Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Content Marketing: Who's Your Best Bet?

Given the growing importance of content marketing in the quest to attract sales leads and conversions – not to mention the significance of ‘social sharing’ and the contribution this makes to SEO – it’s not unreasonable to ask which marketing professionals will give you the best bang for your buck. By starting at the beginning and asking what are you expecting content marketing to achieve, you’ll have a clearer idea of who would be your best partner.  To be effective, content marketing must have high quality, original content at its core… content that readers will find useful, practical and valuable enough to ‘share’ on social media sites. This is a complex brief – and certainly not a job for the amateur.  To begin with, there must be a strategy that will target relevant content towards well-defined market segments.  This includes identifying the most suitable media platform and devising an editorial programme that will engage with your target audience. The challenge is to identify which group of marketing professionals can provide the most effective service.  That includes the skilful creation and placement of various types of ‘content’ – blog posts, articles, white papers, e-books, newsletters and so on.  (It may also include non-written content such as infographics, videos, podcasts etc). The wide-ranging demands involved in creating such a diverse range of content place varying expectations on the skill-sets of suppliers.  Take a look at the following options – then decide which is the most appropriate for your particular needs. IN-HOUSE – This is the first (and most obvious) option to consider – but do you have your own home-grown writing/design/production... Read more...

SEO Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

I still have clients contacting me who are expert at putting carts before horses when it comes to SEO copywriting.  As anyone who follows Google’s latest diktats will know, SEO has been turned on its head since Pandas and Penguins got in on the act with their various algorithm updates. As professional copywriters, web designers or developers, we’re privy to Google’s latest rumours – and, let’s face it, there are plenty of those flying around about how the search engine’s latest pronouncements will affect the way we work and the effects this will have on client websites, their SERPs rankings and – most important of all – how this could affect their online business performance. For mainstream SEO specialists, this has been something akin to a natural catastrophe.  The old, familiar landscape has suddenly been replaced by a new and arid environment where old certainties no longer exist.  SEO techniques that had worked perfectly well for so long – and which many SEO practitioners thought they had down to a fine art – are no longer effective and, in some cases, could prove to be positively detrimental. Anyone with a professional vested interest in perpetuating the status quo, as far as SEO is concerned, would be loath to spill the beans to clients, especially if they were unsure about the best new direction in which to guide their clients.  Despite this reluctance, truth will out, and ultimately there’s no hiding place.  In short, for SEO professionals, the message was: adapt if you want to survive.   It’s ancient history Clients who are probably too busy running their own businesses... Read more...

Advertising Copywriting – Talk Your Client Through It

In the maelstrom of marketing activity with which we’re all bombarded on a daily basis, it’s hard to believe that advertising copywriting was once a lead creative skill in what was the most dominant aspect of marketing. Clients of a certain age would be forgiven for being confused by the range of techniques that now contribute to sales success.  We’re talking here about things like social media and blogging, SEO and the multifarious forms of online copywriting. They would probably identify with some of the themes of this article – but what about today’s younger generation of marketers and copywriters?  Are they missing a trick by overlooking the proven skill-sets of advertising and direct response – in particular, the value of the creativity that advertising copywriting brings to the party?   Nostalgia – or Amnesia?  There’s a general feeling around that advertising copywriting isn’t what it was: to wit, the nostalgia surrounding the ‘Mad Men’ phenomenon.  In the 1970s and 80s when Saatchi & Saatchi reigned supreme in the UK, advertising was definitely at the ‘sexy’ end of the marketing spectrum.  Today, it’s seen as a bit player in the marketing mix and, when it comes to ‘digital marketing’, advertising barely ranks as an ‘extra’. Back in the day, to win your metaphorical ‘Equity Card’ (Equity being an actors’ union for all you non-UK readers) you had to have ad agency experience and know how to master the art of ‘creative concepts’.  As that usually entailed working with an art director, there really weren’t too many entrees into the business other than securing a job in an ad agency. ... Read more...

