visitor being able to complete the form quickly while also getting the right information from them so that they may be nurtured into a lead and customer.

Check out these 25 awesome landing page ideas for inspiration.

 

Stop Letting Visitors Slip Through Your Fingers By Implementing These Conversion Tips

 

Close

The close stage is critical, this is the part where you make the sale and that’s what we’ve been working towards right?

In the close stage we are looking to turn your website visitors who are now leads into customers, however, getting people to part with their money is a lot harder than getting them to fill in a form or download a file! Everytime a lead is reading a piece of your content, visiting a page on your website, reading an email from you or interacting with you this is called a ‘touch point’ and marketing data has shown that often as many as 7 to 13 touch points may be needed before a lead closes and makes a purchase.

Email marketing is a highly effective way of enabling multiple touch points with a nurtured lead while at the same time being able to provide them with further content and information on what you do and taking them further down the sales funnel. Even though a visitor may have signed up to receive emails, further analysis is required to ensure that you send them the right kind of email, and at the right time. Segmenting your email subscriber’s list into different sections based on data you have gathered such as how often or when they open your emails and do they click the links within them will help you determine what to send these leads next.

At this point it’s important to know where the lead is at in the buyer’s journey. If they are in the awareness stage then it would be best to send them blog content and free tools, if they are at the consideration stage then webinars and case studies and if they are at the decision stage and ready to make a purchase then demos, consultations and quotes.

the buyers journey

Delight

The final part of the inbound methodology is to delight your customers so that they come back again and again. Many companies neglect this part which is one of the worst things you can do, now is the time to go above and beyond your customers expectations. The goal here is to not just make these people into repeat customers but into promoters. There are 3 ways this can be done, innovation, communication and education and they are seen as the ‘pillars’ of the delight stage.

Innovation – Don’t maintain the status quo, always be looking to push the boundaries of what you do and offer, you should always be looking to improve the customer experience so change is absolutely necessary.

Communication – Keep in communication with your customers, address them by their name and don’t make them feel like they are just a number, make them feel special.

Education – Knowledge is power and education empowers, if you educate your customers on the right product and services and how to use them then they can make informed decisions for future purchases.

So that’s the 4 main principles of the inbound marketing methodology. We have only touched on some of the main points and methods and

 

8 Tools Web Marketers Need In Their Toolbelt in 2016

 

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4 Methods To Revitalise Your Content Marketing Today http://performancing.com/4-methods-revitalise-content-marketing-today/ http://performancing.com/4-methods-revitalise-content-marketing-today/#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:31:55 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=13249 If you have found recently that your content has taken a nose dive and isn’t converting your audience into members & customers or that you are generally stuck for ideas then here are four methods to help revitalise your content marketing and breathe some life back into it. Spend More Time On Your Titles This […]

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If you have found recently that your content has taken a nose dive and isn’t converting your audience into members & customers or that you are generally stuck for ideas then here are four methods to help revitalise your content marketing and breathe some life back into it.

Spend More Time On Your Titles

spend time on titles

This may seem obvious but these days being able to stand out from the noise within a reader’s content stream whether that be on Facebook or in an RSS feed is essential. The average reader is exposed to a huge amount of articles, Tweets, images and videos when browsing the web and according to data from last year 211 million pieces of content are created every minute. If you aren’t spending time on brainstorming at least five different titles for any piece you are planning to write then you are doing it wrong my friend. Think 5 is a lot? Then check out Upworthy’s editorial process they come up with twenty-five, that’s right, twenty-five titles for every single piece of content they produce. That’s a lot of brainstorming!

For your content to stand out and get that all important click you need to be putting out titles that are edgier, take more risks and different from your competitors or that evoke emotions & curiosity from your audience.

