The Lean Content Marketing Blog

How to get more return on investment from content

Content Marketing

SMBs: You Don’t Need an Expensive Content Calendar Tool

…you need good content.

Last week, back from Content Marketing World 2014, Jay Baer noted that over the last 12 months, the number of content marketing software vendors had exploded, forcing the vendor and expo area to massively expand. How many exactly were participating? Too many according to him. And because these companies were not sustainable yet but spending their VC’s money, he predicted a big shakeout will happen.

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How You Can Prepare for Twitter’s Potential Upcoming Changes

Twitter strategy might be shifting and the implications for our personal and business experience could be profound.

Source: www.businessesgrow.com

If you’re in social media marketing, you probably cringe at the mention of the word EdgeRank. I know I do, because it makes me think of how frustrating it is that even the best of my brand’s Facebook content might not be seen by more than 200 or 300 of our 57,000 fans unless I spend money to promote it.

Brace yourselves, social marketers, because algorithms just like Facebook’s EdgeRank might be coming to Twitter. In this post by our friend Mark Schaeffer, you can learn about some of the reasons why Twitter is thinking about implementing this, including the pressure from investors now that Twitter has gone public.

Mark brings up some great points for both sides like the fact that, with so many active users, “an unfiltered news stream can seem overwhelming,” but one of the best things about Twitter is that it’s completely unfiltered because  it allows for news to break in real time; something we see happening more and more each day.

According to Mark – and most marketers including myself happen to agree – Twitter will ultimately end up implementing an algorithm that determines what updates you see depending on elements like trending topics and interaction history, which will make organic reach plummet which would effectively eliminate the main differentiator of Twitter from Facebook.

What can do you, then, to prepare for this change?  

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Can you afford to have a content strategy that isn’t lean?

“As content marketing has become a vital strategy for brands and agencies, the need to measure the success of that content has grown as well.  An Aberdeen Group report revealed that the most effective content marketers are also those most likely to measure.”

Source: blog.visual.ly

This report by the Aberdeen Group highlights the need to measure results as a key success factor in content marketing.

Beyond this key findings – companies which measure tend to do better – there are interesting numbers as those in the above chart. The companies surveyed in this report had a customer acquisition cost of $20-$30,000.

Does this feel a lot to you?

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Third-party content is 4x to 7x more trusted than your own

“I had always believed that most of the marketing content used by a company should be developed internally (…). Because of three recent research studies, I now have a different view on this issue.”

Source: customerthink.com

Some people still think that the only type of content that can demonstrate your expertise and show your thought leadership is the one you create.

If you’re still thinking that, think again as the data has spoken.

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6 Ways to Infuse Your Content Marketing with Personality

When it comes to content marketing, businesses can easily lose their personality behind lackluster, “robotic” blogs and other web content. This can result in disengaged audiences, reduced thought leadership standing, and lower search engine ratings.

According to GetResponse blogger Marya Jan, creating quality content requires that you infuse the unique, mutual personality characteristics of businesses and their customers into whatever gets written.

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16 B2B Content Marketing Stats You Need to Know Today

Jeff Zabin, CEO of Starfleet Media and celebrated business researcher, recently released his 2014 Benchmark Report on B2B Content Marketing and Lead Generation. The report was created with the intention of “provid[ing] a rich, up-to-date snapshot of how B2B companies are creating, licensing and utilizing content assets in their incessant quest to demonstrate thought leadership, raise brand visibility, and, perhaps most importantly, generate qualified leads.”

B2B content marketing is a unique field that’s still constantly developing, and this report has some important insights into it’s current state as well as where it’s headed. I’d recommend reading it for yourself, but in the meantime, I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting statistics and findings.

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5 Ways To Prove To Your Boss You Need Content Curation

Have You Made the Business Case For Content Curation? If not, this data will help persuade your management to invest in content curation.

Source: heidicohen.com

This is a solid summary by Heidi Cohen on why content curation is besoming essential to businesses. Its role to content strategy mix has evolved from being anecdotical a few years ago to becoming central as it not only helps fill the gap but provides meaningful synergies for your created content.

 

Now as Heidi puts it, content curation is not free: while it’s – as she puts it – “a low cost way to fill your content marketing pipeline“, low doesn’t mean zero. I still regularly have debates with people who think that automated aggregation can replace content curation: it doesn’t. There’s no way to set it up once and forget about it. You’ll need to invest as little as 15 minutes a day to achieve results but these 15′ need to be spent.