Article Marketing – The SEO Phoenix

Once upon a time, there was Article Marketing.  Get it right and you could improve the SEO performance of your website pages in a matter of weeks. Then, along came Google with its algorithm updates.  Almost overnight, article marketing as we’d come to know it was dead on its feet. Suddenly, article directories (and millions of other websites) found that their stock had plummeted in Google’s eyes.  Their rankings fell and articles that would previously have appeared in the first two or three search engine results pages (SERPs) now had little chance of SEO success. The link value associated with an article featured on all but the best article directories was now negligible.  It’s always been common knowledge of course that articles published by article directories never attracted a serious and widespread readership, despite claims that the articles would be taken up by other online publications. Simply put, the appeal of article marketing was primarily for the SEO back-linking benefits it generated.  (Now, with the explosion of social media, content can be leveraged to reach a wider audience, many of whom would be ‘real’ readers.) Pre-Panda – and the ensuing series of algorithm updates – in order to maximise SEO returns all you had to do was find a halfway-decent piece of distribution software (and maybe additional software that would ‘spin’ your article content to create several versions of the same article involving very little work) and the links would follow.  If you had the patience, there was also the mind-numbing option of submitting your articles to the directories manually.  Either way, there was a strong chance that you... Read more...

Guest Blogging For Back-Door SEO!

The SEO phenomenon of the moment has to be guest blogging.  It’s a great way to build links with other sites that are relevant to your sector – and there’s also the longer-term networking element where your name gradually assumes a more visible online profile. Buzzwords has been invited several times recently to be a guest blogger on sector-relevant sites – so get in touch if you think you’d like me (Mike Beeson) to add a little something to your own blog!  The same applies if you’d like to submit a piece to this site.  Just e-mail your guest post with an accompanying note if you have something interesting to say about copywriting, SEO or PR. The key to successful guest blogging is linking up with the ‘right’ site – i.e. one which is in some way connected to the type of work or interest you feature on your blog.  From an SEO viewpoint, it’s important to link with a blog that has ‘high authority’ in Google’s eyes.  If you don’t have access to this kind of SEO data, you could use Google’s very own PageRank which you can include in your Google toolbar.  This will tell you the ‘PR’ of every web page you visit. Finding relevant blog-site owners to approach with your offer of a free post or two can be tricky.  There are, however, websites out there that list blog sites, with sector categories to help you narrow things down.  These may prove a useful starting point.  You can also find the names of well-known bloggers on media directories, but you may in the end need... Read more...
The Evolution of Social Media

The Evolution of Social Media

Back in 2005, the social media landscape looked very different.  The two main players back then were Bebo and MySpace.  They had a three-year run of basically zero competition. MySpace relied heavily on its “portal strategy” of building an audience around entertainment and music – but, in the end, it failed because it failed to innovate. In 2008, both Bebo and MySpace fell victim to the Facebook disease and their users flocked to Facebook! Although all of this is well documented, many people forget that in 2007 MySpace was in theory worth $12billion (if the recent Facebook valuation methodology had been applied!).  Amazingly, by the following year, Facebook had overtaken MySpace as the world’s leading social network. If nothing else, this demonstrates the fragility of social networks and the promiscuous behaviour that users are capable of if they’re given a better offer.  So will Facebook become victim to the evolution of social media? The answer to this question depends on Facebook. If Facebook fails to attract a younger audience, and competitors like Google-plus and Twitter capitalise on new markets, then Facebook may be left in a difficult position. We can already see trends appearing in America that suggest this is already happening. Facebook still remains the most popular social network among young people in America. But plenty of young people in their early to mid-teens are turning their attention elsewhere. They’re checking out new mobile apps, hanging out on Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest – or simply sending plain, old text messages from their phones. Their goal is to communicate with smaller circles of friends and share their thoughts and... Read more...