Tell Stories

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Alex Turnbull the founder of the helpdesk support software Groove published a post detailing his company’s journey to try and get their monthly revenue up to $100k per month back in 2013, the article was a huge success as it gave insights into how his company worked and he was sharing his teams journey with the audience. Being able to tie in an article related to your industry in with professional and personal experiences, struggles that you may have overcome or anecdotes is a great way of humanising yourself and your business. James Altucher’s book ‘Choose Yourself’ is another great example, although it could be considered a self-help book it really is just a collection of stories and anecdotes from his business and personal life which any reader that’s looking to start a business or change their life can learn a lot from.

Use Data

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You should always be using your websites (and other platforms) data to see what content is performing well and how your visitors are interesting with it but that is not what I’m referring to here. What I mean here is quoting data within your content to validate your topic and points. This is one of my favourite posts by Neil Patel, see how he uses data throughout the article to validate all his points and also provide deep insights into what does and doesn’t work within the industry, he also puts this data forwards using excellent visuals to keep the reader engaged.

Turn It On It’s Head

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If you have stuck to the same style of writing or type of posts then it might be worth throwing your old methods out the window and trying something entirely new. I often speak to business owners who complain that even though they are updating their blog daily it isn’t getting any traffic and/or isn’t getting any likes, shares or conversions. In these situations, it can be worth doing the complete opposite of what you have been doing to that point. Publishing short, daily news pieces Monday to Friday? Start doing a single weekly round-up of the week’s news instead, or start writing long-form opinion pieces on something related to your industry. Changing your publishing times and days can often bring surprising changes too. We all know that Monday to Thursday is the peak traffic days but often putting out an article on a Sunday evening can get more views and interactions than you might think, many professionals will review articles and other industry-related content on a Sunday evening before the working week ahead and we have deployed this tactic ourselves on many blogs with great success.

If you have been struggling with your content recently then applying just one of these tactics can help invigorate it and give it a new lease of life, if you have any other ideas for re-positioing your content then let us know in the comments 🙂

 

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What to Focus on When Implementing a Guest Blogging Strategy http://performancing.com/what-to-look-for-when-implementing-a-guest-blogging-strategy/ Thu, 11 Apr 2013 19:20:57 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12480 Guest blogging is one of the best ways to increase traffic, search engine placement, and SEO value of your website or blog. While it does take significant time and effort to find the best platforms for content, as well as organizing the writing and marketing of the posts, guest blogging will help any company or […]

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curateGuest blogging is one of the best ways to increase traffic, search engine placement, and SEO value of your website or blog. While it does take significant time and effort to find the best platforms for content, as well as organizing the writing and marketing of the posts, guest blogging will help any company or individual gain visibility, credibility, and links online. Guest blogging can also help drive a sense of community and conversation surrounding the ideas of the post itself in the comment section.

To be successful at guest blogging, there are few guidelines to ensure that posts are shared often and are driving links back to your website.

Write an Amazing Bio

The majority of blogs or websites that accept guest posts will allow writers to include a short bio at the end of their content. This bio must be carefully optimized to include the best possible information about the company and its services in the shortest amount of space. Be sure to always include a link to the company’s website, and also a few keywords surrounding the company’s products or what they offer.

In many cases, the bios can only be about 25 words, so be sure to eliminate any necessary information, while also personalizing the writer and the company.

Here’s an example:

Kelsey Jones is a writer for Performancing (hyperlink), a new media company focused on blogging, marketing, branding, and more. Follow Kelsey on Twitter (hyperlink) or read her posts on the Performancing blog (hyperlink).

Of course, not all sites will allow 3 links in the bio, but always use as many as are allowed. Great bios include call to actions that give readers options to learn more about the company or its writer.

Choose an Engaging Topic and Title

To make a splash on someone else’s site, guest post topics must be engaging and interesting. The best posts answer questions, drive controversy, share news, or teach the reader something they didn’t know before. The title of the post is what first introduces the content to readers– so it must be catchy while also giving them an immediate idea of what the post is going to be about.