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Should you re-publish your content to other blogs, Medium or LinkedIn blog? A data-driven answer

One of the Lean Content best practices we’ve seen several speakers at our meetups recommend is to leverage existing audiences on top of your own to increase the reach and the impact of your content. While your blog may or may not yet have a strong audience, there’s always more people to reach. By placing your content on publishing platforms which offer interesting discovery mechanisms or having blogs that are read in your industry re-publish it, you could in theory multiply your own reach by not doing much more.

Though the idea makes perfect sense, it also comes with questions:

1. Re-publishing on other platforms can be more or less complex: some like LinkedIn publishing platform or Medium are public or in the process of being public; some industry blogs (for example, in our space, Social Media Today or Business 2 Community) recruit contributors based on their own selection criteria.

2. Re-publishing content is creating potentially duplicate content which could hurt SEO and defeat the purpose.

3. Re-publishing content means it’s read on a platform from where we can’t convert our audience: to subscribe to our blog, to sign up for a demo of Scoop.it, etc. As part of our own Content Marketing efforts, conversion is an important metric.

At Scoop.it, we like to put ideas to the test so we did an experiment a few weeks ago to come out with data that would support or reject this.

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Your employees are your brand

In this talk, Mark Burgess brings to our attention how employees, through social media, are changing how companies market to, and engage with, customers and prospects. With the transparency and opportunity for personal connections that social media offers, pushing fabricated, unauthentic sales pitches doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we are witnessing the rise of the social employee who creates a win/win proposition by leveraging their personal brands to build trust and increase the digital “surface area” of the brands for which they work. The result is nothing short of a revolution.

Source: www.youtube.com

“Employees are the brand at IBM” said IBM’s Ethan McCarty. But isn’t it true in a lot of companies? 


Are your employees thought leaders then? Or rather, what are you doing to develop – and show – their thought leadership?


As Burgess develops in his talk, there is a clear synergy between developing employees into thought leaders and building the corporate brand. 


But how can this be achieved? 


As shown in this topic, thought leadership is highly connected to knowledge. Empowering employees to share their knowledge easily and in an engaging and rewarding way therefore becomes critical:

– easily because they don’t have (much) time,

– engaging because they won’t do it if it’s not impacting,

– rewarding because that’s what’s in it for them.

Aggregating, promoting and spreading that knowledge through collaborative content hubs like the ones Scoop.it Enterprise offers that show the collective curation work of your brand’s employees is one of the most efficient ways to promote your brand: by promoting them.

A win-win deal for all. 

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How Content Curation and Repurposing Extend the Life of Your Content Marketing

Content Repurposing – Updating or changing content into a different form than the original to serve a different audience or the same audience differently.

Source: www.toprankblog.com

When I started to publish content, I felt frustrated that it didn’t have the impact I wanted. I had spent hours, sometimes day on trying to get thoughts, data and examples together and when hitting publish, the post only lasted for a few minutes before being drowned in the social media flow. 

Several techniques like the ones Lee Odden mentions here addressing just that and prevents your content from “melting like wet snow as soon as it hits the ground“.

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Sharing is not enough: why you need a content hub for your online presence.

Social media needs to be part of an overall sales and marketing strategy that includes your website, not something that is isolated from everything else you do to promote your business. It isn’t a one hit wonder that will magically drive people to your business.

Source: socialmediatoday.com

Sue Cockburn makes a great point on SocialMediaToday; and one that I’ve often seen underestimated: just like in ancient Rome, all your social media roads should lead to the center of your online presence, aka your website (as a matter of fact, I was highlighting it myself in a talk last week).

As she pointed out, one of the reasons for this is certainly the hype on social media (and its apparent simplicity).

With the Scoop.it team, we’ve been trying to identify the other reasons explaining that by observing many companies – small or large – implementing their content strategy:

– small businesses are often finding it difficult to…

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Important Stats You Should Know from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report

Last week, Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers presented her Internet Trends report for 2014 at the Code Conference in California. Each year since 2001, KPCB has partnered with some of the best data analysts in the country to create a comprehensive report of rising Internet trends across all industries. This year, the presentation resulted in a 164-slide deck that you can read in its entirety here. Since we’re fans of tl;dr analyses & content curation, though, here are some of the most important points from the first half of the report.

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The benefits of content curation for seo

In a recent survey of 1,550 US professionals on the impact of content curation for their business goals, 65% said content curation helped with regards to SEO. Not only that but data from 65M+ pieces of content curated on the Scoop.it platform show that an average of 40% of traffic comes from Google Search.

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Can SMB’s afford the impressive ROI of Content Marketing?

Is content marketing worth it? Can your company achieve a positive ROI by investing in blogging, social media, and marketing automation?