Titles that do well include numbered items (such as “Five Marketing Tactics You Don’t Know About”), make people mad or curious (“Why Your SEO Strategy Sucks”), or answer a question by teaching the reader something (“The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop”).

Once a catchy title has been generated, the content must be just as well-written. Don’t include  anything that isn’t absolutely necessary and be sure to include photos, links to support statements, and call to actions or the inspiration for change.

Tie-In What The Company Does

It is also important to tie in industry keywords or services that the company sponsoring the guest post provides. This increases the company’s credibility because they are writing in areas that they are actually working in. For instance, it doesn’t make any sense for an app developer to write a guest post about knitting. However, if they just made an app that showcases knitting patterns, then the post could be “The Best 5 Knitting Apps”, including their app (if guest posting guidelines would allow).

Just because a blog is willing to take posts doesn’t mean it is right for your company if they aren’t in your industry. It will also mean that less readers will actually click on the links in the writer bio to go to your website. While having a dofollow link on an reputable website has some benefit, the benefit for your gaming customers just isn’t going to be there on a canoeing blog.

Online and Social Sharing

When the post is published, be sure to promote it via the company’s social media accounts. This only serves to generate visibility for the post, which can lead to more site traffic and more trust from the website the guest post is published on. If a guest blogger’s content is heavily read and shared, then a website is more likely to ask them to guest blog again.

Besides social media, there are other places online to share content– email blasts with link roundups, newsletters, the company’s website, or a blog post summarizing the content with a link to the article. By promoting the content in every available outlet, you are not only benefitting by getting your posts more exposure, you are also showing your existing audience that you are reputable enough to be published on other websites.

Follow-Up

Once a post has been published, it is important to check it regularly for the first couple weeks to respond to any comments. Users appreciate having their questions answered by the actual writer of the article. The bigger the site, the most comments articles it will generate, so it is important to make sure these are answered in a timely fashion.

For posts that are extremely popular, many readers appreciate follow-up articles by the same author. So if “The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop” went viral, then the author could benefit from writing “The Complete Guide to Adobe InDesign.” Because the author has already set himself up as an expert in Adobe products, it only makes sense to continue writing content surrounding that software.

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The Benefits of Content Marketing http://performancing.com/benefits-content-marketing/ Thu, 04 Apr 2013 18:42:18 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12472 It has been said before that “content is king”, but when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), this is really the case. Regular high-quality content can help websites and blogs get better rankings online and also drive more traffic to a website. In addition, it also helps companies be seen as a resource and […]

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content marketing

It has been said before that “content is king”, but when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), this is really the case. Regular high-quality content can help websites and blogs get better rankings online and also drive more traffic to a website. In addition, it also helps companies be seen as a resource and important resource in their field or industry.

Blog Posts

Blog posts are an easy way to continuously provide a website with fresh content. Blog posts should be published on websites 2-3 per week, on a variety of topics that are related to the industry or the company’s products and services. These are easy to find if marketers read online content daily. Companies that create publishing calendars for their blog content may find that they be more productive and organized, leading to better overall content.

To get the benefit from regular blog posts, the blog must be hosted on the same domain as the content. The blog can be on a subdomain, but most users and search engines are used to finding blogs at domain.com/blog.

External Content

Providing content to other sources is another great way to get the benefits of SEO, even though it’s not on the company’s website directly. Guest blogging, press releases, testimonials, videos, and other types of content are examples that can give links to the company’s website. Besides getting links, users see companies that have a wide reach (meaning that they are published/seen in a variety a different platforms) as being more reputable than those that aren’t seen anywhere else online besides their own website.

To find places that will accept your content or mention your company, do Google searches for “guest blogging + “industry keyword”” or look at guest blogging websites like MyBlogGuest and Hullabaloo. Use these platforms to create connections with other companies and website owners to help get your content and website out there.

Social Media

Google and Bing now include personalized search results based on a user’s social network, so being active on social media, for both employees as individuals and companies, is definitely key. Websites should also have social sharing buttons on all blog posts so they can be shared online easily.

Social media shouldn’t just be a place to share your own company’s information and content, but to also be a fun resource and industry news source. Occasionally post updates about current events, holidays, fun facts, and other information that your audience will find interesting.

photo credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML via photopin cc

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Three Places to Syndicate Your Internet Marketing or Social Media Content http://performancing.com/three-places-to-syndicate-your-internet-marketing-or-social-media-content/ Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:06:58 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=12085 If you have a blog with regular, great content, it may beneficial for traffic to get it syndicated on another website that brings in more traffic. There are several options for websites that syndicate content. To find one in your niche (if it isn’t internet marketing or social media), all it takes is some googling […]

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If you have a blog with regular, great content, it may beneficial for traffic to get it syndicated on another website that brings in more traffic. There are several options for websites that syndicate content. To find one in your niche (if it isn’t internet marketing or social media), all it takes is some googling of industry keywords plus “blog syndication” or other variations.

Google News

Google News is a great resource to get syndicated on, but its process can be tedious, especially if all the guidelines aren’t followed. Once a website is syndicated, it must maintain the guidelines. The stories that are chosen by Google to appear on are by computer algorithm; websites cannot choose which of their pieces of content are going to get published on news.google.com.

However, based on the Panda update, having continuous fresh and unique content that makes an impact are most likely to get picked up by the Google News Algorithm.  Additionally, content may only appear in the Google News results for a month or so, depending on relevancy.

Business2Community

Business2Community is a great website that always has good content. There is sometimes a bit of a wait to get accepted for syndication as a Contributor, and once you are, your pieces of content are chosen by editors and you don’t have control over what gets published. Business2Community also allows its readers to contact authors through a contact form and always gives links back to the original article.

The articles on Business2Community get shared via social media regularly and the site has done a great job of promoting its contributors.

Social Media Today

Social Media Today is a lot like Business2Community when it comes to syndicating content, except it’s choosing process is more automatic and it focuses on social media-related pieces of content. If your blog covers anything about social media, it is easy to apply; once you have been accepted, you can also write unique pieces of content for the site fairly easily. This would be a great way to get exposure for unique pieces of content that are only published on Social Media Today.

Getting notification about acceptance is pretty fast and the site is vast, yet very easy to use.

When it comes to content marketing, especially if you are a blog or business offering related types of services, it is important to get as much exposure as possible. Syndicating your existing content can be an easy way to do this.

 

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How to Incorporate E-Books Into Your Social Media Marketing Strategy http://performancing.com/how-to-incorporate-e-books-into-your-social-media-marketing-strategy/ Thu, 24 May 2012 12:13:25 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=11367 E-books are PDF books that are usually 25-100 pages long. They can either be structured like white papers or more like actual published books. Most e-books share information or teach readers an important skill or strategy. For instance, an internet marketing company may publish marketing e-books entitled, “How to Market Your Business on Pinterest” or […]

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Ebooks incorporated into social media marketing

E-books are PDF books that are usually 25-100 pages long. They can either be structured like white papers or more like actual published books. Most e-books share information or teach readers an important skill or strategy. For instance, an internet marketing company may publish marketing e-books entitled, “How to Market Your Business on Pinterest” or “Successful Content Marketing Strategies”.

Though time consuming, e-books can be a great way to both establish credibility while also providing education to current and potential clients. E-books can also help combine content, social media, and viral marketing strategies to create brand awareness and bring traffic to the company website.

Getting an e-book written isn’t difficult if the resources are available. Either an employee (or team of employees) can be tasked with the creation, or it can be sent out as a project to an educated freelance writer who has direct experience in the area. Companies can expect to pay freelancers in one of three ways– a rate by the page, by the word, or a set rate for the entire project. Oftentimes, choosing a rate by the hour isn’t recommended, as it’s harder to track.