Guillaume Decugis‘s insight:

A great compilation of studies on the ROI of content marketing from Eloqua and Hubspot. There are lots of interesting numbers which show how valuable content marketing can be in the long run: unlike advertising which costs increase with success, content marketing scales up by delivering economies of scale with lower and lower costs per lead or visitor.

Now, the caveat is that these studies focus on sizeable organizations who can afford the following investments: “According to Eloqua’s findings, a mid-sized organization should expect to spend approximately $12,000 a month and a larger-sized company could expect about $33,000 a month.”

This raises the question of the accessibility of content marketing to small and mid-size businesses. To really be the new advertising, Content Marketing needs to become accessible to all – hence the growing interest for leancontent solutions and tools. 

See on www.business2community.com

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5 lessons we learned experimenting SlideShare as a visual blog

SlideShare is a great platform for visual content and an amazing company: in just a few years, it has become the YouTube of presentations, one of the Top 150 sites in the world with an impressive 3 Billion views per month from 60 million unique visitors. Perhaps like many others, I originally thought of SlideShare as a platform to use only on specific occasions: when I had talked at a conference, when we had produced great slides worth sharing or when we had something specifically visual to communicate. I had had great experience and results but I don’t talk to conferences every day and so I sometimes felt I was missing out. And then, one night of September last year, I heard Jason Miller present at one of our #leancontent events and it became all clear: the team and I realized we could use SlideShare in a very different way – not just as a tool to recycle and share what you already created for other purposes but as a media channel that we would update on a regular basis. In a word, as a visual blog.

We decided to try it: over the next few months, we tried to publish at least every other week to SlideShare, integrating it in our content calendar alongside our blog and our Scoop.it content curations.

These are the first results after 4 months running this experiment.

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6 Facts About Content Curation and SEO You May Not Know

If you struggle with providing a steady stream of fresh, relevant content for your website, you’re not alone. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome this challenge, while also increasing the value you provide to your audience, is through the process of editorialized content curation.

But while we know that this process (when done right) is beneficial in terms of driving traffic, extending reach and providing interesting and valuable content, what does Google think about content curation?

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6 ways to measure and improve the ROI of Content Marketing

Content Marketing has been all the rage these past few years. We’ve heard from many speakers and influencers that content marketing is the new advertising and that “brands must become media to earn relevance”. But how do we measure its ROI and know our content isn’t just fueling some vanity metric but is actually helping our business?

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4 ways to leverage the Interest Graph through impacting Content Curation

As the volume of content published on the Internet continues to grow, consumers can help shield themselves from the noise that doesn’t matter to them by curating only the content that matters on interest graph platforms

Guillaume Decugis‘s insight:

 

Content curation and the Interest Graph are two different things but are deeply connected. While some content curators like Maria Popova are great at being eclectic, a lot of value to readers come from being able to discover and read from publishers who address the specific niches they’re interested in.

Chad Politt from Digital Relevance clearly establishes that connexion in this contribution to the Huff Post and I would draw the following conclusions for content strategists and content curators:

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5 Lessons From 2 Years of Using Email Newsletters in our Content Strategy

As a platform that helps people, businesses or organizations with their content strategy, it’s always been natural for us to use content ourselves in our communication. For a lot of companies – including Scoop.it – communicating through content means having several distribution channels – including email – and today we’d like to share a few things we’ve learned using email newsletters as a content marketing distribution mechanism.

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The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Guillaume Decugis‘s insight:

The head of the Google Webspam team has spoken: guest blogging is now on the hook and won’t be an SEO strategy you can rely on in 2014.

Following the demise of massive link building (which now can have adverse effects), this is another strategy once recommended by traditionnal SEO consultants that disappears as part of Google’s strategy to fight spam, cheap SEO tricks and promote great quality content in search results. The more Google Search evolves, the more it relies on new criteria such as social signals to promote quality content.

What this means is there’s no way around this simple truth now: to come up in search results, you need to publish good quality content and add value – either through great original content or carefully curated quality pieces. And in the race to publish great content frequently, it’s likely you will find the latter very useful.

See on www.mattcutts.com

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The Like economy: how social gratitude affects content efforts

Studies have shown that our brain reacts positively to our content being “liked” or shared on social media. Social gratitude, and notoriety among a peer group, are really the only reasons individuals post content to social media. If no one likes your post, it even can bring you down, or make you feel like no one cares. This is especially prevalent among the youth, with 52% of the teenage Facebook users of the iGeneration (born in the 1990s) clicking “like” daily or even several times a day. Generation Y were a close second with 45% daily “like” clicks, followed closely by 32% of Gen Xers and 24% of Baby Boomers.

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