Once the e-book is written, it can be implemented as part of a viral (linkbait) and social media marketing strategy. It can be shared via email to an existing customer database, and then posted on the company’s website & blog, as well as social media marketing channels.

To access the e-book PDF, most companies require a user’s name and email address so they can be added to the email and prospect list. Oftentimes, marketers will ask for certain demographic information as well, such as job role, company size, and goals in the applicable area.

Why e-books do so well when shared via blogs and social media is the idea of getting something for nothing, meaning a free e-book filled with information holds a lot more intrinsic value than one that users need to pay for.  The opportunity for instantaneous download is also a big draw; users don’t have to wait for their book to come into the mail. Instantaneous results work well with social media, as networking streams are constantly updating with fresh, new information. An average social media user’s attention span continues to dwindle as people are used to getting information fast and as often as they want.

To make an e-book successful via social media marketing, be sure to focus on language and the continuous growth of the company’s social community.

 

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The Secret to Creating Shareworthy Content http://performancing.com/the-secret-to-creating-shareworthy-content/ http://performancing.com/the-secret-to-creating-shareworthy-content/#comments Wed, 23 Jun 2010 20:39:15 +0000 http://performancing.com/?p=9082 I often refer to the term I use to describe amazing content that people want to share online as shareworthy, and today, I’d like to dive a bit deeper into the concept of creating shareworthy content, so your blog and online reputation can benefit from the compounding effect of blogging, attract more visitors, and grow […]

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shareworthy-contentI often refer to the term I use to describe amazing content that people want to share online as shareworthy, and today, I’d like to dive a bit deeper into the concept of creating shareworthy content, so your blog and online reputation can benefit from the compounding effect of blogging, attract more visitors, and grow organically over the long term. In other words, shareworthy content leads to sustainable growth, and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

What is shareworthy content?

It’s simple. Shareworthy content is amazing content that people like enough to want to tell their friends about it and share it with their social media connections. They can share that content by blogging about it on their own blogs, tweeting it on Twitter, linking to it on Facebook or LinkedIn, and so on. Therefore, shareworthy content is not necessarily viral content that explodes across the Internet. Instead, it’s a tangible form of the world-of-mouth marketing of the social web that businesses covet.

How do you create shareworthy content?

Creating shareworthy content takes more effort than simply publishing a quick blog post about a hot topic that’s trending on Twitter or a breaking news story. Instead, creating shareworthy content takes a passion for your subject matter, an authoritative and unique voice, and a consistent attention to detail. In other words, you need to speak from the heart with confidence, being sure to add your own personality and view points, but be sure to add value to the online conversation at the same time. Also, take the time to proofread your posts, check your sources, and provide accurate attribution and appropriate linking.

Of course, there are examples of shareworthy content that don’t follow all of the guidelines suggested above, but if your goal is to grow your blog, your online presence, and your reputation across the social web, then you need to focus on consistently publishing shareworthy content. That doesn’t mean every one of your blog posts has to be Pulitzer Prize material, but it does mean that your blog is a direct reflection of the time you put into developing it, and that includes the time you put into developing shareworthy content.

Think of it this way — no one is going to want to share a blog post that simply regurgitates an existing story, is filled with typos, or lacks a confident voice. Would you share the blog post that says, “I am a dermatologist, and I tell my patients that to avoid getting sun burn, you must apply sun block at least 20 minutes prior to going out in the sun,” or the post that says, “I think to avoid getting a sun burn, you have to put on sun block about 20 minutes before you go out in the sun, but I’m not sure. I can’t remember where I read that,” with your online connections? Alternately, think of the type of content that makes you want to share it with your own online connections or write about it on your blog. What makes that content valuable enough that you want to talk about it and share it?

People who share content are betting their own reputations on that content. They don’t want to lose their own followers and connections because the content they share is terrible. Just like you, they share content that is a direct reflection of their own online brand and reputation. Give them something shareworthy, and they’ll come back for more.

What do you think makes a blog post or piece of online content shareworthy? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: stock.xchng

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